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richardburton84

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I keep in mind something one of my grade school teachers said: Always read the book. Don't depend on the Disney version.

That’s definitely the case for this particular film, as my previous post implied. I liked The Black Cauldron when I first saw it (even without knowing anything about the edits made to the film), but my appreciation for the film went down considerably once I read the books and realized how much Disney bowdlerized them.
 

Jake Lipson

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Don't depend on the Disney version.

As is the case with any adaptation, that depends on your relationship to the novel. Just because a movie is different or takes considerable liberties with the source material does not automatically make the film inferior or invalid.

If you look at Disney's The Black Cauldron as it is, I think it works.

If you're comparing something to the source material, then obviously your perspective is different depending on your affection for the original source.
 

Arthur Powell

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As is the case with any adaptation, that depends on your relationship to the novel. Just because a movie is different or takes considerable liberties with the source material does not automatically make the film inferior or invalid.

If you look at Disney's The Black Cauldron as it is, I think it works.

If you're comparing something to the source material, then obviously your perspective is different depending on your affection for the original source.
I don't think that she was implying necessarily that one is inferior to the other, but for the purposes of a book report, don't rely on the movie. In other words, don't pull a Beaver Cleaver ;) You are right though in that you can't expect a 90 minute film to capture every iota of the source material. Ultimately, while it's inevitable for the film to be compared to the book, it should really be judged on its own merits.
 

Jake Lipson

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for the purposes of a book report, don't rely on the movie.

That I unequivocally agree with, and people who do that are asking for trouble. Even worse than that would be people who just copy the back of the book and don't expect the teacher to notice. I remember once in middle school, we were allowed to choose our own book report subjects, but the teacher asked us to pick something we would really read. Some other kid chose Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (before the movies started coming out) which was a recent book. The teacher said that was fine as long as he was prepared to actually read the whole thing. The book reports were oral in front of the class a few weeks later. I knew immediately that he memorized the summary of the book from the jacket and just recited that. Of course, the teacher had also seen that book too and knew that it was the jacket copy and I'm quite sure he failed the kid. I never quite understood why this student would have chosen a 734-page book if he wasn't going to finish it when he could have chosen something that was 200 pages and actually finished it and have actually done a report. It always amazes me how stupid students think teachers are in that they assume they can get away with things like that as though the teacher doesn't have access to a copy of the book to check that. Especially a big high-profile book like Harry Potter.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It always amazes me how stupid students think teachers are

It’s an important learning experience. It’s a natural developmental thing to want to see how much you can get away with, and it’s important then to not get away with everything so you learn actions have consequences. Sometimes falling a paper or semester can be more important developmentally than getting an “A” would have been :)
 

jayembee

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As is the case with any adaptation, that depends on your relationship to the novel. Just because a movie is different or takes considerable liberties with the source material does not automatically make the film inferior or invalid.

I like to say, as an adaptation of Philip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner leaves a lot to be desired. But I would not want to live in a world that did not have Blade Runner in it.
 

B-ROLL

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It’s an important learning experience. It’s a natural developmental thing to want to see how much you can get away with, and it’s important then to not get away with everything so you learn actions have consequences. Sometimes falling a paper or semester can be more important developmentally than getting an “A” would have been :)
...sounds like a 'splanation to the parentals for what all of the east coast teachers called "bad marks" ;) ...'
 

LouA

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I wonder why Black Cauldron was issued as a DMC exclusive. As an animated feature , it seems to me this should have gotten a general release like other minor Disney features such as Sword In The Stone , or Great Mouse Detective.
It seems to me , that the “exclusive” format should be saved for films that deserve a Blu ray release but maybe aren’t popular enough to warrant a general release. Things like Shaggy Dog, Johnny Tremain, or Darby O’Gill.
I’ll be buying Black Cauldron, but I wish we could get some of those older titles!
Incidentally, I’ve been a DMC member since the VHS days!!
 

Jake Lipson

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It seems to me , that the “exclusive” format should be saved for films that deserve a Blu ray release but maybe aren’t popular enough to warrant a general release.

I think Disney believes that The Black Cauldron fits that description. While I am a fan of it, and its presence in the Walt Disney Feature Animation canon secures its place in the lists of film history, it is probably one of their least-selling such titles. So that's why. It is readily available at other retailers on DVD. Plus it is for sale in HD on digital platforms and included with the cost of a Disney+ subscription.

How many people do you think want this movie on Blu-ray and won't pay to get it from DMC? Even people like Arthur who prefer to get it from resellers will represent profit for DMC because the resellers have to get it from DMC in the first place. I seriously doubt that Disney is losing money on this release by not making it a wide release.

The fans who want it will jump through Disney's hoops to get it. Everyone else probably doesn't care to have it anyway.

And by the way I say this from a business perspective. I love the film so I'm not saying this to disparate it.
 
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Arthur Powell

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I just hope to see The Happiest Millionaire come out on blu-ray.
I'm almost tempted to buy the digital version to see if that will provoke Disney to announce a blu-ray! LOL! Next year marks the 55th anniversary so maybe Disney's fetish for anniversary editions may help us.
 

Jake Lipson

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Well, I'm bumping this thread because, almost a month later after I should have had it, the post office finally delivered my copy of The Black Cauldron today. Who knows where it has been since the tracking basically went up in smoke recently. But better late than never, it's here and I watched it tonight. I had resisted the temptation to look at it in HD on Disney+ in hopes that a physical disc would come, so this is my first time seeing it in HD.

It was worth the wait. The transfer looks great. Despite the reputation of the film, there is some really beautiful animation in here. I wasn't alive during the film's brief theatrical release, so I have only ever seen it on video, but even there have always been really amazed by the look of the film. Of course, Disney doesn't do theatrical reissues of their animated catalog anymore and even if they did, this one wouldn't happen. But I can only imagine how much fun it would be to see this on the big screen.

I think the film is delightful. I just liked being around the characters. Taran is a sympathetic protagonist in way over his head, which makes it interesting and satisfying to watch his growth. Princess Elonwy is great opposite him and deserves more due than she gets because she is a Disney Princess, but of course the film's general lack of popularity prevents her from being included. Gurgi is just adorable and hilarious and I've always liked him. Yes, the Horned King is really scary, but his presence and demeanor give the film genuine stakes because our heroes are facing a genuine threat.

I had the original VHS of this from 1998 and then eventually upgraded to the 2010 DVD. I'm not sure why I didn't get the non-anamorphic Gold Collection DVD, which still would have been an improvement over the pan and scan VHS. The Blu-ray is my third and presumably final purchase of this movie and I'm absolutely happy with the triple dip. I would be even happier if the art gallery from the DVD was ported over, but at least DMC put on the deleted scene and Donald short. I'm still planning to give away my old DVD because even though the art gallery is cool to have, I'd probably never actually put in the DVD just to look through it when all the other features I want are intact on the Blu-ray.

I also watched the deleted scene, which I'm sure I had seen at some point via the DVD, but not recently enough for me to recalll much of it. The version of this scene that ended up in the movie is more expedient, but I liked that in the deleted version, Hen Wen is the one to tell them where the Black Cauldron is. That's a nice way to pay off her powers, rather than just having the Fairfolk tell them as in the final cut.

I do like the artwork on the Blu-ray, which of course is the same as was previously been on the 25th Anniversary DVD. And I knew what I was getting because I'd seen the cover image in the beginning of this thread. I also don't want to give the impression that I am complaining in any way because I really am just very grateful that this has been released on physical media in HD at all.

However, it would have been even cooler if they had reused the artwork for the original VHS, which I always thought was one of the best and most eye-catching covers in my entire collection. Obviously I have no need for a VHS at this point and I got rid of this a long time ago, but....man, this artwork was awesome. It was all sparkly and shiny too. None of the editions of The Black Cauldron have ever had what you could call a bad cover, but I don't think this one has ever been beat. And since the Blu-ray is likely the film's last ever home media release, I doubt that it will be.

The Black Cauldron.jpg
 

jayembee

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Well, I'm bumping this thread because, almost a month later after I should have had it, the post office finally delivered my copy of The Black Cauldron today. Who knows where it has been since the tracking basically went up in smoke recently.

I had a similar problem. I ordered it (and some other titles) on 4/25. It shipped on 4/27. And then it sat at the origin P.O. in Menasha (WI) for over two weeks "pending acceptance". I did the chat thing at the DMC site, and they sent out a replacement order via Priority Mail. It was still slow (6 days) for Priority, but at least it got here.

On edit: OK, this is hilarious. And weird. And hilariously weird. I just logged into my USPS account to check Informed Delivery on the status of a couple of packages in transit. And what should I see? The original shipment from Disney arrived at a regional facility in Massachusetts earlier this evening. If all goes as usual, it'll arrive here by Tuesday. During the chat session I had with DMC, they said that if the original shipment arrived, I didn't have to return it. I don't feel right selling them or trading them in, so I figure I'll donate them to the Public Library.

In addition to The Black Cauldron, I'd also gotten The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Strongest Man in the World, Escape to Witch Mountain, and Return from Witch Mountain. Hopefully some kids in town will enjoy them.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I had a similar problem.

Because I'm not a member of DMC, my copy was tagged onto a friend's order. DMC sent it to my friend in a timely manner. The package from my friend to me is what took a month because it got off track. So my problem doesn't have anything to do with DMC directly. The post office just had a problem somewhere along the line getting it to me. But it's here now. Ultimately, all's well that ends well, but it was an irritation.
 

Johnny Angell

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Up there in post #193 with the cover (?) art proclaiming BC to be “Disney’s Masterpiece”. I think that qualifies for the biggest movie advertising lie of all time. Even bigger thanks the poster for “Attacck of the 50Ft Woman”. We recently watched this on Disney+ and that will suffice for the rest of our lives. It is so boring.

All IMHO of course.
 

Malcolm R

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the biggest movie advertising lie of all time
That's Disney's usual MO. Relentless self-promotion so that the masses are brainwashed into thinking everything Disney touches is fabulous and they can do no wrong. Keeps everyone throwing money at them for every little bit of content.
 

John Skoda

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I never saw this film until home video, but the one thing I do remember about it is watching something about it on Disney's TV show, and at that point (it must have been early on in the process) they were promoting the fact that Hayley Mills was going to provide the voice of the female lead. I've never seen anything else about this, and now I'm wondering if memory is playing tricks on me. Does anyone else remember this?
 

David Norman

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I never saw this film until home video, but the one thing I do remember about it is watching something about it on Disney's TV show, and at that point (it must have been early on in the process) they were promoting the fact that Hayley Mills was going to provide the voice of the female lead. I've never seen anything else about this, and now I'm wondering if memory is playing tricks on me. Does anyone else remember this?
"According to the Disney's Wonderful World episode "Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life", Mills was originally going to provide Eilonwy's voice in The Black Cauldron, but that role ended up being taken by Susan Sheridan."
 

John Skoda

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"According to the Disney's Wonderful World episode "Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life", Mills was originally going to provide Eilonwy's voice in The Black Cauldron, but that role ended up being taken by Susan Sheridan."
Thank you! I see on imdb, Hayley Mills herself was the host of that 1981 episode:

 

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