‘The Black Cauldron’ (Post #119)
Part of Part of (Walt Disney Animated Studios Challenge) http://boxd.it/5VHC
The Black Cauldron had so much potential, for having some really pretty animation, being shot in 70mm, based on a beloved book series and have some dark tonalities. But in the end it becomes forgotten in our subconscious and only remembered for what it could have been.
I remember seeing this once when I was really young and always hoping it would come on TV some time. It never did and it wasn’t until last year that I finally saw it again, well half saw it, as I was only half watching it while on my computer. But I took the time to give this film my full attention and was sadly disappointed. During the film I spent allot of time on IMDB looking up facts about The Black Cauldron. That is was based on two books from The Chronicles of Prydain, and had about 16 minutes of footage edited from the film after completion. The Black Cauldron production can be traced back to 1971 and took over 12 years to complete. It is said that the 16 minutes cut from the film ultimately hurt the Black Cauldron, making it a lesser film. It would be interesting to see if I liked it better with the inclusion of this footage, but I don’t know what could make it better.
Visuals: This animation heralds back to Sleeping Beauty with is gorgeous background detailing. This is one of the most non Disney looking Disney film I have ever seen and I just wish it had a better story to go along with it.
Acting: I loved the use of British accents in this. The voice of our hero is youthful and bright, John Byner’s character voices are great. The Horned King’s deep voice is frightening and John Huston’s narration is a perfect fit, too bad we didn’t get more of it.
Story: Oh the story seemed like it could have been great, but what really lacks here is the use of characters and there importance. Our hero makes no sacrifices, besides giving up his sword. The pig, Hen Wen almost becomes a mcguffin and becomes less and less important as the story goes on. Then all of a sudden the story comes to its climax much too quickly. Maybe those 16 minutes could have made up for all these problems?
Concept: There was so much potential! Some great themes could have been put to better use. Sadly the final product didn’t work. Someone else should give this series a go.
Personal: I could have felt emotionally close to most every character here, but because of the terrible story telling, it all fell flat. I loved the images though.
Re-Watchablity: I guess I would watch, in hopes that it would become a better film, but I guess that’s not how movies work. Someone please re-make this!