Starring: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan
Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich
Running Time: 80 mins
The Black Cauldron is an American film about a young boy who goes on an epic quest to find ‘the black cauldron’, a deadly weapon that an evil tyrant is also pursuing, however the boy must get there first to prevent the power falling into the wrong hands.
While this does have some of the classic elements of a good Disney fantasy, it’s nowhere near as entertaining or original as some of the originals.
When you think back to films like Snow White and The Sword In The Stone, you think of a magical story that was enjoyable to watch (especially when you were young), but also had some darker, scary elements to make it a lot more exciting.
There’s no doubting, then, that this film has the dark characteristics of a classic fantasy, and is at some points relatively exciting to watch, however this doesn’t happen until the climactic sequence, so you are sitting around bored for the previous hour.
However, the fact that this film definitely does not have such a magical and fun atmosphere to it has a huge impact on how entertaining it is to watch. While it is largely uneventful, its story just never seems to be so magical, while the very annoying characters and more predictable than usual plot ruin the fun value, for both kids and adults.
One of the most disappointing things, however, is that the darker elements that do make this exciting at one point of the story are far too scary for this film’s 5-and-under target audience, and the fact that there’s no more fun and magic to compensate for the scariness like the classics means that it could be just too much for the little ones.
Overall, this gets a 6.0, because although it is ultimately exciting, and has some elements that hark back to the classic Disney fantasies, it was simply disappointing and dull to watch.