The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated adventure dark fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation in association with Silver Screen Partners II and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th Disney animated feature film, it is loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are, in turn, based on Welsh mythology.
Set in the mythical land of Prydain during the Early Middle Ages, the film centers on the evil Horned King who hopes to secure an ancient magical cauldron that will aid him in his desire to conquer the world. He is opposed by a young pig keeper named Taran, the young princess Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam, and a wild creature named Gurgi who seek to destroy the cauldron, to prevent the Horned King from ruling the world.
The film is directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich, who had directed Disney’s previous animated film The Fox and the Hound in 1981, the first Disney animated film to be recorded in Dolby Stereo. It features the voices of Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, Nigel Hawthorne, John Byner, and John Hurt.
It was the first Disney animated film to receive a PG rating as well as the first Disney animated film to feature computer-generated imagery. The film was distributed theatrically through Buena Vista Distribution on July 26, 1985. With the budget of $25 to $44 million, it was the most expensive animated film ever made at the time. The film grossed $21.3 million domestically. Because of its commercial failure, Disney did not release the film on home video until 1998.