The Black Cauldron - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Cauldron Reviews

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½ May 13, 2015
"The Black Cauldron" has the impressive and artistically drawn animation that Disney animated movies are known for, but its plot hinges on a backstory, exposition, and characters which are underdeveloped and simplistic.
½ May 7, 2015
I didn't no this Disney film existed. It reminds me of Sword in the stone meets Aristocats.
March 1, 2015
Not really anything all that special, but not Disney's worst either (especially if compared to all those cheapquels). Comes across as a really tame copy of The Lord of the Rings more than anything else really (especially due to some strong parallels in plot), albeit minus the depth - and the horrors.
½ February 17, 2015
Even though I love sword & sorcery, this is a very bland film, featuring a bunch of forgettable characters in a not so epic quest. You can definitely skip this one :$
February 9, 2015
Classic dark tale of swords & sorcery, that is a beautifully crafted animation from Disney. This dark tale follows a boy & his friends as they take on the evil horned king at the black cauldron. Based on a book which uses Welsh mythology, The Black Cauldron is a fun film for adults and children alike as it has a great sense of adventure, & it's darker undertones makes it for nicely for ages 8 to adult.
February 3, 2015
the best Disney movie ever made!
January 29, 2015
The black Cauldron is one of the least famous Disney films but somehow it is a very interesting one because the story isn't as straight forward as the other films produced by the studio. Here it has a scent of heroic fantasy and black magic under the heavy influence of films such as Dark Cristal or Labyrinth. The story is pretty classic but the film manages to convey a very dark tone that probably explain why it hasn't been a very popular one, maybe a bit too raw and dark for the young audience who tend to thrive on more melodic and more optimistic films. The classic ingredients are there but Berman & Rich as directors have tried to make something different and even though the film is not a masterpiece I would salute the effort.
½ January 11, 2015
A different story that takes elements from lots of other sources, but doesn't really do anything with them. The story plods along with none of the charm, comedy or adventure from the other Disney films, and the characters and setting are completely unremarkable and underdeveloped. However, it still looks and sounds good considering it's age.
January 5, 2015
For the fact it was made in 1985, and scared the pants off me as a child in the mid 90's, I love this movie. I love the thrill it attempts to provide both children and the adults. Unlike newer Disney movies, their is no musical numbers that take away from the movie itself. The characters are relate-able, and the story is easy to follow. Unlike movies like Frozen, the script has a main focus and moral.
½ January 4, 2015
I have to say going through the back catalogue of the Disney Animated Classics, this film is overlooked, like the critical consenus says it's ambitious but flawed.

Firstly this film is dark, if you thought The Hunchback of Notre Dame was dark, then wait until you see this film. The film has themes of life, death, loyalty, friendship, sacrifice and even resurrection. The film is very much staple of the 1980s. It has clear influences taken from Star Wars ( a magic sword which lights up and a young dreamer wanting more).

The animation recalls that used in Peter Pan and Sword in the Stone, just look at Princess Eilonwy and not think it looks like Wendy from Peter Pan.

I felt though the film could have been longer to give more time let the characters breathe, you really don't care for the characters as much as you should. Though cugli (I think is his name - the dog) does provide an interesting sidekick character.

I would warn parents that this film is not for really young kids say aged 0-5, I would personally think it would be even dark fair for six year olds.

This being said I really enjoyed this film and while not a great Disney Classic by any means, I would recommend it to those who enjoy their dark fantasy adventures.
December 30, 2014
In the running for Disney's weirdest choice for an animated feature, this beautiful fantasy feature sacrifices characterization and heart to fulfill the story needs of the source material. Unfortunately, the darkness and high-stakes of the book clash with the cute leaving only a visually stunning mess. Unfortunately, the result is ultimately forgettable.
December 30, 2014
In the running for Disney's weirdest choice for an animated feature, this beautiful fantasy feature sacrifices characterization and heart to fulfill the story needs of the source material. Unfortunately, the darkness and high-stakes of the book clash with the cute leaving only a visually stunning mess. Unfortunately, the result is ultimately forgettable.
December 23, 2014
Unusually dark for an animated Disney flick, makes this a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately the characters are a bit thin to actually carry what could have become a classic in the realm of fantasy movies. It has enough bright spots, and great animation for me to enjoy it, but beyond that, perhaps this is a one time viewing if your a die hard fan of fantasy, and Disney.
½ November 28, 2014
The Black Cauldron is lifted somewhat by its striking aesthetic and superb voiceover by John Hurt as the villain: but it's characters are too thin and its plot too cliché to truly bring this ambitious tale to life.
October 29, 2014
A notorious relic from Disney's back catalog that was censored and shunned internally for years due to its "distressing" content. In a modern light, it's tough to see what all the fuss was about. A few marching skeletons? A bit of swordplay? It all seems so quaint now, with the benefit of hindsight on our side. Not that the film should be mentioned in the same breath as the studio's calling cards, of course. It's short, shallow and more than a little murky, with a distinct lack of Disney charm, but it still has a lot going for it. The animation, for instance, is superb - a great blend of photo-reference and vivid exaggeration that looks and feels like a Don Bluth classic (though Bluth himself, having departed six years prior, was uninvolved with the production). It also enjoys a much more loyal fantasy tone than many of Disney's efforts, sharing many themes (and maybe a few characters) with the then-neglected Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fascinating for many reasons, most of which occur behind the scenes, it's too narrow-sighted and streamlined to be taken all that seriously.
October 25, 2014
Good animation, polished art and decent story, but rote characters and dull pacing make The Black Cauldron fall shorter than it should have.
It's more likable than it is good.
October 22, 2014
Disney's "The Black Cauldron" tries too hard to be a fantasy film geared toward nerds, but it never really succeeds. The story is incoherent. The characters don't seem to have much personality, and the whole movie is just muddled.

I will give it some praise for its animation. It at least had some effort with what the studio had to work with. ATP Process was new in the 1980's so trying something different actually worked with Cauldron.

But, this movie was like staring at a mud puddle. There is just nothing interesting about it. It's just there, taking up some space without doing anything.
September 24, 2014
One of Disney's "worst." Not that bad but very close. One of the many problems that this film has is that when building a world, Show it! All we see is just three locations that are not interesting and are just dull. The characters are annoying and dull. The only good thing about this movie is the Horn King but the way that he went out was uneventful. Another problem is that the animation feels out of place at some parts. Also the plot goes no where and fast. It feels like character goes here and character goes there. Things just happens just to move the plot forward. There is a good story here if we just took our time and stop holding down the fast-forward button.
½ September 17, 2014
The Black Cauldron may be a big failure in Disney's eyes, but it's actually superior fantasy fare with its colorful animations, fun story, epic atmosphere, and highly entertaining characters.
August 8, 2014
I'm gonna take this from a kids point of a veiw because thats who this was made for. And as a kid, i was terrifeid of it don't get me wrong. Yet at the same time i loved it for not only scaring me, but giving me something more challenging than what most kids are
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