Before "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," There was "The Black Cauldron"
|"The Black Cauldron" (1985).|
The story behind "The Black Cauldron" is more interesting than the film itself, though, as with almost all Disney movies, "The Black Cauldron" has found its audience over the years and is considered a cult favorite. While regards by many as the absolute pit of Disney movies' fortunes, it is watchable and enjoyable, especially for fans of the "Lord of the Rings" and related films.
|Taran and Hen Wen.|
|Hen Wen is kind of fussy.|
|The Horned King.|
|Taran and Eilonwy Kissing.|
|When a sword glows, that's a good thing.|
Gurgi, though, beats him to it and sacrifices himself, and the power of the Black Cauldron is destroyed. His armies gone, the Horned King seeks vengeance against Taran, and a personal confrontation ensues between the two with the Black Cauldron simmering in the background.
|"By this sword shall I smite thy enemies."|
When producer Joe Hale (who came up with the story and no doubt felt a proprietary interest in the film), who had been an animator of Disney movies since the 1950s, refused to cut the film Katzenberg wished, the newly appointed Katzenberg started doing it himself by his own hand.
|I don' t know why they made him look so much like Peter Pan.|
|The three buddies sharing a laugh.|
The most delightful sequences feature the fairies who resemble Tinker Bell, but any moments of lightheartedness are overpowered by the omnipresent deathly tones of Bernstein's dramatic score. For what it is, "The Black Cauldron" is a Disney movie that works well as a dark, brooding meditation on ambition and comradeship, but it isn't surprising that after this, the studio returned to the safe light comedy of talking mice in "The Great Mouse Detective."
|Creeper, a minion, is abused unmercifully in "The Black Cauldron."|
John Byner, a true voice artist who did awesome impersonations of the celebrities of the day such as Richard Nixon, voices both Gurgi and Doli. He will be instantly recognizable by anyone who lived through the Seventies and recalls his brief, hammy appearances on just about every bad television series from that decade. That the voice actors were unknown doesn't hurt the film, but the fact that they have remained anonymous is telling. Bardsley joined the ranks of young Disney lead voice actors who were quickly forgotten, a club populated by the likes of Kelly Reno from "The Black Stallion" and Kathryn Beaumont in "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan."
|One wonders what the scenes considered too scary looked like.|
|The Black Cauldron is kind of creepy at times.|
|"Hey, wait for me, I have cookies!"|