Week three of the Underrated Series and we get to the animation category. At least there shouldn't be any debate…
The Black Cauldron
Hidden by darkness. Guarded by witches. Discovered by a boy. Stolen by a king. Whoever owns it will rule the world. Or destroy it.
Taran is an assistant pigkeeper with boyish dreams of becoming a great warrior. However, he has to put the daydreaming aside when his charge, an oracular pig named Hen Wen, is kidnapped by an evil lord known as the Horned King. The villain hopes Hen will show him the way to The Black Cauldron, which has the power to create a giant army of unstoppable soldiers.
Decades Project: 7/8 of the 80's
"Oh, I'm sorry. I've ignored you. You did come for the Black Cauldron, didn't you? Good. Then climb in! It will only cost you your life."
The Black Cauldron is one of the great curiosities of Disney's animated output. In many ways it's not terribly different from The Sword in the Stone, but the small differences make a huge impact. It's easily the darkest Disney animated feature: there are long scenes in dark dungeons filled with skeletons and goblins and evil kings who want to cut your cute little piggy's head off with a giant axe. It's Lord-of-the-Rings, carrying-the-burden-of-The-One-Ring dark—which is great if you're into that type of fantasy, and the film has developed…
I saw this in the cinema when I was young and had the Panini sticker album but there doesn't seem to be much nostalgia in my mind for it after seeing it again.
There's not a lot of Disney magic here and it seems to borrow characters from other stuff. A minstrel who if you close your eyes could be C3PO and a strange furry creature who reminds me of Gollum from the animated Lord of the Rings.
Of the many obscure Disney films, "The Black Cauldron" is the leader of obscurity. Whereas most of the other obscure films get some minor attention every so often, this film is nearly fully swept under the rug.
The main reason for this is how dark the film is. It does not fit in with the bright, cheery image Disney tries to uphold. A film with skeleton armies, death, and a terrifying villain certainly doesn't say "The Happiest Place on Earth".
Another reason for how it is ignored is how unpopular it is. The film tanked at the box office when it was released. The images in the film are too frightening for younger viewers who would much rather watch Cinderella.…
Well, that was The Black Cauldron, certainly one of the least Disney-esque Disney films ever made. It's an incredibly stylish movie, sure to give fantasy fans lucid wet dreams, but underneath the stylish exterior it rings quite hollow.
Young Taran is a assistant pig's keeper in the good old land of..Wales? (My sister is a huge nut on all things Welsh and Celtic, and pointed out that this was originally a Celtic myth). One day he ventures out to find the One Ri..the Black Cauldron, which can raise the evil armies of The Horned King if they don't get to it first.
From the very opening, a beautiful, dark, aesthetically rich fantasy film. It has bold colors, evil rulers, dragons…
Probably the most bored I've been watching a Disney animated movie ever, The Black Cauldron has a wrongly-gained reputation as a misjudged, mishandled and mistreated masterpiece. For me, it was incredibly dull. Sure, some of the imagery was deliciously dark (a young Tim Burton was one of the animators), but the characters were poor. The main hero was dreary and his dog sidekick thing sounded like the retarded offspring of Gollum and Donald Duck. Except for the flashes of darkness and macabre, I didn't enjoy this.
Nothing about this is familiar, it is missing everything that would make it recognisable as a Disney film. The animation is still pretty good in places but the whole thing screams 'immature' to me, which when you know what was going on in the studio at the time makes it an interesting watch.
This one sort of slipped under my radar for thirty years. I suppose on the initial run I was right outside the usual Disney demographic at the time (unattached male post-secondary student wasn't a prime concern before the big Geek shift), and it hasn't been particularly visible since.
This is understandable. It's not that great-- the hero is annoying, the princess has almost no distinguishing features, the world building is rather lifeless, the hero's quest is more than usually straight-forward (even for a Disney kiddies' feature), and the adorable comic relief... well, I'll get back to that, because it's one of the points of horrible interest.
I think my main problem with this film is that it's trying to indulge…
It hurts the child in me not to be able to rate this 5 stars. This was a favorite of mine when I was younger. I remember being terrified of a number of scenes, being excited, being heartbroken; but on a rewatch many years later.. it's just blah. I don't have much criticism to offer. I think it would be on par with the better known Disney classics if there was more Gurgi.
While not as polished as Disney's usual stuff, The Black Cauldron has some welcome deviations from their typical formula, the lack of singing numbers being a big one. I liked that it was a bit darker and more adventurous in tone, but ultimately it felt a bit rushed.
Slightly more interesting characters than the usual Disney fare, but the film lacks any great emotional or impactful moment.
Clearly a direct lineage from 'The Horned King & Creeper' to 'No Heart & Beastly'.
Good god, that was an ordeal! What a terrible movie! Not only is it boring as hell but everything about this movie sucks! I have no idea what the hell is going on half the time, the characters are boring, the animation sucks big time! Most of the time it felt like one of those living storybook CD-ROMs from the 90s where the characters are talking to you and they feel like they don't belong on the background they are on. Multiple times the characters feel like they're floating, meaning they don't feel like they're touching the ground because of the way the movie was animated. There was this weird white flashing around one of the characters a few random…
Disney has done dozens of animated movies and this is the black sheep? Disney kept it in the vault for a long time. It is scary and not suitable for young viewers but it is still a supremely fun dark fantasy.
It could be interesting a remake with Taron who give away his iPhone6 plus instead a magic sword. Anyway, The Black Cauldron is an old style cartoon made in Disney where the 'hero-is-not-a-hero',the villain is a copy of Skeletor from The Master of Universe, the princess is pretty annoying and the best friend is a son of a bitch. Suitable for sensitive children .
Pretty dark for a Disney feature. Skeletons, Goblins, and wait... WAS THAT BLOOD?! If you're a Sword and Sorcery film fan, I highly recommend watching this.
(Last Updated: 11 October 2014)
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