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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day 20: The Black Cauldron

Feel Bad for Us, We Watched The Black Cauldron

1. What movie did you watch?
The Black Cauldron. The film is based on the first two books of the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. The movie came about during a period of turmoil for the company. In 1979, star animator Don Bluth quit and took thirteen of his colleagues with him. During this period, the Disney company had appointed a new chairman, Jeffery Katzenberg, and due to his and Michael Eisner's new leadership the process of creating the animated feature films changed. Tighter schedules and lowered budgets are to blame for the difference in animation compared to earlier Disney films. The movie was a box office bomb, and only received positive reviews for its soundtrack, composed by Elmer Bernstein. In terms of animation, it was the first Disney animated feature to include the use of computer generated imagery, used to create the cauldron, and on certain scenes including magic. In 1985, the year of its release, it was the most expensive animated movie ever made. Fun fact: Tim Burton worked on this movie as a concept artist. 

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I'd only seen it once before and never again- with good reason.
Alexis: I watched it several times as a kid, but I don't know why because I was always terrified of it. I know we owned it on VHS but it was one of our least watched ones.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I knew it was bad- but I didn't realize it was as horrible as it turned out to be.
Alexis: Memories of being terrified of it... I'm pretty sure I had nightmares.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: In case you couldn't tell, I didn't enjoy it. Besides it being horribly scary for children, the animation was just sup-par comparatively and I didn't care about any of the characters. All the way around it was disappointing and just didn't feel like Disney!
Alexis: This movie is a literal piece of crap. The animation and the storytelling itself are just awful. The characters aren't developed, the story makes little sense, and even the voice acting sounds off. The whole movie feels like it drags on longer than it should. Also, was I watching a mangled, terrible, children's version of Lord of the Rings because that's kind of what it felt like. Except instead of a ring it's a cauldron and instead of a wizard we have a stupid magic pig. Also, Gurgi is clearly our Gollum character, except somehow more annoying. Overall what did I think of it? Awful.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: The one thing I did appreciate is the moment when Gollum, I MEAN Gurgi, redeems himself by sacrificing himself and jumping into the cauldron.  And then the moment when they get him back and realize he is alive is kinda touching. ONLY KIND OF THOUGH, cause the animation through all of that is horrible.

Alexis: When the credits rolled.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Disney, why would betray me by making me watch this movie?????
Alexis: I will accept this movie as Disney canon only because its failure helped push the company into the Disney Renaissance.

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