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"SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON"
(2002) (voices of Matt Damon, Daniel Studi) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate *Heavy Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Heavy None *None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None Minor None Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Action/Adventure: A stallion encounters various perils in the American Old West after meeting humans for the first time.
PLOT:
As told by a narrator (voice of MATT DAMON) who voices the thoughts of the titular horse, we're taken back to the American Old West where Manifest Destiny is sending white men into regions previously inhabited only by Indians and animals. There, a foal is born that then grows up to be Spirit, the stallion leader of his herd.

He and the other horses live a free life, but that's about to change when he goes to investigate what turns out to be an overnight camp of some "two legged" humans. They quickly capture and return him to their fort where the stern Colonel (voice of JAMES CROMWELL) wants the stallion broken. When no one there can manage to do that, the Colonel orders that the horse be left out in the hot sun with no food or water for three days.

Eventually joined by Little Creek (voice of DANIEL STUDI), a captured Lakota Indian, Spirit finally seems broken, but then throws the Colonel who subsequently prepares to shoot the horse. Little Creek manages to free himself and rescue the horse, however, and the two race off to his tribal lands where Spirit meets a headstrong mare, Rain.

Spirit eventually learns that not all humans are bad, but does have more perilous encounters with various people who want to capture and use him as slave labor. From that point on, and with the aid of Little Creek, the horse tries to regain his freedom and return to his herd.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many younger kids will want to see it, especially if they're fond of horses or stories set in the Old West.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Although it's debatable how kids view animated characters, particularly non-human, non-talking ones, as role models, here's a quick look at the major characters.
  • SPIRIT is the stallion who doesn't want anything to do with humans, particularly when they capture and try to break him. Accordingly, he acts defiantly toward their goals.
  • LITTLE CREEK plays the American Indian who befriends and saves the horse and goes through various perilous encounters with him before setting him completely free.
  • THE COLONEL is a stern military man who briefly smokes and is resolved to break the stallion's spirit.
  • RAIN is the mare that belongs to Little Creek and befriends Spirit.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this animated action/adventure film that's been rated G. As in many such films, there are various scenes that may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to younger viewers, but that depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for/previous exposure to such material.

    Such scenes include attempts on horses' lives (such as a cougar attack and cavalrymen shooting at Spirit and his human Indian companion), various action-based perilous moments (such as two horses being swept through the rapids toward and over a high waterfall, and another where the stallion tries to outrun an out of control steam engine that's careening down a hill behind him), as well as other moments where Spirit is threatened, captured, restrained and/or seemingly broken by the men.

    Other violence includes the stallion hitting, kicking or tossing aside humans who try to capture, brand and/or break him. The white humans are portrayed as the villains with bad attitudes, while one man smokes and another sleeping/passed out man has a half empty bottle of booze near him.

    The rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a half empty bottle of what's presumably liquor of some sort lying on its side next to a sleeping man.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A soldier lands in a pile of what looks like manure.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The cavalrymen, led by the Colonel, are portrayed as being the villains for capturing and trying to break Spirit's spirit, as well as for capturing Little Creek, shooting at both, and later raiding an Indian camp.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Most of the following applies to younger kids who may not understand what's occurring or could find some of the material as unsettling, suspenseful or scary. The same holds true for scenes listed under "Violence."
  • We see a pregnant mare lying on the ground (younger kids might not initially realize she's about to give birth) looking exhausted/uncomfortable/pained (it finally gives birth, but there's nothing graphic and that's not fully seen).
  • We hear some thunderous sounds and see that the horses look scared and then run away, but then see that it's due to a large herd of buffalo that have arrived (and that don't act mean or menacing to Spirit as a colt).
  • Spirit (as an adult) spots a cougar slowly approaching two colts. The cat then charges them and one colt falls, but Spirit then intervenes and confronts the cougar, kicking at him. The cougar then jumps on his back with its claws out (but there's no blood or apparent wounds), and Spirit then flips over head first onto his back, smashing the cougar beneath him. He then rears up and nearly lands on the cougar that then runs away.
  • Some kids might not like a scene where various men (on horseback) chase after Spirit and eventually catch him by throwing lassoes around his neck and feet.
  • A man approaches Spirit (who's tied up) and prepares to brand him with a red-hot branding iron (no scary music), but Spirit head-butts him.
  • Kids might not like a sequence where Spirit is tied to a post out in the hot sun with orders that he not be given food or water for three days.
  • The Colonel aims his pistol at Spirit's head as if he's going to shoot him, but Little Creek suddenly knocks the Colonel's arm down. Spirit then races off with Little Creek holding on. A soldier prepares to fire his rifle at them, but Little Creek grabs it, shoots open a gate and they race out.
  • Spirit and Rain see the cavalry racing down a hill on horseback and approaching an Indian camp. Both go racing toward the onslaught where we see general chaos (but no actual violence other than cavalrymen pulling over some teepees). Spirit runs into another horse with a rider, while the Colonel aims and fires his pistol at Little Creek, causing him and Rain to fall into a fast-moving river. The Colonel prepares to shoot at them again, but Spirit runs into him, making him miss.
  • We then see Rain entering the rapids and looking quite panicked. Spirit eventually jumps in to rescue her and briefly does, but loses his footing under the water and both are then swept through the rapids toward a huge waterfall that both go over. After a few moments, we see Spirit come to the surface and he then finds Rain washed up on the shoreline. She looks near death and he tries to comfort her, but cavalrymen then capture Spirit and take him away (with one commenting, "Leave her there. She's not going to make it"). Kids will assume that the horse will die (but we later see that she's okay).
  • A man cracks a whip between a team of horses (to make them pull harder), but doesn't appear to hit any of them. Spirit then acts like he's dead (with some mules then dragging him off by his feet, but we see that he's just acting). After a chain lasso is thrown around his neck, Spirit flips one man aside and another fires a shot at the horse, but misses.
  • Spirit barely avoids being hit by a locomotive that nearly falls over on top of him. He then races down a hill with the locomotive sliding, crashing and careening just behind him. This goes on for a minute or two until the locomotive crashes into some sort of building and then another locomotive. That causes several explosions that then create a rapidly moving fire that Spirit tries to outrun. He does until the chain around his neck is caught on part of a large tree, leaving him dangling on the other side of it as the fire approaches (but Little Creek saves him). A large burning item nearly falls on them and the two then jump off a very tall cliff and land in the river below.
  • A cavalryman fires a rifle at Little Creek with one shot hitting the ground near him and another shot causes him to fall to the ground (although he doesn't appear to have been hit). Spirit then rescues him and they race off with the cavalry in pursuit on horseback. They then head into a canyon and ward off the various men (played in an action/adventure fashion), which eventually leads them onto some narrow trails high above the ground. A cavalryman then hits Little Creek and nearly knocks him from Spirit (he barely holds on above the precipice as Spirit gallops along the narrow trail). Moments later, a cavalryman fires a pistol at Spirit and Little Creek.
  • Finding themselves on the tiptop of a very tall rock formation (with the Colonel and his other men approaching), Spirit (with Little Creek riding on his back), then decides to jump a rather wide chasm and try to make it to safety. We then see them flying through the air in slow motion (not being sure if they'll make it, but they do). A cavalryman then prepares to fire a shot at them from the other side, but the Colonel stops him from doing so.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles: Carried by arm men and used to fire at Spirit and Little Creek in various scenes.
  • Cannons: Seen in a fort.
  • Spears/Tomahawks: Carried and briefly used by some Indians during a skirmish with the cavalry.
  • Knife: Seen flying through the air and landing near Little Creek who manages to grab it and free himself.
  • Dynamite: Used in an unsuccessful attempt to blow a hole/tunnel through a mountain.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: An incomplete "What the..?" and an incomplete "Son of a.."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous and adventurous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None, but there is an incomplete "Son of a..."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • The Colonel smokes a cigar in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Manifest Destiny and the film's view and portrayal of that.
  • How humans have used horses throughout time for various means.
  • We see a pregnant mare lying on the ground (younger kids might not initially realize she's about to give birth) looking exhausted/uncomfortable/pained (she finally gives birth, but there's nothing graphic and that's not fully seen).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Spirit (as an adult) spots a cougar slowly approaching two colts. The cat then charges them and one colt falls, but Spirit then intervenes and confronts the cougar, kicking at him. The cougar then jumps on his back with its claws out (but there's no blood or apparent wounds), and Spirit then flips over head first onto his back, smashing the cougar beneath him. He then rears up and nearly lands on the cougar that then runs away.
  • As men (on horseback) chase Spirit, the horse pulls one man from his ride (he crashes onto the ground). He then purposefully bumps into two others and causes another to jump out of the way when Spirit comes at him. A man eventually lassoes Spirit around the neck, causing the horse to fall down part of a rocky cliff. More men then lasso the horse around the neck and feet.
  • As a man attempts to cut Spirit's mane, the horse bites at his hand and/or shears. Spirit then purposefully crushes the man's hand/arm against a post and moments later kicks him on the butt. Spirit then kicks him in the face with a back leg, sending the man flying across the yard and giving him a black eye. The man then approaches Spirit (who's tied up) and prepares to brand him with a red-hot branding iron, but Spirit head-butts him and knocks him down.
  • We see a montage of men who try to break Spirit (by riding him) and see the horse throwing them about. He head-butts one backwards (rearing his head back to hit the rider) and throws another rider who lands on another man. None of the men, however, appear to be hurt.
  • Cavalrymen bring in Little Creek, accusing him of being a "hostile." With his arms tied behind his back, one throws him to the ground and he or another man grabs Little Creek by the hair and yanks his head backwards. They then tie to him to a post (just like Spirit).
  • The Colonel tries to break Spirit and occasionally jabs his spurs into the horse's sides. Meanwhile, Spirit smashes the Colonel's legs into the fence and then falls on his side (and onto the Colonel's leg), but neither appears to be hurt. After Spirit appears to be broken, he suddenly takes off, sending the Colonel flying through the air and then crashes through a fence.
  • The Colonel aims his pistol at Spirit's head as if he's going to shoot him, but Little Creek suddenly knocks the Colonel's arm down. Spirit then races off with Little Creek holding on. A soldier prepares to fire his rifle at them, but Little Creek grabs it, shoots open a gate and they race out (and we see, from a distance, a man being knocked backwards and onto the ground).
  • While tied together with a rope (so that Spirit will learn from Rain), the mare playfully pulls the rope under Spirit's legs, purposefully tripping him to the ground.
  • Spirit playfully knocks Little Creek off his back and to the ground and then charges two other men laughing at Little Creek and causes them to fall from a fence (neither are hurt). Later, Little Creek slaps Spirit on the rear to make him leave his paddock and be free.
  • Spirit and Rain see the cavalry racing down a hill on horseback and approaching an Indian camp. Both go racing toward the onslaught where we see general chaos (but no actual violence other than cavalrymen pulling over some teepees). Spirit runs into another horse with a rider, while the Colonel aims and fires his pistol at Little Creek, causing him and Rain to fall into a fast-moving river. The Colonel prepares to shoot at them again, but Spirit runs into him, making him miss. Spirit eventually ends up in the rapids with Rain and both are swept over a tall waterfall (and Rain appears near death afterwards on the shoreline).
  • After a chain lasso is thrown around his neck, Spirit flips one man aside while another fires a shot at the horse, but misses.
  • An out of control locomotive slides, crashes and careens down a hill (crashing through some trees) until it slams into a building of some sort and then another locomotive and explodes. That then causes an even larger explosion (we earlier saw people near the building right before the explosion, but don't know if any are injured or killed) that then sets the adjoining woods on fire.
  • A cavalryman fires a rifle at Little Creek with one shot hitting the ground near him and another shot causes him to fall to the ground (although he doesn't appear to have been hit). Spirit then rescues him and they race off with the cavalry in pursuit on horseback. They then head into a canyon and ward off the various men (played in an action/adventure fashion). During this, Little Creek picks up a large branch and wedges it between the walls, clotheslining one of the pursuers who's knocked from his ride. Another rider is hit by a low overpass and eventually falls from his ride.
  • A cavalryman then hits Little Creek and nearly knocks him from Spirit (he barely holds on above the precipice as Spirit gallops along the narrow trail). Little Creek then kicks that man in the face and knocks him from his ride.
  • A cavalryman fires a pistol at Spirit and Little Creek.



  • Reviewed May 11, 2002 / Posted May 24, 2002

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