Disney (Wednes)Day: The Black Cauldron

I have never even heard of this movie before today, guess that says something, ahem. We find us in the year 1985 which is to say this movie is only 2 years older than I am. Wow, we’ve come a long way. Onto the recap!

A voice over voice overs something about a myth of some big baddie who was captured and put into a black cauldron (congrats on saying the movie name!). Okay…thanks for that info, I now feel as dumb as I did before but at least there weren’t some epically long titles this time.

Cut to what sounds like medieval England (I just assume this is England don’t hate me if I’m wrong). In a house, an old guy sits at a table and mumbles stuff I don’t understand. There apparently is also a boy Taran (which makes me think of Taran Killam who is married to Cobie Smulders. You’re welcome for that random celebrity info dump) who dreams about being a mighty warrior but is currently only there to take care of the animals. Taran and Dalben very obviously address each other with their names so we know who is who. Taran is sent outside to do his chores.

Outside, Taran complains about Dalben while feeding the animals. There is a very dramatic reenactment of a battle that doesn’t earn him cool points with Dalben. Apparently the little pig he just fed has magical powers that can show visions.

Magical Pig is also the only one who knows where The Black Cauldron is and I sigh a sigh of OBVIOUSLY! Magical Pig sticks her head into swirling water and we get to see strange places and people and this totally reminds me of the Pensieve from Harry Potter. Dalben sends Taran away with Magical Pig to hide it from the bad people who would want to know where The Black Cauldron is hidden. This all sounds really boring and I’m sorry but I’m only a couple minutes into this movie and I already lost all my will to care but alas, I, and you, have to get through this unless you stop reading.

Cut to some big dark castle in nomansland where a guy appears who looks to be more dead than alive. Apparently that’s The Horned King who reminds me of Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Horned King monologues some boring stuff that I probably should care about but again I don’t #sorrynotsorry

Meadow in the Shire woods, Taran and Magical Pig are walking around, while Taran laments about himself. He tells the pig that no one will ever do anything to her as long as he is around. Of course! This is such a stupid thing to say in a movie, my god, is this your first Disney, kiddo?! As on cue, Taran daydreams about him being a big knight and all, so naturally Magical Pig has run off in the meantime.

Taran goes to look for him but only finds a weird animal that even Wikipedia can’t inform me what sort of animal it is. At least I now know it’s called Gurgi. They fight over an apple and Taran milks Gurgi for information about Magical Pig which it first refuses but then they hear noises that can’t be boding well for Magical Pig.

Indeed Magical Pig is being chased by Nazgûls dragon-lookalikes that eventually capture her. Womp, womp. Taran runs after them but can only see them flying away into the weirdly pink sky. Gurgi is there and wants to become friends but Taran is not interested. I guess he thinks he has enough friends or so. Anyway.

At the Evil Castle of Evil, Taran has found a way in (I guess it’s irrelevant to know how he found the place or how long it took him to get there and OH MY GOD all the plotholes are making me crazy!!!). The random people in this scene seem to be having some sort of party. The Nazgûl dragons are chained to the wall chewing on bones. Everyone stops and the sounds get all weird. LO AND BEHOLD, THE HORNED KING IS UPON US!! (And I immediately miss Maleficent, she was such a great baddie with style and all.)

Magical Vision Pig is presented to him but she refuses to vision for him (good girl). Taran makes a great entrance by falling down right in front of The Horned King. Horned King starts speaking in his creepiest voice and demands Taran to tell him where The Black Cauldron can be found but Taran refuses because he doesn’t know. It takes threatening to kill the pig for Taran to make Magical Vision Pig vision for The Horned King.

Taran tries to run away with Magical Vision Pig but gets captured and thrown into a dungeon because every good Evil Castle of Evil has a dungeon. He shares his dungeon cell with a girl who also has a bubble light floating close to her. Apparently she is a Princess and sporting one of the ugliest haircuts I have ever seen which is quite the achievement with long hair. They try to find a way out of the dungeon.





Down a staircase they go (PLOTHOLES, PLOTHOLES, EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD PLOTHOLE!) In another basement room they find an old coffin with a sword on top that Taran takes. Smart move.

In another room they find a bard chained to the walls because why now?! Apparently the stolen sword has magical powers that remind me of light sabres but maybe I am too picky with this movie. Taran, Princess Girl and eventually the Bard as well get away from the Evil Castle of Evil. The Horned King is understandably mad.

The trio sits in the forest. The Bard’s harp seems to be able to tell when the Bard is lying and I’m not quite sure why we need that information but okay, movie. Princess Girl and Taran get into a stupid fight over him being a good warrior vs. the magical light sabre sword. We also get to see Gurgi again.

I’m not sure how but they all end up in some water spiral and land under the puddle of water. There they meet miniature flying elves and I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE!!

Somehow the pig is there as well and the whole thing is a totally pointless long scene. Taran, Bard, Princess Girl and Gurgi get magically transported out of the under wage elbe earn hole and into what seems like Mordor. There they find a door and because they are all morons, walk into the house.

Inside a whole bunch of frogs appear. Someone informs us they were all men before they got turned into frogs. The Quartet goes looking for The Black Cauldron but only finds a bunch of normal cauldrons. Three witches appear. One flirts excessively with the Bard. Another pointless scene in my opinion, but okay.

Taran asks the witches for The Black Cauldron but they want to outsmart them. Eventually they do and get the sword but the Quartet doesn’t know they were outsmarted yet. Outside The Black Cauldron appears but it’s not all that easy. Someone has to go inside to get rid of the evil but that person will not come out alive.

The Quartet sadz around a fire. The next thing I remember is them being held again at the Evil Castle of Evil while I have lost all power to care about this stupid plot. We get a shot of Gurgi who is still free and running around, probably planning a way to free them.

The Horned King uses his evil powers to resurrect a dead skeleton army with green fog (seriously!!! this SO is The Return of the King!). Green fog spreads everywhere out of the castle and into the world.

Taran and Gurgy try to out-sadz each other by competing over who has the least friends. Gurgy wins and thus climbs into The Black Cauldron. Then the green fog is redirected to The Black Cauldron and even The Horned King gets sucked into it. I guess that means it worked?!

The Evils Castle of Evil is crumbling around Bard, Princess Girl and Taran. They manage to leave at last. Taran tries to make a deal with the witches to get Gurgi back and gets his wish granted.

All is well that ends well. Gurgi is back and alive and also makes Princess Girl and Taran kiss because that is apparently what needs to happen even though they are like 10 years old. Thank god the movie is over now!

I’m sorry and applaud you, if you made it this far! I still don’t know what I saw here and I don’t even know. CeGi over on Twitter informed me that this movie is a mash up of a series of books by Lloyd Alexander. Obviously turning a couple of books who were based on welsh mythology into one movie was not the smartest idea. I just can’t even express what bothered me about it so much. It was just boring and I didn’t get the storyline at all. Some weird pig that makes visions when it looks into swirling water? SERIOUSLY?

The Black Cauldron wasn’t as bad as Saludos Amigos but that isn’t too hard a task as that one was practically the epitome of terrible. I guess I was bound for another terrible Disney Movie once I left the 40s.


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  • Tim

    Oh damn. We’re almost to movies that I’m as old as.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I know, it’s scary, isn’t it? And there are still so many to go…