“The Black Cauldron” provides us with “Exhibit A” of the disorganized nature of the Disney organization from the mid-1970s through the mid-80s. The company’s feature films were attracting smaller and smaller audiences, and no real creative force had emerged since Walt Disney’s death in 1966. By the mid- to late-70s, it was clear that new ideas needed to be tried. The phenomenal success of “Star Wars” appeared to offer a sure-fire way to box-office success: sci-fi/fantasy movies. At the same time, Disney Studio’s full-length animated features continued their descent from the heights scaled in 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty”, at first downscaling the subject matter, then progressing to less and less impressive animation, and finally combining the first two trends with boring storytelling (see “The Fox and the Hound” – 1981).It was in this context that pre-production began on “The Black Cauldron” in the late 1970s. From an artistic standpoint, its goals were two-fold. First, the film was to recapture the lead in animation quality that Disney had traditionally held, while the second goal was to incorporate the advances in animation and subject matter made in the 1970s (i.e., playing “catch up”). Some early decisions were good: the source material was top-notch. Lloyd Alexander’s “Chronicles of Prydain” are fantastic works of fantasy for the young adult – I loved them as a middle-schooler in the mid-80s, and the choice to film the story in 70mm widescreen harkened back to the glory days of “Sleeping Beauty.” Unfortunately, not much else worked. The studio’s writers did a terrible job of condensing the first two books of Alexander’s series, and we end up caring little for the characters that emerge, or for the plot as it unfolds. Also, the movie’s tone is uneven. Overall, the work is very dark and un-Disney, which would’ve been fine had it been executed better. Further, the grimness of the plot doesn’t mesh with occasionally clumsy and earthy attempts at humor, and the character animation fluctuates between sober naturalism and exaggerated, cartoonish mannerisms (stretching ears, gaping mouths, etc.) Still, some of the shots are stunning and rank among the best in the history of hand-drawn animation (e.g., multiplaned exterior shot of the Horned King’s castle, beautiful backgrounds within the same, Hen-Wen’s capture by the Horned King’s creatures). The result of this mish-mash was a box-office flop ($25 million to make, $5 million in ticket sales upon its 1985 release).In short, see this film for its often-impressive animation and intermittent charm. Be sure to get the newly-available widescreen version on DVD. Bemoan the end of the era of stunning hand-drawn animation (Disney has closed up its shop; “Home on the Range” was its penultimate hand-drawn feature). Don’t expect a classic, but appreciate the vision of its artistry – even if the final product didn’t quite mesh satisfactorily. “The Black Cauldron” is a noble failure.
7 Reason to Watch “The Black Cauldron (1985)” Movie
#1 Good Review
You need 1h 20min to watch The Black Cauldron (1985). Wasting time? Absolutely not, because its rating is around 6.5 star from 23,437 movie freak.
#2 Supported by Great Actor and Actress
Actress Actor behind The Black Cauldron (1985) Movie are Freddie Jones, Grant Bardsley, and Susan Sheridan. So if you are fans of them you should enjoy this movie.
#3 Good Work from Great Director
This movie director, Ted Berman, has done fantastic job in this movie. So if you are his fan do list this video on your bucket wish.
#4 Excellent Script by Good Writers
The movie script written by Writers:Lloyd Alexander and David Jonas. Both have creative imagination to get your attention, so watch it.
#5 Magnificent Genres
This movie is Animation Adventure Action Genres film which released in 1985.
# 6 Interesting Story
Centuries ago, in the land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is given the task of protecting Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig, who knows the location of the mystical black cauldron. This is not an easy task, for The Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron.
#7 Many themes in one movie
These five themes are great interesting topics in the world, they are king, cauldron, princess, princess, pig. And you meet all of them in one movie.
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