Production company: Walt Disney Pictures
Voice talents: Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Nigel Hawthorne, John Byner, John Hurt
In the fantastical land of Prydain, the evil Horned King (Hurt) is seeking the aid of the legendary Black Cauldron which can help him raise an army of dead warriors who will allow him to take over the Kingdom! But in order to find the Black Cauldron, the Horned King needs to also find a magical pig named Henwen who can find anything with her visions. But Henwen sees that she is being sought out by the Horned King and her keeper entrusts a young boy named Taran (Bardsley) to take Henwen into the forest to hide...and along their journey, Taran and Henwen meet a hopeless musician (Hawthorne), a fluffy critter who's always hungry (Byner), and a beautiful princess (Sheridan) who all want to make sure that Henwen is kept safe and out of the Horned King's grasp!
Feeling like Happily Ever After meets The Wizard of Oz with some Sleeping Beauty flair, this is one of my absolute favorite Disney movies because it is so unlike the Disney movies we are used to seeing! Gone are the lighthearted plots and the romances and the mild dangers we usually face, The Black Cauldron is much heavier than that! Word to the wise, if you're thinking about setting the kids down to watch this one...maybe hold tight a second and watch it yourself first. This movie is dark!
Didn't expect these guys in a DISNEY movie, did you?!
The plot is one of my favorites in fantasy movies - an evil guy is about to take over the world and the little heroes have to stop him! Good conquering evil is the best plot in my mind, and The Black Cauldron definitely has that....but it pushes the evil side HARD. The villain is terrifying, his henchmen are wicked and ugly...the danger is real and it's legitimately scary! But as evil and wicked as the bad guys are, that makes the good guys all the more wholesome and sweet. The little piggy Henwen is just too chubby and adorable for words, and the bravery of our hero Taran is so uplifting and inspirational! He believes in himself so much and he's so fearless! Even against impossible odds, you fully believe that the characters can accomplish everything that they set out to tackle...so as bleak as things may get in The Black Cauldron, they are equally as uplifting and moving. This movie has excellent balance between it's two polar extremes. Even when Disney goes dark, it still manages to keep the integrity of it's movie together. The story, the characters, the animation...it all comes together perfectly.
The minute is gets too scary, the fairies appear! All is good!
The Black Cauldron gets a 5 OF 5 must own for those who love children's movies that tend to delve on the darker side - movies like The Dark Crystal and The Last Unicorn. And for those who also love fantasy-type movies too! It's a dangerously exciting Disney movie and I highly recommend it for Disney lovers hungry for something a touch different.