The Black Cauldron

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Black Cauldron movie

“The Black Cauldron” is an animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. It was released in 1985 and is based on the first two books of “The Chronicles of Prydain” series by Lloyd Alexander.

Set in the mythical land of Prydain, the story follows a young pig farmer named Taran, who dreams of becoming a great hero. He discovers that the evil Horned King seeks to possess a powerful and dangerous artifact known as the Black Cauldron, which has the power to raise an invincible army of undead soldiers known as the Cauldron-Born.

Taran sets out on a quest to prevent the Horned King from obtaining the Black Cauldron, with the help of a magical pig named Hen Wen, a princess named Eilonwy, a bard named Fflewddur Fflam, and a creature named Gurgi.

Throughout their journey, they face various challenges and encounters with mystical beings, including a trio of witches known as the Three Witches and the evil Horned King’s forces.

“The Black Cauldron” was a significant film for Disney as it marked a departure from the traditional family-friendly animated films of the studio. It was the first Disney animated film to receive a PG rating due to its darker and more intense themes.

However, the film faced challenges during its production, including creative differences, rewrites, and financial issues, which led to a longer production time and a higher budget than originally planned.

Upon its release, “The Black Cauldron” received mixed reviews from critics and had a modest box office performance. Some praised its animation and darker tone, while others felt it lacked the charm and emotional depth of previous Disney classics.

Over the years, “The Black Cauldron” has gained a cult following among fans of dark fantasy and animation enthusiasts. Despite its initial reception, the film has been recognized for its ambitious storytelling and unique style among Disney animated features.

Despite its initial commercial disappointment, “The Black Cauldron” remains a part of Disney’s film legacy and has garnered a dedicated fan base that appreciates its darker and more adventurous storytelling. It stands as a unique entry in Disney’s animated filmography, showcasing the studio’s willingness to take risks and explore different genres and themes.

Fun Facts

  • It was the first Disney film to be rated PG.
  • It was the first Disney animated movie to be recorded in Dolby Stereo.
  • It took 11 years to produce.
  • It was Disney’s first animated film to incorporate computer animation.
  • The score of The Black Cauldron was composed by the same guy that did Ghostbusters (Elmer Bernstein).

Additional Details



  • Directors: Ted Berman and Richard Rich
  • Producer: Joe Hale
  • Music: Elmer Bernstein

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.