Hump Day Classic Movie: The Black Cauldron (1985)

Before Disney princess marketing took over absolutely everything, Disney sometimes put out darker pictures. But nothing, I think, quite as dark as the Black Cauldron. Even with a Disney spin, this movie earned a PG rating from the MPAA. The first PG rating for Disney's animated division. And audiences were not quite as willing to embrace that darker vision.

Very loosely based on the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, the movie bombed at the box office. I personally think it's one of the better movies from the mid-80s that Disney put out. It's not a musical, although there are elements of music throughout. It's a little rough around the edges, but I like the dark tone of the film. The creepiness. For fans of animation, this is a must-see film.

You can see a clip on youtube here: http://youtu.be/OlT3XbfU6e8


  1. I loved the Chronicles of Prydain books, which my dad read aloud to me and my brother when I was about 9 or 10. For some reason, I thought the movie didn't live up to the books.
    I want to watch it again sometime. I tried watching it with my 5 y.o. but he found it boring. I'm especially curious about the PG rating, although it seems that many if not most big animated films are PG these days.

  2. @Hannah

    It definitely doesn't live up to the books. But that's pretty standard for most movie adaptations. It's not really a kids movie, either.

    Oddly, Disney seems to have an "in" with the MPAA. Most Pixar and Disney films are G even when comparable films from other studios get the PG. This would probably get a PG13 if someone other than Disney put it out today. It's pretty dark.

  3. I can definitely see that about Disney. For instance I was surprised that Cars 2 got a G rating.