director: Elaine Bogan (debut)
starring: Isabela Moner, Eiza Gonzalez, Mckenna Grace and jake Gyllenhaal
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Lucky Prescott's life is changed forever when she moves from her home in the city to a small frontier town and befriends a wild mustang named Spirit.
Walking into Spirit Untamed with my nephews I knew next to nothing about the film and only learned afterwards that it was a part of the Spirit franchise which includes a hand drawn animated film (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) as well as a Netflix series (Spirit Riding Free).
But because Spirit Untamed kinda exists as a stand alone film, you don’t necessarily need to know that much of this franchise to enter this story. Spirit Untamed is a sweet animated adventure film with more than enough to entertain children and adults alike.
After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious spirit. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her new friends embark on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse that forever changed her life.
With a brisk running time of an hour and a half, Spirit Untamed packs a lot into its story, not wasting too much time on exposition and heading straight towards the action and adventure. That being said, Spirit Untamed also takes the time to implicitly explore themes from the loss of a parent and the dynamics of a damaged father and daughter relationship to issues of representation.
And while the CGI animation is different and not quite as photo realistic as an Illumination or Pixar animated film, the film makers have still managed to create loveable characters as well as stunning towns and vistas.
But the big question isn’t what I as an adult thought. My nephews, seven and five, are probably not the traditional demographic for this film but they thoroughly enjoyed it, laughing at all the jokes and sitting on the edge of their seats in the tense adventure moments. If you want to entertain the kids for a bit at the cinema, Spirit Untamed will work a treat.
Spirit Untamed is a sweet animated adventure film with more than enough to entertain children and adults alike.