The Black Cauldron
Finally, we have found the first Disney film to not play the credits at the beginning. It is also the first one with some CGI and the first one to be rated PG as opposed to G. Unfortunately, it was a commercial failure only grossing 21 million of its 44 million dollar budget.
The movie is loosely based on The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. It is very dark for a Disney film. And just like the rest of the Forgotten Era films, this one is not commercialized well. You don’t see Gurgi walking around Disneyland, you don’t hear songs from the score on Disney classics records, no little goblin toys… There were a couple of attempts to integrate it into the parks. There was a walk through attraction in Tokyo Disneyland that featured a couple villains from the movie. And there was a themed restaurant for seven years in Disneyworld.
The story is not good, hard to follow, and make very little sense. It is full of twists and turns that are explained away within a few seconds then all the characters become fully committed. It is kind of the same with the characters. They are introduced constantly, rarely explained, but they all bond for no reason. The best part of the movie is Gurgi. Feels like an early version of Stitch. He is funny and cute, but the only part of this movie that is memorable.
The music and art are ok with this one. The art is getting more stylistic and less generic as is the music. You still don’t have the early Disney magic where action creates the music, but it is much better than The Rescuers or Robin Hood.
Run Time – 80 Minutes
58th Academy Awards – 0 Nominations – 0 Wins
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955
2. Peter Pan 2-5-1953
3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977
4. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961
5. Dumbo 10-23-1941
6. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981
7. Cinderella 2-15-1950
8. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
9. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959
10. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949
11. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967
12. Robin Hood 11-8-1973
13. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
14. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
15. The Aristocats 12-11-1970
16. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
17. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
18. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963
19. The Rescuers 6-22-1977
20. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951
21. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985
22. Melody Time 5-27-1948
23. Bambi 8-13-1942
24. Fantasia 11-13-1940
25. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944