The Black Cauldron [25th Annivesary] [Special Edition] [DVD] [1985]

  • SKU: 1215317
  • Release Date: 09/14/2010
  • Rating: PG
$9.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
97% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (28 out of 29)

Special Features


  • New! The Witches' Challenge Game
  • New! Deleted Scene: The Fairfolk
  • "The Quest For Black Cauldron" Game
  • Short - "Trick Or Treat" Cartoon Starring Donald Duck and His 3 Nephews
  • Still Frame Gallery

Synopsis


The Black Cauldron
Walt Disney Pictures produced this ambitious, animated tale of sorcery and swordfighting. Taran (voice of Grant Bardsley), is an assistant to Dallben (voice of Freddie Jones), a pigkeeper in the mythical land of Prydain. Taran longs to be a knight, and he's given his chance to live out his dream when he is sent out in search of a magical black cauldron which can either be a powerful instrument of good or a bottomless fount of evil, depending entirely upon who should find it. However, Taran is not the only one in search of this talisman -- the Horned King (voice of John Hurt) wants the cauldron to shore up his sinister powers and raise an army of the dead, and with the help of the all-seeing pig Hen-Wren, the wicked one may make his hideous plans a reality. The Black Cauldron had the distinction of being the first animated feature from Disney to receive a PG rating from the MPAA, due to some frightening scenes of black magic. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Freddie Jones
    Freddie Jones - Dallben
  • Nigel Hawthorne
    Nigel Hawthorne - Fflewddur
  • Arthur Malet
    Arthur Malet - King Eidilleg
  • John Byner
    John Byner - Gurgi/Doli
  • John Hurt
    John Hurt - Horned King



Overall customer rating

4.5
97%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Unless you're diehard Disney fan, you can skip it.

    Posted
    BasilioBoy777
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    On a whim, I decided to take a look at one of Disney’s more infamous endeavors, the 1985 film The Black Cauldron. I was curious about this film because it has a reputation for being one of, if not the worst animated films in the Walt Disney Animated Classics line. Granted it was the first animated Disney film to get a PG rating, so it’s definitely a deviation from the norm, but that doesn’t mean it’s terrible … right? Nonetheless, I went into it with an open mind. I did not come out as such. As one of the many aspects of this film's unusual nature, is based on a series of fantasy novels rather than Disney’s usual go-to gag of common fairytales. The Black Cauldron is based on the first two entries in the series of novels known as The Chronicles of Prydain, published from 1964 to 1968, the first being The Book of Three and the other being The Black Cauldron itself. That being said, I cannot in any way comment on this film on its merits or faults as an adaptation, seeing as how I have never read this particular series of books, nor had I even heard of it before researching this film. So, I will just have to take this film as it is. Still, the fact that I had never even heard of this film’s basis cannot possibly be a good sign. The overall plot of this film is as basic and unenlightened as it could possibly get. The opening narration gives us a standard back story of some ancient evil sealed away in the mystic “MacGuffin,” the Black Cauldron. We then moved to the Shire standard farmstead, where we see the standard young and inexperienced wannabe hero, Luke Taran. He is being looked over by Obi-Wan Kenobi Gandalf Dallben. For the record, I’ll say that Dallben’s voice, provided by Freddie Jones, sounds fairly strained, but perhaps maybe they were going for to give him more of a venerated feel, or possibly it just might be the limitations of the recording equipment of the mid-80s. Speaking of that, this film actually feels a lot older than it actually is, like it’s contemporary with films like The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book, despite the fact that it’s actually nearly 20 years older than those films. The animation style of this film is sketchy, like it’s not fully polished, which was common in previous decades, but should have been phased out by this time. It’s decent, but nowhere near impressive. Characters and moving objects stand out too much from the backgrounds; I even know which rocks they will step on. Perhaps this is a frame rate or conversion issue, but it does bear noticing. For the most part, the backgrounds do look nice and well-painted, but they’re not that noteworthy. The DVD extras are there, and that’s all I can really say about them. There are a couple of point-and-click games with trivia and very simple puzzles, which are extraordinarily easy; it might entertain a five-year-old for a few minutes but won’t do anything for anybody else. There is an old Donald Duck Halloween cartoon short included, and that’s pretty good, for what it’s worth. There is a deleted scene, but unfortunately, it’s not from any of the 12 minutes that were supposedly cut from this film postproduction personally by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Instead it’s just another partially animated storyboard animatic from the Fair Folk scene, which I found to be disappointing in light of what could have very easily been an extensive deleted scenes extra. Overall, everything about this film screams average, and the low end of average at that. The story just seems to sort of happen to the characters, rather than the characters driving the plot. Nobody seems very active. The story itself is the classic fantasy hero’s journey that we’ve all seen a hundred times before, and it doesn’t really bring anything new to the formula to justify its own existence. A lot of the characters and objects function only as plot devices, and are not very well explained or elaborated upon. The main hero isn’t particularly skilled or even likable, the side characters are mostly useless and kind of annoying, and the villain is kind of good but it only serves to illuminate that he could’ve been much better. For a Disney film, I was very underwhelmed by this film. The animation isn’t stellar or amateur, it’s just average; its characters are not outright good and interesting or even bad, just average; the plot also isn’t particularly innovative or negatively derivative, it’s just average. And for Disney, average means “skip it,” and you should skip this film. The Disney studios have done much better before this film and after it. Unless you really want to have a complete Disney Animated Classics collection, you aren’t really missing much if you leave this one out of it.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Definitely a watcher but not a classic

    Posted
    Forreviews
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    This movie has a great deal of good in it but it isn't quite what you would call a classic. It feels like it sits perfectly in the animation and storytelling of the 80's. You have a theme similar to the Lord of the Rings along with a touch of fantasy and something like the Smurfs mixed in together. A simple story that creates promising characters. You know, this may have been better as a short series or television show. Either way, it is worth seeing and may be a classic to a little one in your home. It can be quite dark and the villain looks a lot like skeleton or the Darkness in Legend. So, be mindful. Otherwise, happy watching.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    It's Your Classic Good Versus Evil Animation

    Posted
    MeandMyRC
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This movie is perhaps the darkest animated movie in Walt Disney's early film productions. I would not recommend this feature animation for younger children. They may find it very fighting. The movie is certainly entertaining, and the characters are memorable. However; I don't believe that it was one of Disney's best.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Dark, but enjoyable

    Posted
    mysterysmyth
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    So maybe it's old. Maybe it's dark for Disney. Maybe it was a flop. But there's still something enjoyable about this movie. Don't expect some of the same magic you get with more recent Disney and Pixar movies, but if you're a fan of Disney in general you will find something enjoyable in this movie.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A great disney movie

    Posted
    LionTwo
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    Even though this movie has been given a low rating by critics, I found it very enjoyable. The villain in this movie is actually scary, so I wouldn’t show it to a really young kid.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Munchies and Crunchies

    Posted
    DVDLover
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    This is one of the darkest Disney movies, but is an awesome animated film. ***Beware for children under 7--can cause nightmares***

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent fantasy fare.

    Posted
    Pappyone

    A tried and true plot, Reluctant hero, with a sidekick who not only provides comic relief, but becomes a true hero when needed most. Good artwork, very old school-ish, but it works well for this movie.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Disney Classic

    Posted
    bogo
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    Darker than most Disney cartoons but it is still great. Make sure to sit down with the whole family and grab some "munchies and crunchies."

    I would recommend this to a friend



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