It was bound to happen. After 52 years of sweetness and light, Mickey Mouse has grown up. Walt Disney Studios has earned its first PG rating for a full-length animated film. The $25-million, 70mm BLACK CAULDRON unleashes enough impact in some sequences to warrant the cautionary initials—without baring a breast, uttering an expletive or removing a beating human heart. The film opens July 26.
BLACK CAULDRON has been a twelve-year project at Disney, though producer Joe Hale says thats not unusual—preliminary sketches and storyboarding for PETER PAN existed 18 years before its release. Hale has been in charge of the project for the last four years, and it was his guidance, along with directors Art Stevens, Ted Berman, and Richard Rich, that nudged the animators into a graphic departure from standard Disney fare.