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* AlasPoorScrappy: Gurgi sacrifices himself to destroy the Cauldron Born Army, but he is resurrected.
* AnticlimaxBoss: [[spoiler:Despite all the build up the character had, the Horned King doesn't put up much of a fight before he is sucked into the cauldron: He lunges unarmed at Taran and grabs him, showing no display of powers or fighting abilities whatsoever, and is killed when Taran pushes him in the general direction of the cauldron.]]
* CompleteMonster: The Horned King is a dark, terrifying, power-hungry [[OurLichesAreDifferent lich]] tyrant with a [[AGodAmI god complex]] and absolutely NoSenseOfHumor (a rare case for a Disney villain which makes him more creepy). He plans to obtain the powers of the eponymous Cauldron in order to raise [[NightOfTheLivingMooks an army of undead skeletons]] to rule the world and so destroy thousands of human lives. He stops at nothing to achieve his goal, even if it means kidnapping and/or killing an innocent girl or a harmless little pig, or [[BadBoss harvesting his own perfectly loyal men to make more skeletal warriors]]. When it seems the Cauldron might need another body he immediately decides to sacrifice his most sycophantic servant to it. He also has a bit of an ego to him since his motive behind conquering the world is forcing all of humanity to worship him as a god. Because the mindless Cauldron Born turn their enemies into more of themselves, he's planning to [[TheNecrocracy turn the world into a graveyard so he can be king of the dead]] if he can't be king of the living.
* CounterpartComparison: With Link. Predating ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' by a year, Taran wears clothes and carries a sword strikingly similar to those of Link in his very early years. Plus looting dungeons, working well with animals, wielding a magic sword, having to stop a very old BigBad from getting an artifact of great power, and breaking lots of pots. Also, Eilonwy seems to be this to Zelda.
** Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis seem to have taken inspiration from Gurgi's voice and mannerisms...
* CultClassic: One of the few films in DisneyAnimatedCanon to earn this
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The Horned King. Even if the movie failed at the box office and is one of the lesser known Disney feature films, The Horned King is a cult favorite within the Disney fandom and many times is compared with the likes of Maleficent and Chernabog. Probably the only reason why this movie is his only appearance within the Disney universe is because he's NightmareFuel incarnate and so would traumatize younger viewers in further appearances. Fans have even already demanded Disney to let The Horned King to make a main appearance in future ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' games. Being played by Creator/JohnHurt probably has quite a bit to do with it. He had a cameo in ''HouseOfMouse'', for what that's worth.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: In France, it was the fifth greatest success of 1985.
** And [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff Japanese Love the Horned King]]: Popular enough to appear in several video games as the Final Boss and to be the center of the Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour at Tokyo Disneyland. Heck, if anything, he's a constant throw in for a possible Kingdom Hearts villain for what it's worth.
* HilariousInHindsight: Most of the violence and death in the movie (both what was allowed to be shown and what was left on the cutting room floor) these days wouldn't be out of place on CartoonNetwork's ''AdventureTime''.
* NightmareRetardant: The Horned King's theme music is frightening--until that theremin kicks in and makes the sound of a B-movie slide whistle.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Everyone seems to think ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'''s Ariel started the trend of assertive Disney heroines -- see the RebelliousPrincess entry. But it started with Eilonwy here. Glen Keane, who later made Ariel, even designed her.
** Same with Taran and three-dimensional Disney characters; he has a very flawed personality, but because of that, a very human one.
* QualityByPopularVote: it could be argued that the film has suffered from this. Because it was unpopular in the theaters, it's been severely underrated. Although there is good reason it was unpopular in theaters. Many, if not all, characters in the movie are considered to be the [[{{Scrappy}} Scrappies]] of the Disney Universe, with Gurgi and Creeper being the most universal. It doesn't help that the plotting and pacing of the movie is ''quite'' inconsistent and it seems to lack a proper theme.
** [[EnsembleDarkhorse The Horned King]] being the exception
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Gurgi, once he makes his HeroicSacrifice.
* {{Squick}}: Orwen's unsettling attraction to Fflewddur.
* ToyShip: Eilonwy and Taran.
* TrueNeutral: The three witches. They're more concerned with serving their own goals than getting involved in the war between good and evil happening just outside their swamp. It's possible that this is the very reason they were appointed to guard the Black Cauldron in the first place--they have no interest in using it, only having it, and it's apparently completely safe from the Horned King so long as it's theirs. The only nasty thing they do is transform people into frogs and [[ImAHumanitarian eat them]], but judging by their actions, it's possible they only do that to intruders.
* UglyCute: Creeper.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: ''Most definitely not''. Or at least not originally intended to be before the ExecutiveMeddling. Adverts [[MisaimedMarketing lured kids in with a light-hearted fantasy adventure of wonder and magic]]. The actual product is nothing like that. Still didn't stop it from getting a Universal - suitable for everyone rating in the UK though (it got a PG rating in the US). Yeah... you might wanna run that classification check through again guys.
* TheWoobie: Gurgi, to some.
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