Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)



Critic Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.

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Movie Info

Screenwriter John Fusco returns to the Western themes of his previous films Young Guns and Thunderheart with this animated children's adventure from Dreamworks. Matt Damon supplies the voice of Spirit, a wild Mustang stallion living free in the Old West of the late 19th century, where he's captured by human horse traders and sold to a cavalry regiment at a frontier outpost. There, a cruel colonel (voice of James Cromwell) nearly succeeds in breaking the willful horse, but not quite. Spirit escapes in the company of another captive, Little Creek (voice of Daniel Studi), a Native American youth that tries to possess the magnificent animal by more humane means, but Spirit refuses to bend to human will even when he makes the acquaintance of Little Creek's beautiful and fiercely loyal mare, Rain. After he saves Little Creek's life in an Army raid, Spirit believes that the gravely injured Rain has perished after a tumble over a waterfall. Despondent, the horse is captured again by humans, enslaved this time for work in a pack team on the transcontinental railroad. Undaunted by the tragedies that befall him, Spirit manages to escape for a reunion with Little Creek, Rain, and his long-lost brethren. Featuring songs by rock singer Bryan Adams, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron departs from other examples of its genre in that the horse protagonists do not speak or sing; only Spirit's voice is heard as voice-over narration.
Animation , Drama , Kids & Family
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Matt Damon
as Spirit
James Cromwell
as The Colonel
Daniel Studi
as Little Creek
Chopper Bernet
as Sgt. Adams
Jeff LeBeau
as Murphy
John Rubano
as Soldier
Michael Horse
as Little Creek's Friends
Adam Paul
as Pete
Zahn McClarnon
as Little Creek's Friends
Meredith Wells
as Little Indian Girl
Don Fullilove
as Train Pull Foreman
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Critic Reviews for Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (32)

There's nothing thrilling or new about the work here, but accomplished it is.

Full Review… | June 10, 2008
Top Critic

Spirit is smarter than your average cartoon because it doesn't try to joke around with a host of annoying talking animals.

Full Review… | December 25, 2007
Denver Post
Top Critic

There's not much of a story, the whole thing's a bit superficial, and there's little to laugh at, but it's still a refreshing change from the norm.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An exciting and exquisitely rendered film in which the horse goes through as many adventures and perils as Indiana Jones on a good day.

November 4, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

A welcome family film that extols noble values and offers first-class animation.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Rather exciting, rendered in a bright sunset palette and a mixture of expressive, boldly drawn traditional animation and fluid computer-generated imagery.

Full Review… | June 1, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron


I really feel this film was lost potential. what I mean by that is that this film has one extremely fatal fault. It's the fact that the main character has a narration but doesn't talk. Now I like it that this film has a non-talking animal for once, but what is the point of giving him a narrative then if he isn't gonna talk? you already have him convey emotions well without dialogue with his facial expressions. But even then, they humanize the horse way too much, to the point that it just becomes distracting and I would've wanted him to talk. I feel that might've been what they originally had planned but scrapped it for some reason. Also the film is really also not all that interesting, the neighing gets old REALLY fast, and it's not very engaging. Many characters aren't interesting, and the music sounds far too, well, 80s sounding that it just feels off for this kind of film. The only thing I really like about the film is the villain played by James Cromwell, who plays a great bastard but actually has his limits, and I do like how the villain isn't killed off, in fact the villain knows he's beat and gives up, which I don't see in a lot of films. Other than that, it's just a bore. It has too many distracting features, characters aren't interesting, and it isn't well paced at all. I think more kids would be bored with Spirit than find it really funny or engaging. While it isnt the worst Dreamworks has done, it's not their best.

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] I loved this movie when I first saw it and It would be great too see a sequel. It has some of the best, most well crafted animation techniques i've evr seen in an animated film. Its heartwarming and in it's dark moments it might even make you cry.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


It was okay. Not amazing, had me bored a ton. Story is good though. Grade: C-

Matt Goodman
Matt Goodman

Super Reviewer

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