The Black Cauldron

1985, Movie, PG, 82 mins


A glorious return to the days at Disney when animation was full and detail was everything, THE BLACK CAULDRON is betrayed by a routine storyline which fails to grip the imagination in the same way that such classics as PINOCCHIO or DUMBO do, but it's a remarkable achievement nonetheless.

A familiar sword-and-sorcery yarn, the story tells of Taran, an aspiring warrior, and his battle supreme with the villainous Horned King, who wants to gain possession of the Black Cauldron, a source of supernatural power. Taran knows that if the Horned King gets the Cauldron, civilization will cease. Taran is joined in his struggle by Eilonwy, a princess; a psychic pig named Hen Wen; Gurgi, a sycophantic creature; and a bevy of minifairies.

Only the second animated feature to be shot in 70mm (the first such widescreen extravaganza being 1959's SLEEPING BEAUTY), THE BLACK CAULDRON used more than 2.5 million drawings to bring its tale vividly to life. Every leaf has been patiently drawn, the depth of field is remarkable, the angles are chosen with care, and the result is a state-of-the-art cartoon that should be seen by anyone who loves the craft. Despite its drawbacks as entertainment, it remains one of the best technical cartoon features ever produced by Disney. leave a comment

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