A to Z Challenge – The Black Cauldron

Black Cauldron - PosterThe Black Cauldron


Directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich

Quick synopsis… When a fearsome warrior’s quest for invincibility leads him to the Black Cauldron, he is challenged by the most unlikely adversary: a young assistant pig keeper named Taran. With a motley team of the Princess Eilonwy, a minstrel named Fflewddur Fflam and Hen Wen, a remarkable pig who can predict the future, Taran embarks on a quest to stop the Black Cauldron’s evil once and for all.

  • Welcome to Disney’s first animated film to ever be rated higher than a G.
  • This movie came out when I was five years old.
  • Probably a really good decision on my parents’ part not to take me to see this one in the theater.
  • In fact, we never even owned this one when it was finally released on home video.
  • I didn’t see this movie until I was a senior in college.
  • And I loved it.
  • Unfortunately, most people didn’t.
  • This movie almost ruined Disney’s animation studio.
  • It opened the same weekend as The Care Bears Movie.
  • And the Care Bears made more money.
  • I still say this is an underrated classic.
  • At the start, we are introduced to Taran, an assistant pig keeper in the land of Prydain.
  • Taran clearly longs to be a fierce warrior and fears that his life will be spent pampering a pig.
  • While giving Hen Wen, the pig, a bath, she starts freaking out.
  • Dallben the Enchanter, Hen Wen’s caretaker, reveals that the pig has powers similar to that of an oracle.
  • Hen Wen reveals to Dallben and Taran that the evil Horned King is searching for the the titular Black Cauldron.
  • Dallben explains that the cauldron is a terrible weapon that could give the king tremendous power that would make him unstoppable.
  • But by using Hen Wen’s power, the Horned King is able to discover the pig exists and seeks to use the pig to find the cauldron.
  • Taran is sent away with Hen Wen, to hide away and to keep the pig’s power secret.
  • One look at the Horned King and it’s easy to see why this movie would be rated PG.
  • Or higher…
  • He is one scary looking fella…
  • Though, is he really any worse than Skeletor?
  • I watched that dude’s evil plans fail five days a week.
  • Taran gets to daydreaming again… about being a great warrior.
  • And he loses track of Hen Wen.
  • You had one job, Taran!
  • While he’s looking through the woods for the pig, he comes across a bizarre little critter called Gurgi.
  • Gurgi promises to lead Taran to Hen Wen, but when they hear Hen Wen in trouble, Gurgi takes off.
  • The pig is being stalked by two of the Horned King’s dragons.
  • They take Hen Wen into the air and Taran is unable to save her.
  • Taran climbs to a high place and is able to see the dragons flying to the Horned King’s castle.
  • Gurgi reappears and begs Taran not to go to the castle.
  • Gurgi wants Taran to be his friend… but he’s too afraid to go to the castle with Taran.
  • Taran manages to find his way inside the castle and watches as Hen Wen is brought in chains to the Horned King.
  • When the king’s minion threatens to torture Hen Wen if she doesn’t show the location of the Black Cauldron, Taran accidentally reveals himself.
  • Seeing that Hen Wen gets along well with Taran, the Horned King demands that Taran instruct the pig to show the location.
  • Since Taran refuses, the king orders the pig to be killed.
  • This changes Taran’s mind.
  • Hen Wen reveals the cauldron’s existence, but not its location, before Taran flips over the bowl being used.
  • Taran manages to get Hen Wen away, but is captured and thrown in the dungeon himself.
  • In the dungeon, Taran meets Princess Eilonwy while she’s trying to escape.
  • While making their way through the catacombs beneath the castle, they come across the great king’s tomb, where Taran arms himself with the king’s magic sword.
  • Before getting out, they free another prisoner, Fflewddur Fflam, and are reunited with Gurgi when they escape the castle.
  • Eventually, our heroes discover that the cauldron is being held by three witches, who trade the cauldron for Taran’s magic sword.
  • And they throw in the crucial information that the Black Cauldron cannot be destroyed, except by one who climbs inside of his own free will.
  • But since the Horned King had Taran followed, they are all taken, along with the cauldron, back to the castle.
  • The king then begins to use the Black Cauldron to unleash an army of undead.
  • Taran decides to sacrifice himself by throwing himself into the cauldron to stop its magic, but Gurgi stops him and climbs in himself.
  • As the magic of the cauldron is undone and out of control, it destroys the Horned King and the castle around them.
  • The three witches return, wanting to trade the sword back for the cauldron, now that its power is useless.
  • Taran asks them to keep the sword, but revive Gurgi.
  • Again, I call this movie underrated and would encourage anyone who enjoys animation and/or fantasy adventure to give it a chance.

A to Z Challenge - BThanks for tuning in to Day Two of the 2020 A to Z Challenge! If you like Disney movies, then you’re likely to like where I’m going for the rest of the month. I’ll be doing a movie beginning with each letter of the alphabet each day (except Sundays) all month. And I’ll try to give hints about the next day’s movie in case you want to take a guess in the comments.

Clues for tomorrow’s movie are that it begins with a C and it’s a Disney movie. Just kidding… It’s animated. And it’s a Pixar collaboration. It’s sort of recent and will definitely make you cry. But that could be any Pixar movie, right? Any guesses?

12 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – The Black Cauldron

    • I haven’t read the books, but now the movie has reawakened my curiosity. I should be getting the set from Amazon tomorrow. I read that the author said the movie was very different from what he wrote, but was enjoyable nonetheless.


  1. I haven’t seen The Black Cauldron. I remember there was a big buzz about it when it came out and then it fizzled out quickly. I suspect that tomorrow’s movie will take place on November 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A to Z Challenge 2020 – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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