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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

'The Black Cauldron': forgotten Disney classic reaches new audience

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Disney is celebrating the 25th anniversary of "The Black Cauldron" with the release of a new DVD containing a nice widescreen presentation and a few nice bonus goodies.

"Cauldron" isn't your usual sunny side of Disney. The film is very dark and was the first animated flick from Disney to be awarded a PG rating by the MPAA. But it's the darkness that makes "Cauldron" something special.

After a prophesying Pig, Hen Wen, is kidnapped, Taran (Grant Bardsley), an assistant pigkeeper, must set out to free the swine from the evil Horned King (John Hurt) and keep the fabled Black Cauldron, which has the power to create an army of invincible undead warriors, out of the king's possession.

The story is filled with elves and magic swords, but most of all it's a story about finding yourself. As Taran goes along his journey, he finds out what it is to be a hero and why being a hero might not be for him.

The film looks amazing. The colors pop off the screen, and I still struggle to understand why the film was such a flop at the box office in its original release in 1985. Plus, having John Huston as your narrator doesn't hurt anything.

The DVD comes with the new bonus features "The Witches' Challenge" game and a deleted scene "The Fairfolk." Also on the disc is "The Quest for the Black Cauldron game" and a Donald Duck short "Trick or Treat" from a previous release of the movie.

Final Cut: "The Black Cauldron" is a nice addition to any Disney lover's library. It might be one of the least known titles in the Disney stable, but that doesn't mean this film lacks any punch. "Cauldron" is a dark and mesmerizing tale that most any age can enjoy.

4.5 out of 5 stars

The Black Cauldron

Starring: Grant Bardsley, John Hurt, John Huston, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, Nigel Hawthorne

Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich

MPAA Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hr. 20 min.