Ted Berman

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The Black Cauldron Review


Very Good
Disney didn't make a PG-rated animated film until 1985; this is it, The Black Cauldron, Disney's 25th animated feature. The film successfully skews toward older kids, but it's not too much for the little ones. The story is one of the better ones from this era (predating Disney's 1990s renaissance), involving a boy who does battle with the Horned King as he attempts to destroy, well, a magic pot that would give the King the power to raise an army of the dead. That a kidnapped pig plays a central plot point is irrelevant, this is simple (and simply-animated) Disney fun. John Hurt's gravelly voice of the Horned King steals the show.

The Rescuers Review


OK
I'm sorry, but The Rescuers simply can't cut it as an animated classic. It's barely even an also-ran, though the superiority of its sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, makes it worth a look for completists. (Most notable is the fact that troublemaking animators inserted a nude woman into a fleeting shot as the mice are flying through the town -- alas, it's been excised from the new DVD release.)

The story is classic Disney, which is to say, it's pretty typical and lacking any real surprise. The Rescuers are a group of mice working out of the United Nations. They pledge to help anyone in need, and when a "HELP" message-in-a-bottle washes up, the mice send two of their group to the rescue. Why they pick the prissy Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) and accident-prone city mouse Mr. Bernard (Bob Newhart) is a bit of a mystery.

Continue reading: The Rescuers Review

The Black Cauldron Review


Very Good
Disney didn't make a PG-rated animated film until 1985; this is it, The Black Cauldron, Disney's 25th animated feature. The film successfully skews toward older kids, but it's not too much for the little ones. The story is one of the better ones from this era (predating Disney's 1990s renaissance), involving a boy who does battle with the Horned King as he attempts to destroy, well, a magic pot that would give the King the power to raise an army of the dead. That a kidnapped pig plays a central plot point is irrelevant, this is simple (and simply-animated) Disney fun. John Hurt's gravelly voice of the Horned King steals the show.

Continue reading: The Black Cauldron Review

The Rescuers Review


OK
I'm sorry, but The Rescuers simply can't cut it as an animated classic. It's barely even an also-ran, though the superiority of its sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, makes it worth a look for completists. (Most notable is the fact that troublemaking animators inserted a nude woman into a fleeting shot as the mice are flying through the town -- alas, it's been excised from the new DVD release.)

The story is classic Disney, which is to say, it's pretty typical and lacking any real surprise. The Rescuers are a group of mice working out of the United Nations. They pledge to help anyone in need, and when a "HELP" message-in-a-bottle washes up, the mice send two of their group to the rescue. Why they pick the prissy Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) and accident-prone city mouse Mr. Bernard (Bob Newhart) is a bit of a mystery.

Continue reading: The Rescuers Review

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