Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

spirit stallion of the cimarron poster 2002 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting choice not have talking animal characters

Simple children's story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Family

Release Date(s):  May 24, 2002

MPAA Rating:  G


Stallion vs. Eagle? ‘Merica!!!!

Spirit is the leader of his people.  When he is captured by settlers, he finds himself pulled from his home of freedom to a fort where men try to break him.  Escaping with a young Lakota Native American named Little Creek, Spirit experiences kindness from a human for the first time and meets a female horse named Rain.  When Spirit is captured once again, he must fight for freedom but his allegiance to Little Creek could mean losing his freedom forever.

Directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook, Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron is an animated family film.  The movie was released to mostly positive reviews but some controversy from critics who felt the movie had revisionist history in its portrayal of Native Americans and settlers.  The movie featured narration by Matt Damon and music by Bryan Adams and Hans Zimmer.  Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron was nominated for Best Animated Feature in the 75th Academy Awards (losing to Spirited Away).


I will break you like I broke the American West!!!

Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron is kind of a weird movie.  It is weird in that it has little dialogue.  Unlike most animal movies, the horses of the film only make horse noises.  It is for this reason and this reason only that I will say that Spirit does stand above some other animated movies and raises it past a simple children’s film.

The idea of a dialogue-less movie for children is a scary concept so the filmmakers did bring in a narrator to be Spirit’s voice at points.  I would have enjoyed Spirit not having any dialogue and not understanding human voices (or at least Little Creek speaking in his native tongue), but I realize that it would have been too far out for movie aimed at children and the plot of Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron is a children’s plot.


Horses could fly before the U.S. destroyed America* (*horses could not actually fly)

The story is a very simple telling of Western expansionism and strongly resembles Disney’s Pocahontas in tone.  The U.S. soldiers are essential evil and the Native Americans are good.  It obviously wasn’t that cut and dry, but the movie doesn’t really feel like clouding the issue since it is for kids.  The movie does have enough adventure and Spirit is a good “lead” to keep the kids interested and probably less involved in the undertones of the story.

With rather strong traditional animation and a different approach to the animal story, Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron was better than I thought it would be.  At a short running time, it is a quick watch and kids that like horses will probably enjoy it (and it isn’t too traumatizing in the end).  I would have liked a bit more from Spirit, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I got from the film.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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