Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

4.6 35
Director: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

Cast: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook, Matt Damon, James Cromwell

     
 

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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 atSee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
One of the best animated films of 2002, Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron is a stirring western saga told not from the perspective of a feisty mustang. Matt Damon is the voice of the hero who grows "from colt to stallion, racing with the eagle, soaring with the wind." Spirit's idyllic life as the leader of his herd is shattered when the U.S. Army captures him, and the defiant horse finds himself locked in a battle of wills with the fort's stern Colonel (voiced by James Cromwell, the kindly farmer from Babe). Spirit refuses to be broken, and will let no man ride him until he meets a kindred soul, a Lakota brave named Little Creek. Things are better for Spirit on Little Creek's reservation, but the stallion's unquenchable longing for his home and herd lead him and the mare he loves to even greater adventures. Some of the film's bravura set pieces -- an eagle's flight over a majestic landscape that rivals the opening of The Lion King, a spectacular train wreck, and a cliff-leaping escape - will set the hearts of animation buffs and horse lovers galloping. Bryan Adams supplies power ballads full of empowering messages that underscore the G-rated film's politically correct tone, but Spirit does contain scenes of emotional upheaval and mistreatment that may disturb young foals.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is a technically innovative film, blending hand-drawn and computer animation with a seamlessness never approached before, but most viewers probably won't know the difference. They're more likely to notice how otherwise uninspired the film seems. The problems start with the filmmakers' decision not to have the animals talk. This was a wise choice, in some respects. As co-director Kelly Asbury has noted, they realized early on that "the minute you have a horse speak, it's a comedy." Caroline Thompson's 1994 live-action film Black Beauty successfully told the classic story from a (non-speaking) horse's point of view. And Jean-Jacques Annaud's 1988 film The Bear also effectively used a real animal in the lead. Matt Damon's voiceover, from the point-of-view of the horse, is used sparsely and effectively. But the animators for Spirit decided to use the unrealistic nature of the medium to make the horses more expressive. As they gesture, smile, shake their heads, raise eyebrows, and neigh, whinny, and grunt at each other (at times sounding more like Chewbacca than horses) in a recognizably human (and decidedly un-horse-like) way, one begins to wish they'd just spit it out. Despite some pleasant Old West scenery early on, the film picks up considerable steam once Spirit comes into contact with humans, and the plot kicks in. This leads to a few exciting, well-animated action sequences, particularly one involving Spirit and a team of horses being forced to drag a train engine up a hill. The film doesn't approach the heights of modern animation, and its childish simplicity, as exemplified by the insipid Bryan Adams songs on the soundtrack, may bore adults. But it is likely to keep younger children entertained.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/19/2002
UPC:
0667068994537
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
G
Source:
Dreamworks Animated

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Damon Spirit
James Cromwell The Colonel
Daniel Studi Little Creek
Chopper Bernet Sgt. Adams
Robert Cait Jake
Donald Fullilove Train Pull Foreman
Michael Horse Little Creek's Friends
Jeff LeBeau Railroad Foreman/Murphy
Matt Levin Joe
Zahn McClarnon Little Creek's Friends
Richard McGonagle Bill
Charles Napier Roy
Adam Paul Pete
John Rubano Soldier
Meredith Wells Little Indian Girl
Gavin Greenaway Conductor

Technical Credits
Kelly Asbury Director
Lorna Cook Director
Bryan Adams Songwriter
Manuel Almela Animator
Kathy Altieri Production Designer
Cinzia Angelini Animator
Cecile Bender Animator
Fernando Benítez Animator
"Dr. Deb" Bennett Consultant/advisor
Davide Benvenuti Animator
Benjamin Berkman Animator
Arnaud Berthier Animator
James Bird Animator
Torien Blackwolf Animator
Bonnie Blough Animator
Kevin Blum Animator
David B. Boudreau Animator
Sharon Bridgeman Original Story
Adam Burke Animator
Del Carmen Original Story
Tim Chau Sound/Sound Designer
Teresa Cheng Production Manager
Michelle Cowart Animator
Emanuela Cozzi Animator
David A. Craig Animator
Laura Craig Animator
Kent Culotta Animator
Clare De Chenu Editor
Jose Luis De Juan Animator
Luc Desmarchelier Art Director
Michael Duhatschek Animator
Leslee Feldman Casting
Spencer Filichia Original Story
Pilar M. Flynn Animator
John Fusco Screenwriter
Maryann Garger Production Manager
Angie Glocka Animator
Luis Grané Animator
Antony Gray Animator
Jurgen Gross Original Story
Rene Harnois Animator
Brendan Harris Animator
Christian A. Hatfield Animator
John Hill Animator
Cameron Hood Animator
James R. Hull Animator
Doug Ikeler Animator
Thomas J. Jackson Animator
Marylata E. Jacob Score Composer
Paul Jesper Animator
Bo Johannesson Animator
Cathy Jones Animator
Fabrice Joubert Animator
Jeffrey Katzenberg Producer
Dan Kessler Animator
Richard Sanguoon Kim Animator
Owen Klatte Animator
Marek Kochout Animator
Serguei Kouchnerov Animator
Denise Nagisa Koyama Original Story
Dave Kupczyk Animator
Erik Kuska Animator
Rachel Lagdao Animator
Bang Won Lee Animator
Larry Leker Original Story
Yancy Lindquist Animator
James Lloyd Animator
Bob Logan Original Story
Ronald W. Lukas Art Director
Duncan Majoribanks Original Story
Sean McLaughlin Animator
Mike McNeil Consultant/advisor
Robert Milne Animator
Harry Moreau Animator
Don Morgan Original Story
Claire Morrissey Animator
Sylvia Muller Animator
Luci Napier Animator
Jennifer Nelson Original Story
Paul Newberry Animator
Kevin O'Hara Animator
Christopher Oakley Animator
Kevin Oakley Animator
Simon Otto Animator
Tom Owens Animator
Jane Poole Animator
Dennis Recchia Animator
Jean-Francois Rey Animator
Xavier Riffault Animator
Ryan Roberts Animator
Mariateresa Scarpone Animator
Douglas Seiden Animator
Bruce Seifert Animator
Emil Simeonov Animator
Pat Sito Animator
Mireille Soria Producer
Michael Spokas Animator
Kathy St. German Animator
Glenn Storm Animator
Stuart S. Sumida Consultant/advisor
Matthew Teevan Production Manager
Susan Thayer Animator
Nassos Vakalis Original Story
Dimos Vrysellas Animator
Robert Weaver Animator
Simon Wells Original Story
Greg Whittaker Animator
Alex Williams Animator
Mark Williams Animator
Kevin Willmering Animator
Scott Wright Animator
Kathy Zielinski Animator
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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