Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence
sterlingnorth

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

They had a sneak preview of Spirit in area theatres today. And surprisingly enough, despite eschewing the musical format of Disney animated features (prior to Atlantis) it shares more of a heritage with them than with Dreamworks other features. It isn't self-conscious and sardonic like prior Dreamworks animated features. It is simply an engrossing story about the travails of a wild stallion in the old west.

I'm trying not to spoil the movie with my review, but I'm a tyro at this, so I may screw up. Let this be a warning before you click to continue. If you have any comments on how I can improve future reviews, click here and leave a comment.


Begin Review

The story follows the adventures of a wild stallion in the 19th century west. As narrated occasionally, but somewhat intrusively by Matt Damon -- the inner voice of Spirit -- the story begins when he notices the gradual encroachment of humanity on the vast fields his herd lives on. This curiosity leads him to become captured by the Union Cavalry, where the lead officer tries (unsuccessfully) to break him in to ride him. At the fort, Spirit befriends a Lakota Indian man who helps free him from the Calvary but only to try to tame him himself. Eventually Spirit falls in love with a filly who is loyal to Lakota, and gets the chance to save Lakota's life, only to be captured once again by the Union Calvary, this time to be part of the pack that is building a railroad line that threatens his homeland.

The visuals are stunning and the CGI scenes blend in rather seamlessly with the hand-painted animation. The story is rather fast-paced with lots of twists and cliffhangers. A refreshing change is that the animals don't talk (with the exception of the occasional thought from Spirit), so all of the emotions are told through facial expressions. This is a simple and engaging story that will delight children and their parents.

(*** 1/2 out of 5 stars)

My two paragraph review is above.
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