The Horned King is after the black cauldron, an ancient weapon which contains incredible demonic powers. He plans to raise an army out of dead soldiers to conquer the world. Meanwhile, a young boy called Taran wants more than anything to be a great warrior, but he is only a pig keepers assistant to the enchanter Dallben. One day, taking care of the adorable Hen Wen, the pig starts to act scared. Dallben gets the clairvoyant creature to do her thing and it turns out that the Horned King knows of her powers. Afraid for Hen Wens safety, he send the boy and pig to hide in a little woodcabin. On their way though, the Kings dragon grab Hen Wen. Taran promised the enchanter that he'd make sure the evil king doesn't get his hands on her, so he goes after them to the very scary looking castle where the Horned King dwells.
The Black Cauldron is a lot darker and scarier than other Disney movies I have seen. It doesn't have any songs and it lacks that frivolity Disney is so well known for. It might not be everyones cup of tea, certainly too scary for most of their usual little fans I'm sure, but it is a good movie. This thrilling adventure takes you from a little farmers shack, to dark castle dungeons, to a world full of hidden fairies.
The Horned King is an evil, heartless villain of the highest caliber and his deathless army is creepy enough to give anyone nightmares. Were it not for the "good" characters, it might all seem a tad too gloomy. Taran and the people he meets on his way are all very likeable. The magical Princess Eilonwy and the middle-aged minstrel Flewwddur Fflam provide a touch of lightness in this otherwise dark tale. I even quite liked Gurgi, a small, whiny creature not unlike Harry Potters'"Dobby".
What makes this a good story is Tarans courage and willingness to help his newfound friends no matter what. Good versus evil is such an age old story, Disney has made so many of these tales, but because the Horned King appears so demonic and unbeatable, Taran has to be even braver and take bigger risks than anyone could expect of a little boy and that works really well. His quest really draws you in and at times has you at the edge of your seat.
I can see why the Black Cauldron isn't a big classic like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or the Little Mermaid, it just won't appeal to as big an audience. I imagine this is one of the few Disney movies that would appeal to boys more than girls. Maybe not for the little ones, but worth a watch!