The Black Cauldron

    (Scholastic, 1985)
™ and © 1985 by Walt Disney Productions

In the land of Prydain, Taran, a young apprentice to an aged sorcerer, longs to leave his mundane existence for that of a heroic soldier. As if in answer to Taran’s ambitions, the evil Horned King begins his plan to rule the world. The dreaded monarch requires the reanimation of his dead warriors; something the mysterious black cauldron can accomplish—if he can find it. Impeding the Horned King’s search becomes Taran’s mission and his opportunity to fulfill his heroic reverie.

This book is the adaptation of the Disney animated movie based on the fantasy by noted children’s author, Lloyd Alexander. Much of the story’s more gruesome situations have been diminished in favor of the requisite “cuteness factor” ever present in Disney’s animated movies. Nevertheless, the story of a young man rising to a challenge against overwhelming odds combined with romance, mystical forces, self-sacrifice and, of course, cuddly creatures, make this standard Disney fare.

— George Haberberger

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ca. 1985