Jeff's Review of Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron
The follow-up to the last huge Dreamworks animated smash, Shrek, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron might be a sleeper hit since it appeals to the same audience that loved movies like Lion King and Bambi. Me being the family guy I am, I took the kids to see this one with, at first, LOW expectations. However, I made the mistake of listening to critics over the past few days who claimed this movie was a sleeper hit. My expectations rose, but were not met. It's a beautiful piece of artwork, but there is more to it than that. Or should I say LESS to it than that?
Spirit is unique in that the songs Bryan Adams contributed to the movie are placed at points in the movie that tell a bit of the story. Unlike Lion King, Bambi, etc., the animals do not talk. This was one of the interesting parts of the movie, along with beautiful artwork of the Western (specifically Montana-esque) landscape. On a large screen, you really see a beautiful three-dimensional backdrop to Spirit's story.
However, the interest ends there. The story is short and essentially weak. It's a wonder these stories even get the green light. I thought that when I saw the previews. The movie looked plain stupid. However, it is much sweeter than I had anticipated and I was able to sit through it completely due to its short duration.
The story is, at times, narrated by Matt Damon. It takes the audience through the birth and quick growth from young colt to strapping stallion. As you can guess (and what seems to be the theme lately...see Ice Age.), humans enter the picture and begin rocking the boat. American military men capture Spirit and try to break the mustang. Unfortunately, this horse has "spirit" (yuck) and cannot be broken. Spirit befriends a Native American, also captured by the military. Together they work to free themselves of their captors and find their way home.
That is essentially it.
As you can guess, they find their way home. The lead military man, voiced by veteran actor James Cromwell, who arrogantly claims he can break any horse, finally yields to the stallion in a ridiculous ending scene where the horse and human exchange nods of respect as each walk off into the sunset.
The movie is flat out dumb. It's a waste of money and a waste of time. Again, the only nice things are the artwork and the fact that the animals do not talk. Otherwise, save your time and money. It will be on cable soon.