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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)



Reviews and Comments

Ever since The Prince of Egypt, DreamWorks has risen as a leading competitor to Disney in family-oriented animated films. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is another in a blooming line of successes. This is no soppy children's tale of anthropomorphic animals and comic sidekicks: it's a sound, absorbing story of a horse that, in general, actually acts like a horse, yet which the animators manage to make as expressive as any speaking human character. It pulls no punches in the dramatic moments, and there are a number of sequences with some liberating visuals.

It is not flawless. There are moments when Spirit does things horses couldn't do, and I didn't like -- although in the context of the story I understood -- the simplification of depicting all domesticated horses as downtrodden and unhappy. (The cruel breaking practices of the old West were quite accurate; but once tamed, horses were generally treated well.) Nor was I keen on most of the voice-overs, which unnecessarily narrate plot points we can see for ourselves.

Details. Spirit is fresh, energetic, and sincere, and that was more than enough to keep my eyes fixed on the screen.