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The Black Cauldron: 25th Anniversary

Score: 78%
Rating: PG
Publisher: Walt Disney Home
                  Entertainment

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 80 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Family/Fantasy
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
           Sound, French, Spanish

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Features:

  • Backstage Disney:
    • Deleted Scene: The Fairfolk
    • Still Frame Gallery
  • Games & Activities:
    • Quest For the Black Cauldron
    • The Witches' Challenge
  • Bonus Short:
    • "Trick or Treat" Cartoon Starring Donald Duck and His 3 Nephews

While The Black Cauldron isn't one of the most well known Disney animated films, it's still an enjoyable film and The Black Cauldron: 25th Anniversary not only contains the extras from 2004's Gold Edition, but a few new features as well.

This story follows a young farm helper, Taran (Grant Bardsely) as he finds out that the pig he has been helping to keep happy, Hen Wen, has the ability to see the future, and the farm's owner, Caer Dallben (Freddie Jones), has actually been keeping the animal safe since she is the only one that can find The Black Cauldron.

As legend tells, The Black Cauldron is a dark object that holds an evil ruler imprisoned for thousands of years, and it seems that the current evil in the land, the Horned King (John Hurt), has been looking for the cauldron in order to amass an undead army in order to finish his takeover of the world.

Now Taran, who has delusions of grandeur and a desire to be a great warrior, is sent away from the farm in order keep Hen Wen safe. Unfortunately, he quickly fails as the pig is captured. Now, Taran has to team up with a strange dog-like creature named Gurgi (John Byner), a princess named Eilonwy (Susan Sheridan) and an old bard named Fflewddur Fflam (Nigel Hawthorne) in order to break Hen Wen out, get her to safety and find The Black Cauldron before anyone else. Besides the massive army of evil creatures at the Horned King's disposal, there is also a strange goblin character named Creeper (Phil Fondacaro) who seems to be on their heels quite often.

Like I said above, this DVD release comes with all of the previous version's special features. These include a DVD game called "Quest For The Black Cauldron," which has players answering trivia questions about the film's plot in order to get to the end of a map before the Horned King does. There is also a classic Walt Disney cartoon called "Trick or Treat" featuring Donald Duck and his nephews, as well as a gallery of images from the film.

The new features include a new DVD game where the witches from the film pose riddles to the viewer in order to win back Taran's sword. The big feature though is a 10 minute long deleted scene where the band of do-gooders end up in the Fairfolks land where they find a strange race of people. This deleted scene consists of animated rough sketches and storyboards, and while it is definitely a good added-feature for existing fans of the film, it won't grab any new fans.

Like I said, The Black Cauldron is a pretty good film, but doesn't generally compare next to the rest of Disney's animated films. I still believe it is a must-see for anyone claiming to be a fan of the studio, but it's probably more of a rental than an all out purchase, and those already owning the Gold Edition won't see much of a reason to rebuy the film for these couple of new features.


Clips

Meeting the Princess


What the Pig Saw


Fairies


Trailer




-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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