The Black Cauldron (film)

1985 American animated dark fantasy adventure film

The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated dark fantasy-adventure film about a young boy and a bunch of misfit friends who embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich. Written by Ted Berman, Vance Gerry, Joe Hale, David Jonas, Roy Morita, Richard Rich, Art Stevens, Al Wilson, and Peter Young, loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels which in turn is based on Welsh mythology.
Magic twelve years in the making. Magic that will live forever.taglines

Opening narration

  • 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.


  • Hen Wen, from you, I do beseech / Knowledge that lies beyond my reach / Troubled thoughts beyond your heart / Pray you now, those thoughts impart.
  • You did well, my boy!


  • If great lord go into evil castle, poor Gurgi will never see his friend again. Nope, never.
  • Oh, poor miserable Gurgi deserves fierce smackings and whackings on his poor, tender head. Always left with no munchings and crunchings. [sobbing] Forgive poor Gurgi.
  • No! Gurgi will not let his friend die! [sadly] Taran has many friends. Gurgi has no friends.


  • Welcome, your majesty! We're celebrating our success! I-I-I mean your success! We've made no mistakes this time!
  • Oh, I'm sorry. I've ignored you. You did come for the Black Cauldron? Good! Then climb right in! It'll only cost you your life! [laughs]

Horned King

  • Oh, yes. Yes, my soldiers. Soon the Black Cauldron will be mine. Its evil power will course through my veins, and I shall make you Cauldron-Born. Yes, yes, oh yes, then you will worship ME! Me. Oh, my soldiers. How long I have thirsted to be a god among mortal men...
  • I presume, my boy, you are the keeper of this oracular pig?
  • My, such a brave and handsome crew! A pig boy, a scullery maid and a broken-down minstrel! Perhaps it may interest you to see what fate has in store for you! [laughs and lifts up a skeleton] Now I call on my army of the dead! The Cauldron-Born! [lowers the skeleton into the Black Cauldron] Arise, my messengers of death! Our time has arrived!
  • My beloved warriors have come to life. All the dead of centuries past - never has anyone created an army like this! Go forth, my deathless warriors! Destroy all in your path!
  • [to Taran] You've interfered for the last time. Now, pig keeper, you shall die!
  • [to Taran] No, you'll not escape! You shall satisfy the cauldron's hunger.
  • [last words] No! You'll not have me. My power cannot die! Curse you! No! NOOOOOOO!!!


  • You're making a horrendous mistake! I'm not a spy! I'm a bard! I sing! Uh, I entertain! Oh, careful sir, these are the hands of an artist!
  • I'm Fflewddur Fflam! Minstrel of minstrels! Balladeer to the grandest courts in all the land! [harp string snaps] And I, uh, eh? Eh, well, have you forgotten? I have sung in some of the finest courts... [another string snaps] Well, I'm only waiting for an invitation! [another one snaps] Oh, shush. Why do you have to judge every word I say?
  • Great Belin!
  • May I ask you ladies to perhaps consider this magnificent harp?


Taran: Have you seen my pig?
Gurgi: Piggy? Round, fat piggy? Big snout!
Taran: Yes, yes.
Gurgi: Curly tail!
Taran: That's her! That's Hen Wen!
Gurgi: Uh-uh, nope. Gurgi has not seen piggy. Nope.

Eilonwy: I'm Princess Eilonwy. Are you a lord, or a warrior?
Taran: Uh, no. Uh... I-I-I'm an assistant pig-keeper.
Eilonwy: Oh, what a pity. I was so hoping for someone who could help me escape. Oh well, if you want to come with me, you may.

Taran: I wasn't afraid!
Eilonwy: Not afraid?! Why, we were running for our lives!
Taran: Well, I got us out of the castle, didn't I?
Eilonwy: You?! I'd say it was the sword's magic.
Taran: But it takes a great warrior to handle a sword like this!
Eilonwy: But still, it is a magic sword!
Taran: Humph! What does a girl know about swords anyway?!
Eilonwy: Girl? Girl?! If it weren't for this, girl, you would still be in the Horned King's dungeon!
Fflewddur: Here now, now. Princess Eilonwy, Taran–
Eilonwy: Well at least I don't keep talking about it forever! Oh, you're so, so bored!
Fflewddur: Princess Eilonwy!
Eilonwy: How dare you take his side!
Fflewddur: Well I really didn't mean to-to-to... interfere, heh, heh!
Taran: Silly girl! Even if she is a princess!
Fflewddur: We are going to have to- to to... Oh, dear.

Fflewddur: Help! Murder! Hurry!
Gurgi: Ha, ha! Gurgi's lucky day! [picks up Fflewddur's hat] Wow!
Fflewddur: Yes! Keep it! It's a gift!
Gurgi: [picks up Fflewddur's harp] Oh, this! Gurgi want this!
Fflewddur: Take it! I'm sure you've murdered for less! Ugh!

Fflewddur: So nice to meet you ladies. Uh, goodbye!
Orwen: Wait! My, aren't you the handsome one!
Fflewddur: Who? Who? M-m-m-m-m, me?!
Orwen: Oh, honestly now! Don't you find me irresistible?
Fflewddur: Yes. Quite so! [harp string snaps] Sush! Stop that!

Eilonwy: No, Taran! No!
Taran: [to Eilonwy] It's our only chance! [to Orddu, sadly] Here is my sword. Take it!
Orddu: This is your own choice, duckling. Remember, with this sword you could be the greatest of warriors!
Taran: Yes. I offer you my dearest possession, in exchange for the Black Cauldron.
Orddu: Agreed! We have made a bargain.

Orddu: I say, what funny little ducklings! Don't they know that the Black Cauldron is indestructible? Now listen carefully. The Black Cauldron can never be destroyed. Only its evil powers can be stopped.
Taran: Then there is a way. But how?
Orddu: A living being must climb into it of his own free will.
Gurgi: Gurgi is bold and brave. He will climb into the evil cauldron.
Orddu: However, the poor duckling will never climb out alive.
Gurgi: [jumping away from the cauldron] Yikes!
Fflewddur: Now look here, madam! Don't forget we have an agreement!
Eilonwy: Yes, you said we could have the Cauldron!
Orgoch: Of course we said you could have the Cauldron! It's not our fault you can't do anything with it!
Orddu: Goodbye, goslings! And remember: we always keep our bargain!

Taran: Doli's right. It's my fault. I let you down. Without my sword, I'm nothing. I'm just an assistant pig-keeper.
Eilonwy: Look, you are somebody. You must believe in yourself. I believe in you.
Taran: You... you do? And I think that you're... [holds her hands] Uh, I mean... That is.... [draws his hands away in embarrassment]
Eilonwy: Yes, Taran?
Taran: What I mean is that I'm grateful. For all of you. You've been true friends.

Eilonwy: Oh, Taran, I'm afraid it'll soon be over for us.
Taran: I hadn't planned it to end like this, Eilonwy.
Fflewddur: Oh, I wish I'd stayed a toad.

Fflewddur: Just what do you think you're up to, ladies?
Orddu: Oh, we have business with your little hero.
Taran: "Hero?" Gurgi was the hero.
Orddu: The only thing that mattered to you was the Cauldron, but now it's no use to you. So we'll just take it and be on our way.
Fflewddur: Stay your hand, ladies. We never give anything away. We bargain; we trade. Remember?
Orddu: Did these old ears hear the word "bargain"? Hmm?
Fflewddur: Yes, madam, those old ears heard right.
Orwen: Ohh! I adore forceful men.
Fflewddur: Oh, pull yourself together, madam.

Taran: I'm not a warrior. I'm a pig-boy. What would I do with a sword?
Orddu: [grabbing the sword back] Absolutely nothing!
Taran: But I would trade...
All Three Witches: Yes?
Taran: ...the Cauldron for Gurgi.
Orwen: Oh, dear!
Orddu: It's not possible!
Fflewddur: Just as I thought, ladies! You've got no real power! Admit it! Admit it!
[Insulted by Fflewddur's remarks, the witches circle around the Cauldron in a whirlwind of white light, leaving Gurgi'b unconscious body behind.]
Orddu: We have made a bargain! [laughing]

Gurgi: Muchings and crunchings in here somewhere.
Taran: [surprised] Gurgi! You-You're alive!


  • Magic twelve years in the making. Magic that will live forever.
  • Seven years in the making - In the celebrated Disney tradition comes our 25th animated motion picture.
  • Hidden by darkness. Guarded by witches. Discovered by a boy. Stolen by a king. Whoever owns it will rule the world. Or destroy it.



  • First, I have to say, there is no resemblance between the movie and the book. Having said that, the movie in itself, purely as a movie, I found to be very enjoyable. I had fun watching it. What I would hope is that anyone who sees the movie would certainly enjoy it, but I'd also hope that they'd actually read the book. The book is quite different. It's a very powerful, very moving story, and I think people would find a lot more depth in the book.

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