The Black Cauldron Reviews
Disney's "The Black Cauldron" isn't their least animated work when it's still talented in animation and retaining some charms despite being flawed and not at their usual scale with toned-down magic; it's still an enjoyable Disney treat, especially being also a nice addition to the fantasy genre watchlist. Furthermore, it might reach the worthy label of bringing satisfactory upon viewing. (B)
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
I'm going to have to say that I just did not find this film energetic at all. There are some scary scenes at the end of the first act and at the end of the film, but I did not sense that much effort given into those scenes, and the middle of the film with the witches was boring. Finally, the Horned King went down too easily.
I am aware that the final encounter was the recipient of Jeffrey Katzenberg's editing attempts, but from what I did see on my DVD rental, even with the scenes that he cut out, it still seems more focused on being flat-out scary and disgusting than actually showing action, and the "fight" was nonexistent at best. One thing Disney films are known for is an epic final action scene, and The Black Cauldron underdelivered.
I also see Katzenberg gets a lot of **** for cutting those scenes, but to his defense, the edits wouldn't have helped the middle of the film, which was boring and pedestrian, or how the battle ended.
The Black Cauldron is just a weak attempt at darker Disney fare. Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia aced that test. Cauldron flunked out.
Who cares though as long as you know what you're getting. What you're getting is an imaginary Fantasy film with some great animation and visuals.The villain is pretty cool as well.
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.