The story begins in the year 2122, onboard the commercial towing vessel, the Nostromo. Its mostly blue-collar crew, five men and two women, are awakened prematurely while still in deep space from their cryogenic slumber en route back to Earth. The reason for their early disturbance has to do with the company’s policy to investigate potential alien life forms, so when what appears to be an SOS signal is being transmitted from a moon in their relative vicinity, their overriding primary mission is changed to checking out the situation. Upon landing on the desolate planet, the scientists discover what appears to be eggs containing another form of life, one of which hatches and latches itself to one of the crew. Unable to remove the creature, it is brought back on board the Nostromo, where it grows at a rapid pace to become one of the deadliest killing machines humankind has ever faced. Alien would make a star out of Sigourney Weaver, and Ridley Scott one f the most sought-after directors in Hollywood.
1985’s THE BLACK CAULDRON represents Disney at its nadir as an animation studio, resulting in a box office failure and years of obscurity. It’s first PG-rated animated feature struggled to find an audience clamoring for its dark and violent tones. However, it has garnered a significant cult following over the years, with its tales of swords, sorcerers, and black magic-infused battles brought to life with stunning visuals that incorporate the studios first forays into computer-generated elements into its hand-drawn animated cels. Does it deserve obscurity, or is it about time to reappraise a hidden gem in Disney’s vast and storied filmography?