ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Black Cauldron

Updated on April 24, 2015
naturegirl7s profile image

As a retired librarian, Yvonne finally has time to read! She enjoys sharing some of her favorite books and media with friends.

Halloween DVD for Older Children

The Black Cauldron movie is on my list for Halloween viewing by older children. This fantasy from Walt Disney Productions, was released in 1985, after twelve years in production.

The animation is outstanding and though the story line isn't as strong, it is still a good slightly scary movie that can be enjoyed, especially around Halloween.

Even though the books, the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, are much better (as most books are), I liked the movie and would recommend it.

The Black Cauldron Movie

Black Cauldron Trailer

This is what we saw when the movie came out in 1985.

Black Cauldron 1985 Trailer

The Story

The Black Cauldron is the story of Taran, a young pig-keeper, who attempts to rescue his clairvoyant pig, Hen Wen, from the castle of the evil Horned King. The King tries to get Hen Wen to lead him to the mysterious Black Cauldron. Taran escapes with young princess Eilonwy and Fflewdder Ffflam, the minstrel, and with the help of mischievous Gurgi finds the cauldron. Before they can destroy it, the Horned King takes it and begins to unleash its awesome power of producing deathless warriors. Gurgi sacrifices himself to destroy the cauldron's power and save his friends, and in the end, Taran defeats the Horned King and Gurgi is restored.

Reference: the Disney Archives



Synd - Mage -- by Dragons

Review from TV Guide

"A glorious return to the days at Disney when animation was full and detail was everything, THE BLACK CAULDRON is betrayed by a routine storyline which fails to grip the imagination in the same way that such classics as PINOCCHIO or DUMBO do, but it's a remarkable achievement nonetheless."

The Black Cauldron History

Taran and Hen Wen
Taran and Hen Wen

Photo courtesy of

Disney released the Black Cauldron Movie in 1985. It was twelve years in the making. The animation used in the production was state of the art at that time and Disney was the first to use many of the techniques seen in the Black Cauldron.

The screenplay or plot was adapted from Lloyd Alexander's award winning Prydain Chronicles, a five volume series. Disney studios bought the rights to all five books in 1971. The book the Black Cauldron and the movie are quite different. The Disney screen writer combined the plot and characters of the first two volumes, The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. A minor character, the Horned King, became the major villan of the movie.

Many who loved the books thought this was a mistake, since the Book of Three could have supported an excellent animated film by itself. The author of Antagony and Ecstasy surmized, that the reason may have been that the "Black Cauldron" was a much better title for a movie than the "Book of Three". At any rate, this is what contributed to a sketchy plot lacking in deep character development.

All that being said, I still liked the movie. Yes, parts of it are dark, but so are parts of Harry Potter. It is sort of a combination of "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars", but many hero quest movies are. The animation is excellent and the story line is adequate to give children an hour or so of slightly frightening fantasy fun.

Reference Antagony and Ecstasy Blog

Black Cauldron Disney Gold Collection DVD

But despite being a huge wreck of narrative in every respect, I do actually like The Black Cauldron; I might even say I like it quite a lot. For it is absolutely gorgeous.

— Antagony and Ecstasy

Sword of Destruction


Sword of Destruction by Alex_Brown

Black Cauldron Music Video

Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles

are the books that the movie was based on.

The Prydain Chronicles Books

The Prydain Chronicles are outstanding mythological fantasy books for children, written by Lloyd Alexander. The five-volume set is composed of (1) The Book of Three, (2) The Black Cauldron, (3) Castle of Llyr, (4) Taran the Wanderer, and (5) The High King. The movie, the Black Cauldron was based on the first two books. Lloyd Alexander received the Newbery Award for book 5, The High King.

I would recommend all five volumes.

Book of Three - Chronicles of Prydain Book 1

Black Cauldron - Chronicles of Prydain Book 2

Henry FÃssli - 3 Witches Weird Sisters 1783 Women


© 2015 Yvonne L B


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)