While The Black Cauldron may be related to its innocuous, light-hearted Disney Cousins, it subverts them by being full of Nightmare Fuel beyond most children's comprehension.
- One of the most effective Jump Scares of all time, when Taran is sneaking around a guard... and is caught by the guard's dog, who barks extremely loudly and out of nowhere in a silent scene.
- It does it again after Taran finds the magic sword. As he's looking for Eilonwy—again, in a quiet scene—a guard leaps out of nowhere with a roar and tries to cut his head off.
- The Horned King's army of the dead: Sweet dreams◊.
- When the Horned King puts a cauldron-born skeleton into the cauldron, it starts to leak blood. Not only that, a skeleton face shows up at the top.
- In order to stop the cauldron, someone living has to jump into it and die themselves.
- The last few parts of the film where the cauldron-born attack a group of soldiers. It is heavily implied that they have killed them. One could be forgiven for thinking the skeletons ate the soldiers, zombie-style.
- Henwen almost has an Eye Scream moment when Creeper wants to burn her eye out with a coal. Later, her head is nearly cut off by an axe.
- Taran's face is smashed into the ground by winged demons, causing his mouth to bleed for a shot.
- The Horned King himself. He's an undead sorcerer who wants to raise an army of dead warriors to destroy everyone. Yeah, he's totally not scary at all.
- The Horned King's death by having his flesh stripped from his bones and then burn up.
- Some of the original scenes were cut out such as this scene, where a man is dissolved by the mist until there is nothing left of him but a skeleton.
- The Big Bad, the Horned King, is all by himself one of the most horrific Disney villains, being a skull-faced, brown-robed nightmare with horns and the menacing voice of John Hurt. But then you add the warrior skeletons reanimated by the Black Cauldron, the Cauldron Born, who lurch out of the cauldron, attacking anyone in the way. They shamble inexorably from the Horned King's castle to slaughter all in their path, and boy, do they not skimp on the slaughter and death in this movie. It ended up needing several cuts to avoid an R rating, and that still left in some of the blood.
In one of these missing shots, an undead warrior spawned by the title cauldron gorily slices through an unsuspecting villager. In the other, one of the villain's more disposable henchmen gets a dose of cauldron-born mist and dissolves quite messily.note
- To quote website Topless Robot, here's two of the scenes that Disney cut out of the movie:
- In the climax of the castle tour attraction at Tokyo Disneyland, you face the Horned King and get to watch him as he raises the skeletons lying on the battlefield in front of you as Cauldron Born. And it takes place inside a dark cavern. With realistic audio-animatronics. It's as terrifying as it sounds.