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Overall Rating

Awesome: 29.23%
Worth A Look36.92%
Average: 6.15%
Pretty Bad: 9.23%
Total Crap: 18.46%

4 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
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by EricDSnider

"As comfortable and gentle as a warm cup of tea made out of Mr. Rogers."
4 stars

"Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" is as simple and innocent a movie as you can imagine. It's hard to believe it was made in the 21st century, without a trace of irony or self-awareness. This is a movie you can trust.

It is the story of a wild horse whom various people try to tame but who ultimately can live only as a free spirit. It is a cartoon, but the animals do not talk (though we do hear the thoughts of one of them, provided in narration by Matt Damon); neither is there rampant goofiness or improbability. Except for the horses' unnaturally expressive faces, early everything that occurs in the film could have been done with live actors and real animals.

So it's sort of surprising, then, that it comes off as richly entertaining as it does, and that it holds the interest of the children it's aimed at. (Due to some scary moments, it may be too intense for very young children.) There are occasional bursts of humor, and more than a few thoroughly exciting action sequences. There are also lessons of love and loyalty, taught simply enough that anyone can understand them: If someone saves your life, you need to save theirs, too.

The horse, who has no name until the end of the film, leads his herd in what eventually would be called the Old West, but which now is mostly unsettled, pre-Civil War territory. He is first captured by a group of American soldiers, and later is befriended by an Indian lad (voice of Daniel Studi). For a good deal of the time, he sets domesticated horses free as much as he can, like an equestrian Harriet Tubman. Then there is danger and peril and romance, and it all turns out OK in the end.

This is a gorgeous-looking film, created in Cinemascope widescreen -- unusual for an animated film, as it means having to draw about 40 percent more than for a normal-sized film. The panoramic landscapes are beautiful, the animation is fluid. I could look at this movie all day.

Bryan Adams provides way too many songs on the soundtrack, usually paralleling the action. When the soldiers have captured Spirit and are trying to ride him, there's a song called "Get off My Back." One Bryan Adams song in a movie is probably enough; this one has seven.

It is not a classic. The story is blessedly simple, and that may also be what keeps it from taking up permanent residence in our memories. But on a single viewing, it gallops and soars and delights.

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originally posted: 05/25/02 07:17:25
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User Comments

10/19/15 WALTER The best animated film since The Lion King. 5 stars
8/04/12 Brittany Davis This animated movie lands squarely in the "strictly for kids" animated film 2 stars
11/19/07 Tiffany Losco I loved it. Great 5 stars
2/17/07 Tomara Cook I love it soo soo much it rocks 5 stars
12/17/06 David Cohen Dull and overly enamored with its own pretennsions 2 stars
3/12/06 Shaun Wallner Good Movie 3 stars
6/06/05 Kieran One of the greatest movies ever made. Bryan Adams soundtrack was special. Spirit rules. 5 stars
11/24/04 Ashley I love it 5 stars
9/21/04 Helen Bradley Brilliant 5 stars
8/14/04 N.P.D. Technically good. But has a lack of character and plot is cliched. Only for kids (girls). 2 stars
7/14/04 amit show animation 5 stars
6/22/04 horse crazed gurl if they wanted the movie to be more real they wouldn't have spirit lap up water like a dog 4 stars
6/01/04 Sean Scanlan Well 3 stars
5/14/04 derfroy best animatiom ever, gripping story with music to tell the tail of a horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/25/04 Carla cartoons arent always boring and kid-y, this was good 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 i dont really like cartoons but was pleasantly surprised 4 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Good 4 stars
2/09/04 kay kay i tough it was the best 5 stars
1/20/04 Crystal One of the BEST movies 5 stars
1/16/04 Sana it was a really great movie with a great moral that some ppl are too shallow to see. 5 stars
12/23/03 Chris It was terrfic to see a film define the genre but it got boring after a while. 3 stars
11/24/03 Sihuhe Everybody who don't like this film is stupid. This film is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/30/03 Briana Dunne I totally am in LOVE with this movie, every horse lover needs to see it! It's awsome! 5 stars
8/30/03 Kristin C. this movie rocks. im 13 and love it. it makes me feel spirited, and it's soudtrack rocks 5 stars
7/30/03 Jon Lyrik Annoyingly PC, overused 3D animation, terrible music, flatly written, dull. 2 stars
7/08/03 Alice Very nice. 4 stars
6/06/03 Gray not ONE of the soldiers was an ok guy?!! BS! 1 stars
4/19/03 Ubu the Ripper Even my kids hated this mindless excuse to squander talent. 1 stars
10/14/02 Katharina Merkel Spirit is a great movie which is touching and funny at one time! You'll love it!!! :) 5 stars
9/26/02 Charlotte McSweeney Spirit is fantastic 5 stars
9/08/02 Carla Metzger So squeakily politically correct, even horse-lovers should revolt! 1 stars
9/06/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite So politically correct that title character has to fart out wrong end; 1 stars
8/15/02 Gary Woodhouse Kids loved it, nice mix of animation & CGI. You get involved with characters, I even cried! 4 stars
7/09/02 orpy naaaaayyyyyy, whiiinnnnyyyyy 3 stars
6/25/02 Black Beauty Drivel - Bryan Adams is Elton John 1 stars
6/14/02 spaceworm I dunno, that soaring eagle looked like a comic sidekick to me... 4 stars
5/28/02 devon White I agree with Vidmar for once. Enough is enough 1 stars
5/27/02 Alex Furrow beautiful animation with bland songs and a boring, uninspired and predictable story. 2 stars
5/25/02 J I'm suprisingly going with Bob Atkins on this one. 5 stars
5/24/02 Bob Atkins beautiful American grandeur 5 stars
5/23/02 Veronica Foxx I detest those fourlegged creations of Satan. All that naying & shit got f'n annoying fast 2 stars
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Directed by
  Kelly Asbury

Written by
  John Fusco

  Matt Damon
  Bryan Adams
  James Cromwell
  Daniel Studi

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