The Black Cauldron

July 24th, 1985


The Black Cauldron

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A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Release Year: 1985

Rating: 6.3/10 (9,187 voted)

Director: Ted Berman

Stars: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan

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 fot The Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron.

Writers: Lloyd Alexander, David Jonas

Grant Bardsley - Taran (voice)
Susan Sheridan - Eilonwy (voice)
Freddie Jones - Dallben (voice)
Nigel Hawthorne - Fflewddur Fflam (voice)
Arthur Malet - King Eidilleg (voice)
John Byner - Gurgi / Doli (voice)
Lindsay Rich - Fairfolk (voice)
Brandon Call - Fairfolk (voice)
Gregory Levinson - Fairfolk (voice)
Eda Reiss Merin - Orddu (voice)
Adele Malis-Morey - Orwen (voice)
Billie Hayes - Orgoch (voice)
Phil Fondacaro - Creeper / Henchman (voice)
Peter Renaday - Henchman (voice)
James Almanzar - Henchman (voice)

Taglines: Seven years in the making - In the celebrated Disney tradition comes our 25th animated motion picture.

Release Date: 24 July 1985

Filming Locations: Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Llechwedd Slate Mine, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,180,110 (USA) (28 July 1985)

Gross: $21,288,692 (USA) (29 September 1985)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Another technological breakthrough in this movie was the development of the APT (Animation Photo Transfer) process. The first major change in the Studio's method of transferring the artist's drawings to a cel since Xerox copying replaced hand-inking over 20 years earlier, the APT greatly improved the quality of the animator's art. Dave Spencer was awarded an Oscar for his development of the APT process.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When the little fairy girl says, "I bet they'll wake up soon!" her lips are moving but the boy fairy's voice is the one talking.

[first lines]
Narrator: Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, black cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the black cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors...

User Review

A Disney Departure

Rating: 7/10

"The Black Cauldron" is not a typical Disney animated feature. For one thing, it's not a G-rated musical. In fact, it was the first-ever Disney feature to receive a PG rating. The story comes from the works of Lloyd Alexander, in the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien. In it, Taran, a young pig-keeper must protect Henwen, a prophetic pig who can divine the whereabouts of a powerful weapon known as the Black Cauldron. The demonic Horned King is after this bastion of black magic to create an invincible army of the undead. This movie boasts impressive art shot in 70mm widescreen format, art which includes the contributions of a young Tim Burton. Sadly, this feature did poorly in theaters, possibly being too frightening, or going over the heads of Disney's usual target audience. Just the same, "The Black Cauldron" deserves a good look!


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