Black Holes have already inspired several books and countless magazine articles, both the most scholarly and the most sensational kinds. The Universe is vulnerable. Not even a hopeful ray of light can escape a Black Hole. It is the ultimate engine of destruction: mindless, menacing, inexorable. Taken seriously, this is a topic of conversation which can kill laughs at a party. The morbid appeal of this phenomenon is as compelling to the imagination as its gravity is to the giant suns which are drawn into its irrevocable darkness. And yet, when the folks at the Disney Studio set about to make a film on this weighty subject, they applied to it the same formula they used in making The Son of Flubber. The Black Hole is rife with cute, childish digressions and precious touches which would make Jiminy Cricket blush. It has been noted that Walt Disney convinced the world that mice, beady-eyed scavenging rodents, are really loveable, furry creatures. The Disney Studio has emasculated Black Holes in much the same way and has produced an awful film.
The special effects of The Black Hole are notable in at least one way; they were not created by the Oscar-winning team of Dykstra and Turnbull who have held a monopoly through their work on Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Trek, etc. Some of the Disney effects work adequately, others don't work at all; the best of them lack the dynamic technical brilliance of the Dykstra-Turnbull collaboration. At any rate, they cannot carry a film which is compromised in so many other ways.
In its theme and execution the film is characterized by reticence, a reluctance to commit wholeheartedly to a project and proceed with abandon. On a technical level, the Disney staff displayed an admirable but ill-advised inclination to do things their own way in a genre which was completely new to them. In the final analysis, The Black Hole is similar to its natural namesake. Nothing can escape from it either. Not a glimmer of imagination or inspiration. Perhaps if Pluto and Mickey hadn't been involved....