*** This is a user-submitted post by Rey Capitan. ***
I recently rewatched Disney’s The Black Couldron, only it wasn’t so much like watching it for a second time, but watching it for the first time with a vague sense of familiarity. You know what I’ talking about—when you watch a movie from your infancy and get a mysterious sense of déjà vu. Before starting the film, you have no recollection of any particular line or scene, but as you watch the story unfold, you’re just like “Oooh… I remember this.”
This was exactly the feeling I had when I pressed play on my Amazon rental of Disney’s The Black Couldron. The opening scene features young pig herder, Taran, who dreams of becoming a valiant knight. His boring life is almost immediately interrupted when he learns that Hen-Wen, the adorable pig he cares for, has a foreseeing ability and can display her visions in the water’s reflection. Taran’s father figure, Dallben, urges him to run away with Hen-Wen and keep her safe from the Horned King, who wants to use her powers to locate the Black Cauldron and animate his skeleton army.
It isn’t long before Taran gets distracted and loses sight of the little pig, to the horror of the viewer (seriously, I was all-in emotionally invested by this point). It’s so painful to watch. I was just like, “Nooooooo! You had one job, Taran! C’mon!”
He’s searching for Hen-Wen when a mischievous little fellow turns up, seemingly out of nowhere, and steals an apple from the boy, completely thrilled.
What I love about Gurgi, aside from his silly nature and big blue eyes, is his vulnerability and how he admits to his flaws. When Taran has to go into the Horned King’s castle to save Hen-Wen, he doesn’t pretend to be courageous and go with him, as a good sidekick should. He urges Taran not to go; he doesn’t want to see his new friend (whom he’d literally just met moments before) hurt or killed. Of course, Taran goes anyway, and Gurgi watches him leave with a terrible sadness in his eyes, saying to himself, “If great lord [Taran] go into evil castle, poor Gurgi will never see his friend again. Nope, never.”
Gurgi cares. I don’t think he’d be nearly as appealing as a character if he were indifferent. We immediately fall in love with Gurgi because he cares about Taran, even after Taran calls him a “greedy little thing” and chastises him for stealing the apple. His fear paralyzes Gurgi from being any kind of hero, but he’s honest, and he wants Taran’s safety. When their paths cross again, he’s thrilled to see his “great lord”, Taran, again.
Taran, on the other hand, is less than pleased. Still, Gurgi is loyal, and eventually (*spoiler alert*) sacrifices everything in the name of loyalty and friendship. He’s a true friend, and my new favorite Disney character, hands down. Not because he’s fearless, but because he’s honest, silly, and extremely caring.
Trust me, just watch (or rewatch) the movie. It’s worth it. And anyone who says they didn’t shed a tear is either a liar or a member of the Horned King’s undead army. I mean, just look at that little face.
What do you think of Gurgi? A true friend or an annoying sidekick? Sound off below!
Edited by: Kelly Conley