The Black Cauldron is an animated feature film directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich, loosely based on Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. It features, in their Disney debuts, Taran, Princess Eilonwy, Gurgi, the Horned King, Fflewddur Fflam, Creeper, the Witches of Morva, Dallben, Hen Wen, the Fair Folk (including Doli and King Eidilleg), the Old King, and of course the titular Black Cauldron and the Cauldron-Born.
The Dark Ages, in Prydain. The wise old Dallben sends his young, ambitious pig-keeper Taran into hiding to protect Hen Wen, a pig who actually has the power to divine the future, a gift an undead sorcerous warlord called the Horned King is intent on abusing to locate the cursed Black Cauldron. But Taran's foolhardiness soon causes him to lose Hen Wen. With the help of Gurgi, Fflewddur Fflam and Princess Eilonwy, and meeting many strange magical beings along the way, Taran must own up to his failures while saving the world from the evil King's iron grasp.
Behind the scenesEdit
Released in 1985, The Black Cauldron is based on the first books of writer Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, though a great many liberties were taken. Aside from a few comics and the ride Cinderella's Castle Mystery, it had no direct sequel (though it did have a video game version); however, it served as inspiration for the design and characters of The Gummbi Bears.
The film had a chaotic production history, with hundreds more characters, concept and story elements (such as the character Hunter) created than were used in the film. Notably, the Horned King's character and appearance varied wildly throughout production, characterized anywhere from the chilling undead sorcerer of the final film to a feisty red-bearded viking warlord. Similarly, Princess Eilonwy was initially drawn as scruffy, unkempt and temperamental, with the bare feet and red hair of Alexander's version; overall much more in keeping with the books' spunky character than the final version, who was redesigned to resemble a younger Princess Aurora. Tim Burton also contributed concept-art of various monsters to the film, little to none of which was used in the final film.
Moreover, the film was created as darker than usual Disney fare, but cut heavily before its release, partially more time and partially to make it more family-friendly. The lost scenes include more scenes with the Fair Folk, shows of blood during Taran's escape from the Horned King's Castle, very graphic violence from the Cauldron-Born, and Taran pushing the Horned King towards the Black Cauldron in the climax rather than being dragged there on the Cauldron's power only. Other unconfirmed rumors of cut scenes exist, such as a supposed extended version of the scene near the pond where Princess Eilonwy strips down to bathe, cut for being too suggestive.