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The Black Cauldron (1985)

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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.

Directors:

Ted Berman, Richard Rich

Writers:

Lloyd Alexander (novel), David Jonas (story) | 17 more credits »
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4,021 ( 780)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Bardsley Grant Bardsley ... Taran (voice)
Susan Sheridan 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 Lindsay Rich ... Fairfolk (voice)
Brandon Call ... Fairfolk (voice)
Gregory Levinson Gregory Levinson ... Fairfolk (voice)
Eda Reiss Merin Eda Reiss Merin ... Orddu (voice)
Adele Malis-Morey Adele Malis-Morey ... Orwen (voice)
Billie Hayes ... Orgoch (voice)
Phil Fondacaro ... Creeper / Henchman (voice)
Peter Renaday Peter Renaday ... Henchman (voice)
James Almanzar James Almanzar ... Henchman (voice)
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Storyline

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, for The Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Seven years in the making - In the celebrated Disney tradition comes our 25th animated motion picture. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

24 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taran and the Magic Cauldron See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,180,110, 28 July 1985

Gross USA:

$21,288,692
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before appearing in this fantasy adaptation for Disney, John Huston (Prologue Narrator) and Sir John Hurt (The Horned King) had lent their voices to animated adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth fantasy novels. Huston voiced the wizard Gandalf in Rankin and Bass' The Hobbit (1977) and The Return of the King (1980), and Hurt voiced Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings (1978). See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[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... and with ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening or cast and crew credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Latin Spanish dubbing some characters' names where adapted for the dubbing. Taran was "Taron", Eilonwy was "Elena", Fflewddur Fflam was "Fausto", King Eidilleg was "Rey Enrique" and The Horned King was "El Rey del Mal" (in English "The King of Evil"). See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 John Hurt Performances (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I wanted to like it. I really did...
10 October 2001 | by Chris BeilbySee all my reviews

For years before I saw this film, I had been a fan of Lloyd Alexander's books. To me, The Chronicles of Preydain rank alongside Tolkien's Middle Earth and Lewis' Narnia as one of the greatest fantasy worlds of all time. Based deeply in Welsh legend and Mythology (many elements come directly from The Mabinogion, almost the bible of Welsh mythology) Preydain is easily one of the deepest, and most developed worlds out there. So, needless to say, when I heard that Disney had a film in the pipeline, I got very excited. Then I saw it...

I can't say that I hated it. More that I was disappointed. This wasn't the Preydain I knew. It was more a fairy tale kingdom than celtic Wales. And what did they do with the characters? Gurgi a cute fuzzy monster? Elonwy turned into a typical damsel in distress? And where were Coll, or Gwydon? I'm sorry, but I didn't know these people. The characters were all different? And what about the rich sense of legend? The books had been based deeply on mythology, but the movie took the first two books, sprinkled bits and pieces of them into a script, and added a ton of fairy tale and fantasy cliches.

I've always wondered what it is with Disney writers that makes them feel it necessary to screw around with anything and everything (witness the amount of "creative license" taken with Pocahantas or Mulan.) I'm sorry, but you don't have to have cute characters or happy endings on everything. But Disney's writers think that you must. And in this case, it cheapened the ending of the film. One of the major plot points of The Black Cauldron is that the cauldron can only be destroyed by a living person sacrificing themselves by throwing themselves into it. This was kept in the film. Yet, when Disney did it, they still copped out to the happy ending by having the three Enchantresses, Ordu, Orwen, and Oregch bring him back to life... Jeeze!

It went on from there. The absence of the true villan of the Preydain chronicles, Arawn, the lord of the dead, the turning of the fair folk (who in celtic mythology were more akin to elves and dwarves) into stock, albeit grouchy, faries.... The list goes on... Disney ruined one of my favorite stories, and I can't ever forget that. Even my love for Disney masterpieces like Beauty and the Beast or 101 Dalmations is tarnished by what they did to some of my favorite books of my youth...


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