Abandoned #14 (The Black Cauldron)

This is perhaps a tweak on my usual ‘abandoned’ post, as it’s a DNF for a rewatch.

A fair few years ago I saw this film and I went in with high expectations, but they were not met. Despite the title, the movie is not actually an adaptation of the second book of Prydian by Lloyd Alexander, but a watered-down combination of Book 1 and 2.

And while undergoing the Disneyfication process, the story also loses the sense of dread and struggle clear in the book.

The Black Cauldron (1985)

(It is however, quite interesting to see how Gurgi reminds me of Gollum, and also very specifically Gollum in the 2003 Jackson trilogy).

Anyway, a large part of what I didn’t enjoy back then and now, was not its failures as an adaptation, but that the story seemed to lack some of its own tension, perhaps adding to a feeling that the characters were somehow ‘flat’.

Not a film from any of Disney’s various peaks – but things still do look great, animation-wise.

11 thoughts on “Abandoned #14 (The Black Cauldron)

  1. I remember seeing this at cinema when it came out at the cinema and for the longest time no one believed me that it existed. I mean a Disney movie with zombies in doesn’t sound likely. I’ve not seen it in a very long time. Be interesting to see how it stands up to my memories. It was definitely more edgy than the other Disney movies at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It doesn’t sound likely, yeah πŸ˜€

      And yep, I agree – it’s definitely not as bright and cheerful as regular Disney stuff up to that point, nor even say as colourful as one like ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

      Part of what bothered me most about this one, was where I saw so much missed potential, I guess.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I only saw clips of this movie and never the whole thing from front to back. Interestingly enough, The Black Cauldron was the first Disney animated film to be rated PG which was a huge deal back then even if it bombed in the box office. That may or may not be a reason why Eilonwy isn’t in the Disney Princess Breakfast Club with Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, etc.

    It’s funny that you mention Gurgi sounding like Gollum because I saw an article of a fan cast of The Black Cauldron if it got the live-action treatment and the person mentioned Andy Serkis voicing/mocap for Gurgi, so that was an interesting coincidence. They also put Jeremy Irons as a potential cast member for another character which did make me laugh because that wouldn’t be the first Disney movie he’s been in, but at least he’ll play an original character if it happened. HAHAHA! XD It doesn’t seem like Mickey Mouse is interested in a remake or sequels even though they still have the rights to the source material.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, the first animated PG film, I hadn’t realised that, cool.

      And I also didn’t know that they still held the rights – that’s no good, I reckon.

      That’s interesting casting, yeah – was this Jeremy from the 90s or more recent?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least for Disney it is. I’m sure there were other ones that came before The Black Cauldron from other companies.

        Yup. Disney hoards onto IPs they buy like a dragon even if they don’t do anything with them. The last time they lost control was most of the Ghibli library, but even then GKIDS still had to pay money once they had that distribution deal with the house that Isao and Hayao built.

        I assume more recent and I forget what character. It wasn’t The Horned King because that would be too obvious since Irons is often the villain even in the recent stages of his career (ex: the older version of Ozymandias in the Watchman sequel).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking re: first PG for Disney.

          I kinda wish it had worked out better for them too, in the sense that, if it had, maybe they’d have developed a PG range earlier/in interesting directions. Maybe.

          I have someone in mind for him for The Black Cauldron (if the film had been closer to that book), which would have been Adaon… but that’s wishful thinking from me, I guess. (It’s probably one of the books I’d love to see adapted most, actually.)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Cool. Thanks for clarifying.

            Definitely. If they had better writing and direction, they could’ve made movies on all the Prydain books. I do agree with your thoughts on if Disney or someone else had PG animated films a bit earlier.

            I see. I went back to that article and this blogger said he should be Dalben.

            Liked by 1 person

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