The Black Cauldron

Review By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

80 Minutes, Rated PG, $16.99

Where do I begin with my review of TBC?

The Pet

Well lets start with my personal story associated with the film.

Back in 1985 I was 4 years old, and I had a few of TBC promotional items (like a poster and the stickers, but I only own the 'Gurgi' sticker currently). My family and I went on vacation for the entire week that TBC started showing in my area. When we got back it was gone. One week. And the movie was gone. That's my story.

Until recently, I had forgotten about the desire of wanting to see TBC. I was flipping through one of the many Disney Encyclopedia's at a 'The Disney Store' in Atlanta. When I saw 'Gurgi' and remembered everything. I read the article and quickly devoured the knowledge the other volumes had to tell. I soon began spouting my own bread of 'Disney Bashing/Praising' to all the friends who cared to listen.

I thought If Disney isn't going to release it then lets' start a petition, well I waited to long and learned I didn't need to do that anyway (some other people had already done that). Because in Zentertainment my heart was lifted. The Hero

According to The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, DISNEY will release a childhood favorite of mine, THE BLACK CAULDRON, on video for the first time ever August 4th.

Source: ZENtertainment #210, Monday, April 27, 1998

And that leads us to yesterday. August 3, 1998 - 10:01 PM, Target had just closed so not wanting to go home I staggered into a chilling Grocery store and went to the magazines… and there it was hidden in the 'Melody Time' display. Three copies of The Black Cauldron. I quickly scoped up a copy and rushed to the cashier. Waited my turn and scanned the treasure myself and threw a $20 at the man, got my change, and muffled out a 'Thank You.' And ran out of the store laughing hysterically. But enough about me…

Disney's Story starts somewhere back in the mid 1970s when they secured the rights to make Lloyd Alexander's THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN series into an animated movie. By 1980 pre-production had begun. The movie was in production when a snag was hit, the money ran out. Dipping into Disney Companies reserves they continued the film. It seen became the first animated movie of it's scale to use CGI. The movie soon was finished in 1984 and was sent to the audio studio for Dubbing. A few big name voice actors for the time were picked. And soon after the movie was released in 1985 to a PG rating. Needless to say the movie flopped and it put it down with its' list of failures like FANTASIA and BAMBI.

So what was so bad about the movie? Upon my viewing I have to say…. NOTHING!!!!! This is the BEST Disney movie ever created. It has ZERO singing. It is an EPIC Quest with memorable characters and some realistic situations. You care about the characters and definitely get a sense of accomplishment from their adventure. The villain of the story has to be the strongest ever seen in a Disney movie. The Horned King is pure evil and the only one who has ever wanted to take over the whole world instead of get even with one person. And how does the Horned King go about world domination? The Black Cauldron of course.

"In the mystical land of Prydain, a young boy named Taran, who dreams of a future as an invincible warrior, finds himself leading a real-life quest. In a race against the evil Horned King, Taran must be the first to find the mysterious Black Cauldron -- or the Horned King will unleash its power and take over the world. With the help of a magic sword, an enchanting princess, and adorable clairvoyant pig and a funny little furry creature named Gurgi, Taran overcomes winged dragons, the King's monstrous henchmen, three batty witches and more -- and learns nothing is as powerful as courage and friendship."

Any more would spoil the movie.

Just a comment of the VHS release. The Chromium FX packaging is really cool (all that means is it is tin-foil with color and stamped indentions in it). Now if you have Dolby Surround Speakers the movie does go up and down at points The Box(the voices are softer than the sound effects at times). But those flows are forgivable considering the movie was made in 1985. All I wish Disney had of done was made either a DVD or Laserdisc version of the movie.

If you like Fantasy, Anime, Medieval stuff, Disney movies, or ever wanted to see what The Legend of Zelda would really look like it was truly done right in a movie. Then The Black Cauldron is the movie for you. And I am not just saying this because I have wanted to see the movie for 13 Years. I put my all behind this movie when promoting it to my friends by saying it is 'The Best Disney movie I have never seen.' And I must say now that I have seen it, 'IT IS THE BEST DISNEY MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!"

To learn more about the characters, and story
  • The Black Cauldron Petition Site
  • Roger Ebert's Review of The Black Cauldron
  • Bring Back The Black Cauldron Petition site.
  • Cauldron Born Fanatic
  • Cauldron full of WAV's
  • Disney Classics The Black Cauldron (tons of Stuff)
  • The Black Cauldron Stuff Page
  • JZ's Black Cauldron Page.
  • Brandon's Black Cauldron Page
  • SSG's The Black Cauldron Page.