Disney's "The Black Cauldron" Deserved Better...Everything
Start writing a post

Disney's "The Black Cauldron" Deserved Better...Everything

The movie is a missed opportunity but not a terrible watch.

Disney's "The Black Cauldron" Deserved Better...Everything

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains (minor) spoilers for "The Black Cauldron."

In the spirit of Halloween and looking for some unconventional spooky-ish movies to enjoy, I decided to sit down and watch "The Black Cauldron" for the first time (thanks, Disney+). Now, I wasn't expecting anything great. "The Black Cauldron" had a rough production to say the least and is actually known as the movie that almost killed Disney animation.

But I thought, 'It can't be that bad, can it?' It's a darker-than-your-average-Disney fantasy adventure loosely based on Lloyd Alexander's "The Chronicles of Prydain" series, which I unfortunately haven't yet had the chance to read myself but have heard is excellent. So how bad could it be?

Well, I'll say this much: it should have gotten a better reception than it did. At the very least, it definitely did not deserve to lose to "The Care Bears Movie" at the box office. But that being said, I can understand why this film was not by any means a success.

The Disney Animation Resource Channel // YouTube

The worst thing about "The Black Cauldron" is that it's mediocre. Not awesome or awful enough to be particularly memorable, and given what it could have been based on the source material and certain scenes from the movie, that's really a shame.

The film is about a young boy named Taran, who as an assistant pig-keeper is entrusted with looking after a fortune-telling pig named Hen Wen. Hen Wen knows the location of the titular cauldron, which is sought after by the Horned King who wants to use it to bring to life an army of the undead. After Hen Wen is stolen, Taran teams up with spunky Princess Eilonwy, a mischievous furball Gurgi, and an old minstrel named Fflewddur Fflam to protect Prydain from the Horned King's plans.

Sounds cool, right? I mean, it's quirky, fun, and has room for Disney to experiment with more adult content in terms of frightening visuals. But instead, it just comes across as a weak attempt at a "Lord of the Rings" impersonation, complete with furry Gollum (sorry, Gurgi) and skeleton soldiers surrounded by green mist.

Taran isn't all that likable as a protagonist (he loses track of Hen Wen because he spends too much time daydreaming), and we're never actually told why the Horned King needs armored zombies since he seems to already have the land under his thumb. And while Princess Eilonwy is definitely a improvement as far as female Disney sidekicks go, she still continues a few grand old Disney traditions of that time: having the voice of, like, an eight-year-old and making it a point to tell Taran how frightened she is whenever they're in danger. (Because, you know, helpless females. Even if the "hero" they're turning to happens to also be a dumb little kid.)

But, as I said, "The Black Cauldron" should have been treated a little better at the box office. It's still an OK story to follow along with, including noticeable character development even if it feels somewhat forced.

The film's main redeeming element is the visuals, though. The Horned King and many of the sequences involving him are straight-up nightmare fuel. (Like, kids were actually crying during the early test screenings. I wish Disney would have just made this a teen movie, because unfortunately, a lot of the scary stuff ended up getting cut out to keep it more family-friendly. I think it would have been fantastic otherwise.)

The Disney Animation Resource Channel // YouTube

"The Black Cauldron" is worth watching, just to see what might have been. But it is kind of sad to think about the missed opportunity. It deserved a better reception but also a much better production. It's not horrible. But it could have been great.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

My obsession with country music is easily one of my best personality traits.

I've grown up on country music, and it's always been a huge part of my life. I remember the day that my mom bought me my first country CD. Since that day, I've been hooked. I still watch the Country Music Awards faithfully each year. My fun fact for syllabus week is almost always related to my love of country music.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Definitive List Of 6 Cartoon Animal Men You Can Find Attractive Without Being A Furry

And no, Kovu isn't on this list because "The Lion King II" shouldn't really be a movie.


It's the age-old question: why did they make this cartoon animal so attractive?

OK, so maybe not age-old, but if you claim haven't been attracted to at least one of these characters (and you're attracted to men), you're lying. Each one was given a personality and characterization that makes viewers at home reevaluate their standards. But then comes the follow up: cartoons aside, does this make me a furry? And girls, gays, and theys I am here today to relieve you of that question, because if he is on this list, your answer is simply no, you are not.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. When I'm craving something sweet in the morning, my go-to is Ethan's vegan pancake recipe.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.


My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

8 TV Shows To Binge On Netflix Over Thanksgiving Break

These 8 shows will make your Quarantine-Friendly Thanksgiving break fun!


As assignments are piling up and stress is getting to everyone, thinking of the silver lining of Thanksgiving Break looms in the distance. A time to recharge, eat some good food, and get those Black Friday sales (online of course) is just what we all need right about now. And since the pandemic is spiking again people are going to need to find something to do while not going out. So, since I've watched an unhealthy amount of television I thought I'd compile a list of some of my favorite Netflix shows that you can binge over break!

Keep Reading... Show less

Let's Not Let Black Friday Overlook Thanksgiving

Oftentimes, Thanksgiving gets overpowered by Black Friday sales. This year, let's make an effort to appreciate what we are grateful for.


November 26 is a day dedicated to being grateful for the things in your life that you appreciate. It can be easy to forget the true meaning of holidays since the decorations and events are fun yet distracting nonetheless.

Keep Reading... Show less

77 Questions To Ask The Other Person Before Getting Into A Relationship With Them

Know what you're getting yourself into first. You won't regret it.

Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash

Surprises are great in a relationship. They keep things interesting. For example, when your partner says, "Surprise! There's a warrant out for my arrest," or "My crazy ex sent me a death threat and drained my bank account," or "I wake up at 5 am... every morning. "

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments