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The Black Cauldron
(1985)
Album Cover Art
1985 Varèse
1996 Taran
Album 2 Cover Art
2012 Disney
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Re-Recording Performed by:
The Utah Symphony Orchestra

1985 Album Produced by:
George Korngold

2011 Album Produced by:
Randy Thornton
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(1985)

"Taran" Bootleg
(1996)

Walt Disney Records/
Intrada Records
(April 2nd, 2012)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1985 Varèse Sarabande album was a regular U.S. release, but it fell completely out of print by 1993 and sold on the secondary market for over $100. The 1996 "Taran" album is a bootleg without track titles and sold at soundtrack specialty outlets in the 1990's for roughly $30. The 2011 expanded Disney/Intrada album initially sold for $20 and is limited to 10,000 copies.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate massively symphonic and surprisingly serious scores for your animated pictures and have lingering affection for Elmer Bernstein's obsession with the ondes martenot instrument.

Avoid it... if you are accustomed to hearing transparent themes, easy concepts, and mostly bright attitude in your animated film scores.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #720
WRITTEN 11/1/96, REVISED 5/12/12
Bernstein
Bernstein
The Black Cauldron: (Elmer Bernstein) In the mid-1980's, the Walt Disney animated film division was suffering through arguably the worst times in its history. All but dead since 1977's The Rescuers, Disney was counting on The Black Cauldron to pull itself back into the forefront of the animated film genre, and as part of that plan, the film was to be vastly different from the studio's previous ventures. It would feature no songs, incorporate computer enhancement to hand-drawn images, receive a PG-rating for darker and scarier images, and be presented in 70mm. Despite all of these new aspects, or perhaps because of them, The Black Cauldron was a monumental and expensive failure. It would take The Little Mermaid four years later to resurrect the lost animated division at Disney, and another dozen years passed before audiences had the opportunity to view the film again on video. Technically based upon Lloyd Alexander's "The Chronicles of Prydain," The Black Cauldron chronicled "The Book of Three" and "The Black Cauldron," two of five books in the series. The resulting story retains basic characters, including the travelling team of protagonists consisting of an aspiring young hero, his pig (which holds the key to locating the titular cauldron), an old wizard, a princess, and the usual bumbling, cowardly sidekick. The evil Horned King seeks the cauldron with which to unleash an army of nasty undead soldiers on the land, and the good-guys are tasked with finding the cauldron before that can happen. Many of the intricacies of the books were lost in the screen adaptation, however, disappointing fans of the concept. Also deviating from the normal realm of Disney animated features was a score by legendary composer Elmer Bernstein, who had just received an Oscar nomination for one of his multitudes of comedy works and was mired in parody writing for much of the early 1980's. At the tail end of this period came Ghostbusters, the composer's most recent major effort heading in to The Black Cauldron.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
255 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.3 Stars
***** 63 5 Stars
**** 65 4 Stars
*** 52 3 Stars
** 38 2 Stars
* 37 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
4 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - May 17, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.
1 comment  (630 views)
Bootleg track listing
JTS - May 28, 2008, at 2:03 a.m.
1 comment  (1659 views)
Very Underrated   Expand >>
JTurner - June 4, 2006, at 6:27 p.m.
2 comments  (2214 views)
Newest: March 21, 2012, at 8:42 p.m.by Chris_FSB25
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1985 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 31:36
• 1. Escape From the Castle (2:29)
• 2. Taran (4:00)
• 3. The Witches (2:16)
• 4. Gurgi (3:25)
• 5. The Horned King (2:54)
• 6. The Fair Folk (3:09)
• 7. Hen Wen's Vision (3:43)
• 8. Eilonwy (5:05)
• 9. Finale (4:35)
1996 Taran Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 72:25
2011 Disney Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:14

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of the first two albums include no extra information about the score or film. The 2011 Disney/Intrada album contains extensive information about both, as well as technical notes about the recording and photography from the sessions.
Copyright © 1996-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Black Cauldron are Copyright © 1985, 1996, 2012, Varèse Sarabande, "Taran" Bootleg, Walt Disney Records/Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/1/96 and last updated 5/12/12.
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