out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
|*Also starring: ||Daniel Studi, Bryan Adams||
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is a pioneer of unconventional,
contemporary animation, combining 2D (traditional hand-drawn artistry) with
computer technology and coming up with a seamless hybrid that frees the camera
to capture complex action along with intimate close-ups.
"Spirit" is a tale of freedom in the Old West - from a horse's point of
view. Since horses can't talk, Spirit's thoughts are either expressed through
animation or narrated by Matt Damon, punctuated by Bryan Adams' songs. A playful
and curious mustang colt, Spirit is part of a Cimarron herd in a wild, uncharted
territory that's filled with magnificent canyons and vistas. He runs free,
racing with an eagle, until, one night, he spies a campfire in the distance.
When he goes to investigate, he's captured by scouts for the U.S. Cavalry. But
not even the cruel Colonel (James Cromwell) can break the indomitable stallion
into submission. Defiantly, Spirit escapes from the fort with Little Creek
(Daniel Studi), a young Lakota brave. In Little Creek's camp, he becomes
enamored with a paint mare named Rain. But, once again, the Cavalry interferes.
Rain is gravely injured and Spirit is sent to a railroad work camp, where - in
an action-packed sequence - he deliberately causes a locomotive to crash down a
steep incline, erupting into an explosion that ignites a forest fire. Directors
Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook keep the tumultuous action flowing, beginning with
Spirit's first scary encounter with a hungry wildcat. John Fusco's script is
banal, if politically correct, with no barbed humor to amuse adults in the
audience. Nevertheless, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Spirit: Stallion
of the Cimarron" ropes you in with a creatively innovative 7, answering the
question: What's good for youngsters to see this weekend?
Copyright © 2002 Susan Granger
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