Black Cauldron, The

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Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (animated violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Black Cauldron, The
  • a review of Black Cauldron, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 October 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to animated violence and frightening scenes.
Children aged 8-10 Parental guidance recommended due to animated violence and frightening scenes.
Children over the age of 10 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Black Cauldron, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact
Length: 80 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In the land of Prydain, lowly pig herder Taran (voiced by Grant Bardsley) dreams of becoming a gallant knight. Instead, he is charged with keeping prophesying pig, Hen Wen, out of the hands of the evil Horned King (voiced by John Hurt). However, the King ends up kidnapping Hen Wen so he can use her to find the location of a magical black cauldron to help him summon an army of the undead. With the help of Princess Eilonwy (voiced by Susan Sheridan), Fflewddur Fflam the Bard (voiced by Nigel Hawthorne), and a gopher wood-troll called Gurgi (voiced by John Byner), Taran must find the black cauldron before the King and save the day.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Magic; Friendship; Harm to animals.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Taran threatens to hit Gurgi with a stick if he doesn’t return Taran’s apple.
  • The Horned King grabs Creeper by the throat after he disappoints him.
  • Creeper threatens Hen Wen with a hot poker.
  • The Horned King’s men threaten Taran with swords.
  • Taran is backhanded across the face by one of the Horned King’s men.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The Horned King is frightening in appearance, with long talons, horns on his head, a skull for a face, and a scary voice - he is likely to frighten very young children.
  • Gurgi is a small, goblin creature whose appearance may frighten very young children.
  • Taran searches for Hen Wen the pig in a scary forest - this may frighten very young children.
  • Hen Wen is attacked and kidnapped by dragons - this is likely to frighten younger children.
  • A large dog barks and gnashes its teeth at Taran and other characters - this may frighten younger children and those with fears of dogs.
  • Hen Wen is nearly beheaded by an axe before Taran stops it.
  • Taran, Gurgi, the Bard, and the Princess are caught in a magic whirlpool that drags them down into a fairy kingdom - they become unconscious but are unhurt.
  • Three witches threaten to eat Taran and his friends or turn them into frogs (the Bard is transformed into a frog) - the witches’ appearance may frighten very young children.
  • Gurgi sacrifices himself to destroy the black cauldron but is later brought back - this may distress some children.
  • The Horned King’s army of the dead are frightening in appearance.
  • The HornedKing is sucked into the black cauldron and disintegrates on screen - this is gruesome and may distress some children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The above-mentioned scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The above-mentioned scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb some children in this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • The Horned King’s men flirt with a female dancer and ask her for kisses.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A witch falls in love with the Bard and tries to kiss and cuddle him - when he is turned into a frog, he gets stuck between her breasts.
  • The Princess kisses Taran.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The Horned King’s men are shown drinking alcohol.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

The Black Cauldron is an animated movie based on the book by the same name. An old-school Disney film, it features a King Arthur-esque story, magical creatures, and a simple plot. This film is likely to entertain children under 12, though it is not suitable for children under 8, and parental guidance is recommended to 10 due to animated action violence and frightening scenes.

The main message from this movie is that when you work together, you can achieve anything.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Believing in yourself and your friends.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Attitudes toward girls and women - Taran speaks disparagingly to the Princess about being a girl.