Spirit: Stallion Of TheReviewed by Jeffrey Rolo
Cimarron Movie Review
Animated movies are always a popular choice among children, but often the parents or adults that view the movies with their children do so as a selfless act. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is a rarity – it is not only an animated movie that adults will enjoy with children, it is a movie that an adult may very well choose to watch without children! Why? Read on...
The first thing I noticed when viewing Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in the theater (without children, I may add – my partner and I gladly went of our own volition) was the realism inherent in the film. The horses exhibited natural movements and body language. They spoke their own language. Horse. Not one horse spoke English. What a refreshing change!
Perhaps even more remarkable is the skillful manner in which the animators humanized the horses. Through whinnies, expressions and motions alone, the viewer is easily able to pick up a range of emotions such as pride, amusement and curiosity. Such animation is done in a manner where you know you're watching a cartoon, but at the same time it's not so far fetched that you become detached from the fact that these are horses!
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is the story of a fiercely proud stallion that is captured by cowboys that attempt to break him. The movie then continues to follow Spirit's plight as he battles to regain the freedom he once took for granted and return to his herd. Along the way he crosses paths with Little Creek, an Indian that shares much in common with the independent mustang. Although wary of humans due to the mistreatment he and other horses have suffered at their hands, Spirit slowly develops a friendship with Little Creek.
The movie's plot is by no means unique, but the gorgeous animation and adept handling of the illustrators more than make up for it, drawing the viewer deep into the movie. We find ourselves caring for the horses subjected to harsh treatment by their captors. We find ourselves cheering for Spirit as he defiantly resists their efforts to tame him. And most of all, we take delight in witnessing the successes he experiences along his journey.
I believe this film (rated G) is suitable for horse lovers of all ages, but I would like to caution parents of extremely young and sensitive views that some scenes depict harsh (thought not graphically so) treatment of horses and although their indomitable spirit does prevail, such scenes may be mildly disturbing. But this would be a rare case, for ultimately this is an inspiring film that applauds the spirit of freedom and the value of friendship.