“Soon the Black Cauldron will be mine!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
These days — especially knowing that a handful of neo-Disney masterpieces (i.e., The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) were yet to come — The Black Cauldron definitely strikes one as more of an innocuous “miss” than anything worth celebrating as a come-back. Indeed, Time Out calls it a “major disappointment”, while many others note that it simply recycles a number of cliches from earlier Disney films while failing to bring any charm or originality to the proceedings. Meanwhile, Richard Scheib of Moria points out that the film’s timing was unfortunate as well, given that it was conceived right around the time when Star Wars (1977) was enjoying tremendous popularity, but not released until the mid-80s, when “the genre had moved on”. Ultimately, then, this one is only must-see for Disney completists.
Note: The “cowardly half-human-half-creature Gurgi” — erroneously labeled by Peary as “cute” and “cuddly” — has got to be one of Disney’s most annoying sidekicks EVER. (“Oh, poor miserable Gurgi deserves fierce smackings and whackings on his poor, tender head. Always left with no munchings and crunchings.” Arrgh!). He’s eerily reminiscent of Andy Serkis’s Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which in itself was a clearly an inspiration for Lloyd Alexander’s original children’s fantasy series, upon which this film was based).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: