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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black as pitch
Disney's 26th animated feature is one of the studio's less heralded films, but is actually an engrossing sword and sorcery fantasy that has echoes of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy in its depiction of an evil undead king and his determination to locate the eponymous cooking pot in order to reawaken his army of the dead and lay waste to the land. This is not Sauron...
Published on 1 July 2009 by Captain Pugwash

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak re-release of a classic film
Disney's "The Black Cauldron", first released in 1985, tells the story of a young boy who is drawn into a mystic quest to stop a villainous king from ruling the world. Rather removed from the conventional Disney animated classics, it tells a tale that is darker - thematically and visually - than their other animated works, and may be scary for younger children. The film...
Published on 16 Oct 2010 by Scruff 'n' Mooch


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black as pitch, 1 July 2009
Disney's 26th animated feature is one of the studio's less heralded films, but is actually an engrossing sword and sorcery fantasy that has echoes of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy in its depiction of an evil undead king and his determination to locate the eponymous cooking pot in order to reawaken his army of the dead and lay waste to the land. This is not Sauron but `The Horned King', and his nemeses are not hobbits but Terran, a young pig boy, and his companions, a dotty old minstrel, a pig with magical properties, a beautiful scullery maid and a bonkers furry creature.

Made in the mid 80s, The Black Cauldron is a dark and genuinely creepy creation, featuring a host of supernatural moments and a villain whose death-like visage seems more suited to an adult horror movie. There are some typically Disney humourous moments but these are few and far between, and ultimately this is a sinister and grown-up animated movie, and one whose plot comes second to its impressive visuals.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark film for under 5's - but great for older preteens, 29 Jan 2006
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This is probably the darkest (literally) Disney cartoon made, even eclipsing Snow White for dismal castle scenes and skeletons. My daughter, then 7, simply didn't go for it and found it 'far too scary' towards the end - the Barbie and Cinderella films are more her bag. My son at the same age loved it however, and I quite enjoyed watching it with him as well. The story involves a young boy farmer (who has dreams of being a great warrior) and his magic pig, who both search for the mystical Black Cauldron. The scene with the three witches who guard the Black Cauldron is a highlight in a pretty consistent film (once the story gets going). OK, some of the characters, well one really, the Bard, are a bit wet, and occasionally the slapstick seems out of place, but the cosmic struggle between good (the farm-boy Taran) and evil (the Horned King) is well done and there a few nice touches. Personally I prefer the older 'Sword in the stone' though which has a similar feel, as it's also a medieval fantasy, although that one's relatively pig free. However do have a look at the excellent book this film was adapted from: The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander, aimed squarely at preteen boys around 10 - it's part of a cult series of books first published in the 1960s.

This film is strangely reminiscent of the earlier 1982 film - Conan the Barbarian, particularly the tomb sequence where Taran finds the enchanted sword. Although this film is a little scary for most little ones despite the U rating, the humour lightens the film considerably and it's no more frightening than Sheer Khan's sequences in The Jungle Book really. Overall I think older preteen children aged around 7+ (and more likely a boy I suspect) would enjoy watching 'The Black Cauldron' few times.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten classic, 14 May 2003
By A Customer
Usually The Black Cauldron is completely looked over and not acknowledged as a great diney film. But the film itself is truly a gem. based on Lloyd Alexander's chronicles of Prydain series the film is a combination of the books. The animation is truly superb. Some of the sequences are trulybreathtaking and their beauty is enhanced by the fact that the film has been presented for the first time on home release in its glorious original cinemascope. The story does have a weakness due to the fact that during the late 70's and and early eighties everything at disney was in chaos due to the fact that most of theanimators who had made the animated features up to that point were retiring annd new animators were coming in and everyone had their own idea about the film and it started to get a little confused and a lot of animation was cut or redone. Still the final product works, and some scenes and characters are quite memorable. the bonus features are not to great there are quite a few galleries with concept art, original animation and original sketches, it's only a shame that some of the cut scenes couldn't be included. If you are a fan of the original books you might not welcomethe combination of the stories but foranyone wanting to get interested in the stories it'sas good asany place to start.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak re-release of a classic film, 16 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Black Cauldron [DVD] (DVD)
Disney's "The Black Cauldron", first released in 1985, tells the story of a young boy who is drawn into a mystic quest to stop a villainous king from ruling the world. Rather removed from the conventional Disney animated classics, it tells a tale that is darker - thematically and visually - than their other animated works, and may be scary for younger children. The film itself is not their greatest work but still very entertaining.

Unfortunately, this re-release of The Black Cauldron sports few upgrades from the previous DVD packaging... The Black Cauldron [DVD] [1985] Whilst the film's picture and sound quality has been somewhat revamped, the only new features are a deleted scene (presented with the original storyboard pencil tests, as is Disney custom) and a new game. Those of you hoping to see the long lost "scary" footage cut from the theatrical release will be disappointed as it has not found its way into this new packaging.

Those who are yet to add The Black Cauldron to their Disney collection will be satisfied with this DVD release, but for those who are considering upgrading from the previous DVD release, it is only worth it if you are particular about the picture quality. The lack of new extra features and the omission of the missing theatrical footage make for a disappointing "Anniversary" release, which is a terrible shame - this experimental gem of a film deserves better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Black Cauldron - Disney's dark vision, 8 April 2010
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This is a film that really made an impression on me when I saw it in the cinema as a child. Not normally a fan of the saccharine Disney style, I hadn't been keen to go and see it. However, I came away from the cinema with a totally different opinion of Disney. This is a much darker film than their usual fare, with the usual schmaltz mixed with a good dose of what can only be described as horror.

Telling the tale of Taran, a pig keeper who gets mixed up in the war against the Horned King, who needs the magical and evil Black Cauldron of the title in order to bring alive his army of undead warriors. There are the usual Disney elements here - talking animals, comedy villain sidekicks and moral lesson. But much, much, darker than usual with the demonic Horned King (voiced by an underused John Hurt), and armies of skeletal spectral warriors creeping across the land. I loved it then, and I love it now.

I'm not sure the U certificate is totally appropriate, I think a PG would be better. As a 9 yr old kid I know it gave me nightmares!

This is a nice presentation, 5.1 surround sound (which shows of Elmer Bernstein's excellent score nicely). In widescreen. The colours seem a bit washed out and dingy at times, but if memory serves it was like that in the initial cinema release.

Well worth getting, especially for those looking for something a little different from the usual Disney fare.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Black Cauldron' is magical!, 3 Aug 2007
Of all of Disney's animated classics, 'The Black Cauldron' was one of the last that I saw, not counting the package features and some of Disney's latest releases which I have no interest in seeing whatsoever. I didn't have any clue of what The Black Cauldron was about, I had seen a few pictures of it and heard very little about it, at one point, I even thought this film was some kind of Mickey Mouse short. Well, I finally got to watch "The Black Cauldron" and after repeated viewings, I don't know why I waited so long to see it, it is truly amazing and one of Disney's greatest adventure tales.

Inspired by the first two titles in The Chronicles of Prydain, 'The Black Cauldron' is the story of assistant pig-keeper Taran, a careless young boy who dreams of one day becoming Prydain's finest warriors. His chance comes when his master, Dallben discovers that the terrifying Horned King has discovered the powers of one of the pigs the boy takes care of. You see, Hen Wen the pig can create visions of what's to come and Dallben fears the Horned King will want to use Hen Wen's power for evil. For this, Dallben sends unprotected Taran alone with Hen Wen and asks him to take care of the pig and hide until its safe. However, Hen Wen runs away and Taran's adventure begins, meeting such memorable characters as the wild, furry Gurgi, the sweet, sassy Princess Eilonwy and the fun minstrel, Fflewddur Fflam. Taran and his friends begin a fantastic and magical journey through the lands of Prydain, learning more about the Horned King and his evil intentions, now they must race against him to find the wicked Black Cauldron and destroy it, before the evil King gets his hands on it.

This beautiful film offers just about everything that makes a great Disney film, the best of Disney animation and a delightful cast of characters is brought to life with great vocal acting. Comic relief is brought by such fun characters as Fflewddur Fflam, Gurgi, Creeper and Doli, the grumpy fairy. The film doesn't have any real songs, but that is made up with a breathtaking soundtrack, very complete and probably knocking out other musicals like even "The Lion King." 'The Black Cauldron' is very different from other classic Disney animated features, for one, it doesn't feature a complete happy ending, for Taran never really sees his dream come true, the film ends more realistically having Taran learn that everyone must be happy with whom they are, but you also know that after this adventure, good Taran has gotten yet one big step closer.

After reading several reviews, I've seen many people call this the worst of Disney features or a simply forgettable feature. However, just by comparing it to trashy newer films like "Home on the Range" or "Atlantis - The Lost Empire" you know "The Black Cauldron" is high, high above such films. 'The Black Cauldron' has been poorly released to DVD under the Gold Classic Collection line, which automatically states that the DVD brings little bonus features, which although few, are pretty decent. What I mind most is such a poor presentation of the film, a restoration such as the ones given to older Disney flicks is definitely needed here, for the film is presented, flashy, shaky and not very sharp. However, the DVD is still highly recommended and so is the movie. If you haven't read Lloyd Alexander's books, I recommend watching this before reading the books so you can avoid disappointments, since as others have stated, the film isn't the finest re-telling of the chronicles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 14 April 2013
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This review is from: The Black Cauldron [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD was brought to finish off our favourite Disney Dvd's, We have been looking for some time and glad we waited for the 25th Anniversary as we like all the extras these Dvd's have to offer..
They are not all Blue-ray but playing them on a blue-ray player the picture quality is out-standing, we have a large collection of Disney Dvd's for the child in the pair of us..
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A first try of a new generation., 29 July 2003
This was the first full length animated feature ever to be made by current the animators and storymen of disney on their own, without help from the oldtimers who had started in the early days of Snowwhite and Pinnochio.
It is obvious from this film i find, how much they still had to learn. Although for a first try, i was a good effort.
This is a typical bedtime story fairy tale:
An evil lord threatens to destroy the land by raising an army of undead soldiers. For this he needs the legendary black cauldron.
Taran, is a stable boy for an old man. One of his jobs is to care for a pig (little bit of variety doesn't harm anyone).This is no ordinary pig, but can show, by sticking his snout in a bowl of water, the past,present or future.
The evil lord discovers this and and wants to use the pig to find the cauldron. Taran tries to escape with her and hide, but fails, as she is caught by the lord's forces anyway. He goes after her, and frees her, finding a magical sword, a comical bard and a beautiful princess along the way. They all ecape together, and try to find the cauldron so they can destroy it before te lord can.
It's a race against time, with unexpected twists and turns from then on.
It may be on of THE lesser animated films disney has ever produced, but still has all the elements: Humour, heart and a happy ending.
the animation is more inferior to the others, but it doesn't affect the pleasure of watching.
Kids will love it though, as it certainly is aimed at the under twelve agegroup. But that doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable for adults to watch eiter.
There are better films though, and unless you're looking for something a bit different, i'd advise you look at others before considering this one.
Not many dvd extra's, two games and a still frame gallery, so nothing convincing there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: The Black Cauldron [DVD] (DVD)
i love Disney films, I brought this to replace a video I have of it so I can watch it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the black couldron, 27 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Black Cauldron [DVD] (DVD)
would recommend came very quickly.any child would enjoy this film.in excellant condition.well enjoyed watching this film.nothing really to dislike about this film.
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Black Cauldron [DVD] [1985] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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