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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
2002 - G - 82 Mins.
Director: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook
Producer: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mireille Soria
Written By: John Fusco
Starring: Matt Damon, James Cromwell, Daniel Studi, Chopper Bernet, Jeff LeBeau
Review by: John Ulmer
   
“Spirit…” is the newest animated film from Dreamworks, who brought us the refreshingly reassuring “The Prince of Egypt,” and the forgettable “The Road to El Dorado.” Much like “The Road…” “Spirit…” is very average and nothing memorable.

It is the tale of Spirit, a stallion (never would have guessed!) who is captured by the savage white man. But, of course, the Indians, or “Native Americans” understand the horse, and capture it back from the evil white man to teach it to be free (?).

“Spirit…” has to be one of the most politically correct animated films that I have ever seen. It portrays whites as savage animals and Indians as caring protectors.

OK, I understand that whites did some bad things a few hundred years ago. It’s in human nature. But to portray whites the way they are in “Spirit…” is like portraying whites of the revolution as a bunch of ruthless Adolf Hitlers. The leader of the explorers is a gruff man who has no care for any of nature’s gifts. He leads a gang of explorers as, if not more, vicious than he himself. That’s what gets me about “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”

I now understand why the British hate “The Patriot” so much and Germans hate films like “Schindler’s List.” It’s hard to face facts about your descendants. The thing is, the Germans in “Schindler’s List” were very brutal; but what they did is mostly true. The British commander in “The Patriot” might have been overplayed, but they didn’t portray ALL the British as barbarians, just that one. In “Spirit…” all the white men are portrayed as barbarians. That’s what is so appalling about the film.

Apart from that minor detail, the film is decent. It is definitely nothing special, and just an average, emotionally-controlling drama, but it’s not awful. It’s worth a peek.

Matt Damon narrates the film, from the perspective of Spirit the Stallion. I like that they didn’t give Spirit an actual voice to interact with the other horses. It seems more realistic to have it narrated by an animal, like in “Black Beauty.” Animals talking to each other loses any aspect of…I don’t know, reality? I know it’s an animated film, but when an animated film is presented realistically in all other aspects and then they throw in talking animals…it works in some movies, let’s put it that way (“Bambi”).

All in all, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” is just average entertainment that I recommend for a one time viewing. It’ll entertain the kids, at least.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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