The Black Cauldron was getting press (I believe I saw something about this on Entertainment Tonight) before it’s release in 1984 about then Disney Studio Chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, ordering deletions of scenes from the original print due to running length and fear that the darker aspects of the film would offend viewers. The film was cut by 12 minutes so to be honest I don’t believe the faults of the movie can be solely lain on Katzenberg’s shoulders, especially when one of the scenes he cut involved one of the Horned King’s ‘Cauldron Born’ by cutting the neck and torso of a man. I can see why Disney might have felt that might have been a little too dark.
Katzenberg bumped heads with producer Joe Hale about the forced cuts and it resulted in Katzenberg taking the film into an editing bay and cutting the scenes himself. Joe Hale brought then Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, into the mix and Eisner called Katzenberg and convinced him to cease his actions. Katzenberg however insisted that the film get pushed from it’s Christmas date of 1984 to the Summer of 1985.
When I saw this teaser trailer for the Black Cauldron I was totally excited about the darker designs and assumed it would be like the Dark Crystal.
One of the things that really, really stands out about the Black Cauldron for me is the score by Elmer Bernstein, does anyone else hear a bit of Ghostbusters from this Suite?