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The Black Cauldron (1985)

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1:04 | Trailer
A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Directors:

Ted Berman, Richard Rich

Writers:

Lloyd Alexander (novel), David Jonas (story) | 17 more credits »
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Popularity
4,353 ( 165)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Bardsley Grant Bardsley ... Taran (voice)
Susan Sheridan Susan Sheridan ... Eilonwy (voice)
Freddie Jones ... Dallben (voice)
Nigel Hawthorne ... Fflewddur Fflam (voice)
Arthur Malet ... King Eidilleg (voice)
John Byner ... Gurgi / Doli (voice)
Lindsay Rich Lindsay Rich ... Fairfolk (voice)
Brandon Call ... Fairfolk (voice)
Gregory Levinson Gregory Levinson ... Fairfolk (voice)
Eda Reiss Merin Eda Reiss Merin ... Orddu (voice)
Adele Malis-Morey Adele Malis-Morey ... Orwen (voice)
Billie Hayes ... Orgoch (voice)
Phil Fondacaro ... Creeper / Henchman (voice)
Peter Renaday Peter Renaday ... Henchman (voice)
James Almanzar James Almanzar ... Henchman (voice)
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Storyline

Centuries ago, in the land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is given the task of protecting Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig, who knows the location of the mystical black cauldron. This is not an easy task, for The Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Magic twelve years in the making. Magic that will live forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Ollie Johnston, it was he and Frank Thomas who, in 1971, convinced Walt Disney Productions to produce the movie adaptation of Lloyd Alexander's Newbery Medal-winning and widely acclaimed epic high fantasy book series "The Chronicles of Prydain". As fans of the book series, the two animators hoped that if this movie would be done properly, it might be "as good as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)". See more »

Goofs

In the swamps of Morva, Fflewddur Fflam is talking to Doli, who is sitting on his hat. In the first full shot of Fflewddur, Doli is not visible, although Fflewddur is clearly looking up at him. The next shot is a close-up of the hat, with Doli on it, then back to a full shot without Doli. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, Black Cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the Black Cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors... and with ...
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening or cast and crew credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Appalled by the film's darkness and graphic nature, and also concerned with its long length, Jeffrey Katzenberg requested that the film's release be delayed from its scheduled Christmas 1984 release to July 1985 so that the whole film could be reworked. The Black Cauldron was ultimately cut by twelve to fifteen minutes, all of which were fully animated and scored. As a result, some existing scenes were rewritten, reanimated, and reedited for continuity. Many of the cut scenes involved the undead "Cauldron Born", who are used as the Horned King's army in the final act of the film. While most of the scenes were seamlessly removed from the film, one particular cut involving a Cauldron Born warrior killing a person by decapitating his neck and another one killing another person by decapitating his torso created a rather recognizable lapse because the removal of the scene clumsily creates a jump in the film's soundtrack. Other deleted scenes include: many scenes of graphic violence such as the ones where Taran fights his way out of The Horned King's palace with the magic sword Dyrnwyn; shots of Princess Eilonwy wearing ripped garments, as she's hanging for her life with Taran and Fflewddur Fflam; whole sequences involving the world of the Fairfolk; scenes of the Horned King with a flowing cloak; one scene featuring one of the King's henchmen being mauled by one of the Cauldron Born warriors, which causes him to form horrifically detailed lacerations and boils, before he rots away to become one of the Cauldron Born warriors himself (a couple of animated cels of that particular scene can actually now be found on the Internet); and a more action-oriented, dramatic, and intense climatic fight scene between Taran and the Horned King before the latter is sucked into the Cauldron. See more »

User Reviews

worth seeing, not for children at all. Really fun.
14 December 2001 | by PlanNineSee all my reviews

"The Black Cauldron" certainly doesn't fall into the genre of animated Disney family favorite, but instead feels much like the more grim and complicated fantasy films that were made in the eighties. Does it stack up to such films as "Return To Oz" and "The Dark Crystal"? Well, although not as complex as the aformentioned, this film is not without its charm.

The story of Taran, the pig-keeper's journey from gawky boy to gawky boy-hero apparently works better as told through the course of five books, and indeed it is the plot that feels put together, with a lot cut out of it for it's slim 1:20 running time. Also suffering because of the short time is any character development, or a reason why the charcter of Dallben (an old minstrel) are in the film at all. However, this film still has a lot going for it.

The film has a wonderful pacing to it with some fantastic action scenes. It is adventurous and fun. An engaing film for any fantasy fan. What really makes the film though is it's terrifying and dastardly villain, The Horned King. He is basically a Skeletor knock off with absolutely no sense of humor. He looks like he stepped right out of an Iron Maden album cover, and that is a monumental good thing. The true threat felt by the presence of this decidedly un-Disney character keeps the tension of the film high.

It is this contrast, between the unconventionally ghoulish villans (definatly enspirered by Bakshi's animated adaptation of "Lord of the Rings") and the stock Disney characters makes the audience care more-so for the cutesy characters than usual. This is especially true for the cutsey character of Gurgi, who is much more tollerable than almost all other Disney sidekicks and especially more tollerable than a certain J*r J*r B*nks that we have all been over exposed to lately.

So I would recommend "The Black Cauldron", it's a fun and well animated adventure film. Compleatly scary and strange for Disney to make, but still very very good for other reasons nonetheless.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

26 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Cauldron See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,180,110, 28 July 1985

Gross USA:

$21,288,692

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,288,692
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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