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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Back in 1945 Roy Rogers made a film called Don't Fence Me In; the song of the same name describes the desire to ride free in the American west. Spirit: The Stallion of the Cimarron brings that concept to the animated screen from the point of view of a independence loving, courageous horse.

With great beauty drawn from the spectacular west as background and stunning movement on the part of the stallion and other horses directors Kelly Asbury, a 19-year veteran in animation, and Lorna Cook with more than 25 years in  the field bring us a stunning visual with an interesting story narrated by Matt Damon from the stallion's view of the world.

The mustang Spirit who starts his life with other horses on the American frontier first encounters man when he is captured, but his captors can't break him as he defies being broken.  The Colonel, voiced by James Cromwell who will soon be seen in Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears, looks like a General Custer with long blond hair who is determined to control the spirit of the mustang who looks the Colonel down at each encounter.

Daniel Studi, the voice of a Lakota Indian called Little Creek, brings experience growing up around horses to his role resulting in an understanding that "Some things aren't meant to be conquered."  Along with a paint called Rain, Little Creek and Spirit break free and are lead to more exciting and stunning adventures, in a roaring river and on a mountain where a locomotive engine is being pulled up by a large herd of captured horses.

Wisely the horse Spirit doesn't talk, he simply narrates.  A talking horse is a comedy.  "Mr. Ed" and "Francis the Talking Mule" could not play in this adventure which depicts the emotions of the horses through body motion, neck position and piercing eyes.

Using a mix of computer and traditional animation techniques that blend smoothly produces a film with great beauty along with a touching story that reaches out best to young children as it draws in adults even if they won't admit it.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

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