Day 5) An Underrated Movie
The Black Cauldron is highly underrated as it has a bunch of great characters and scenes. I know I talked about it during my first Horrorfest.
So I actually never saw this film as a kid. My mother thought it would scare me. It would come on TV and I remember it coming out of the vault and being on all kinds of commercials. I even had a toy Gurgi that I got in a McDonald’s happy meal.
So how did I finally stumble onto this work? Well, I really like the author Lloyd Alexander, as I have read his book Time Cat. Two years ago, I decided that I would read through the The Chronicles of Prydain series as it is his most famous work and what The Black Cauldron is a part of. The book series was really good except I wish the Horned King was in more of it and as the series wraps itself up, the last books are not as nearly good as the first ones. Anyways, so after I had read the series I checked out the film and of course did the I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper post. But in that post I compared the film and the book as I had just finished reading the series.
So the film The Black Cauldron is a compilation of the first two books in the series; The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. And I thought it was pretty good. I mean some parts were film corny, but I really liked it. In fact, I am appalled that more people have never heard of it or seen it. It really deserves more love.
“Legend has it, in the mystic land of Prydain, there was once a king so cruel and so evil, that even the Gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible of molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great, black cauldron. For uncounted centuries, the black cauldron lay hidden, waiting, while evil men searched for it, knowing whoever possessed it would have the power to resurrect an army of deathless warriors… and with them, rule the world.”
So the film is about Taran, an assistant pig-keeper, who dreams of becoming a great warrior. He finds out that the pig her cares for, Hen Wen, is in danger as she is an oracular pig and that the evil Horned King is after her. The Horned King needs her to find the Black Cauldron to bring to life the dead, creating a zombie army.
Taran accidentally allows Hen Wen to be captured and travels after her, saving and getting the creature Gurgi as a follower. He comes to the Horned King’s castle and there he finds a captured princess, Princess Eilonwy, a ministrel named Fflewddur Fflam, and a magic sword. The journey on to destroy the Black Cauldron, meeting up with fairies, witches, and battle the Horned King.
It’s funny, but now that I think about it, this film in a lot of ways reminds me of Star Wars.
Now it has a lot of great characters.
First we have Taran, a young boy who dreams of achieving something greater. Think Luke Skywalker, eager to leave what he feels is an inadequate existence. He wants more, he wants to fight the Dark Sith Lo…I mean Horned King. At times he is a bit silly, as every young boy who is trying to find his way is, but in all he’s a great character. You just love him.
Then we have Eilonwy. Now people always forget this princess, but she rocks.
She tooootally kicks butt. She is like the animated version of Princess Leia. She has been caught by the evil Horned King, but isn’t waiting around, she’s trying to get out of there. She never let’s anyone push her around because of her size or gender:
“Taran: What does a girl know about swords, anyway?
Eilonwy: “Girl”? “Girl”? If it wasn’t for this *girl*, you would still be in the Horned King’s dungeon.”
And this film has one of the all-time creepiest villains ever! The Horned King!
Oh man, he is a creep. Horrifying and Incredibly Horrible.
This is a great film, you should totally watch it!
Check out the trailer!
So since this film reminded me of Star Wars so much I decided to give it something a little extra.
Hope you liked it! Stay tuned for more Disney stuff.
For more on The Black Cauldron, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper
And to see more posts on Star Wars, go to True Princess
For more on Disney Princesses, go to Belle of the Ball
For more on Disney Heros, go to Prince of a Man
For more on Disney, go to The Cat’s Meow
For more on Time Cat, go to Pot o’ Gold
For more films based on books, go to A Letter of Love