Film: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

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Film:

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Director: Lorna Cook, Kelly Asbury
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Distributor: Dreamworks Video

Horse lovers young and old will celebrate this utterly enjoyable and marvelous-looking animated film. The titular stallion runs free in the Cimarron (New Mexico) wilderness until a series of men try to master the proud horse, leading to adventures through a U.S. Cavalry fort, Native American settlements, and a railroad camp. Despite a heavy dose of political correctness and realism (the animals don’t talk; we only hear Spirit’s internal monologue, voiced by Matt Damon), directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook give their hero many only-in-a-movie moments, including…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Horse lovers young and old will celebrate this utterly enjoyable and marvelous-looking animated film. The titular stallion runs free in the Cimarron (New Mexico) wilderness until a series of men try to master the proud horse, leading to adventures through a U.S. Cavalry fort, Native American settlements, and a railroad camp. Despite a heavy dose of political correctness and realism (the animals don’t talk; we only hear Spirit’s internal monologue, voiced by Matt Damon), directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook give their hero many only-in-a-movie moments, including an action sequence rivaling any of Rambo’s escapes. The stirring mix of 2-D and 3-D animation is absolutely stunning and aptly fueled by composer Hans Zimmer’s synthesized score. The film earns one demerit for ‘80s rocker Bryan Adams’s abundant songs—a different singer could have brought more to the film. Rated G but there is some rough treatment of horses shown, so nix the sensitive preschoolers. —Doug Thomas

Barnes and Noble

One of the best animated films of 2002, Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron is a stirring western saga told not from the perspective of a feisty mustang. Matt Damon is the voice of the hero who grows “from colt to stallion, racing with the eagle, soaring with the wind.” Spirit’s idyllic life as the leader of his herd is shattered when the U.S. Army captures him, and the defiant horse finds himself locked in a battle of wills with the fort’s stern Colonel (voiced by James Cromwell, the kindly farmer from Babe). Spirit refuses to be broken, and will let no man ride him until he meets a kindred soul, a Lakota brave named Little Creek. Things are better for Spirit on Little Creek’s reservation, but the stallion’s unquenchable longing for his home and herd lead him and the mare he loves to even greater adventures. Some of the film’s bravura set pieces—an eagle’s flight over a majestic landscape that rivals the opening of The Lion King, a spectacular train wreck, and a cliff-leaping escape—will set the hearts of animation buffs and horse lovers galloping. Bryan Adams supplies power ballads full of empowering messages that underscore the G-rated film’s politically correct tone, but Spirit does contain scenes of emotional upheaval and mistreatment that may disturb young foals. Donald Liebenson

Related Works

Album:Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: Music from the Motion Picture

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: Music from the Motion Picture

Bryan Adams, Hans Zimmer

After a two-year gap, Bryan Adams chose the animated movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron to make his triumphant return. The soundtrack is by no means a solo effort, but he has cowritten and sings on eight brand-new songs. Two of them are deemed so good they appear twice. The first of these, “Here I Am”, is an uplifting tune that plays as the film’s end credits. The other is the film’s finale, “I Will Always Return”, which seems like a statement on the artists’ career. Of the others, the most interesting is the duet with Sarah McLachlan on “Don’t Let…

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