‘Spirit Untamed’ Review: Wild Ride with Lots of Heart

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Spirit Untamed is a wild ride filled with charm and lots of heart for young audiences. It teaches young audiences to be fearless and brave to protect the things that matter in life.

The kids loved how much each of the horses is like the rider. Spirit and Lucky love to break the rules and be bold while fighting for others. Chica Linda and Pru are smart and quick thinking. Boomerang and Abigail are goofy and boisterous.

Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace) and Boomerang in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

“The story of Lucky and Spirit is an inspiring one that shows that with your best friend by your side, you can be unstoppable,” President of DreamWorks Animation Margie Cohn says.

(from left) Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace) riding Boomerang, Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) riding Spirit, and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin) riding Chica Linda in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Spirit Untamed is a reimagining of the series with many of the wonderful attributes of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. While the story focuses on Lucky’s journey, the story still highlights the wild, untamed spirit of a wild mustang in the west. The animation is cleaner than the series, but the filmmakers still made the size of the girls substantially different, and in some cases, unrealistic. I think the filmmakers missed a chance to create realistic body images for girls.

Spirit (right) and his herd in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Differences between Spirit Untamed and Spirit Riding Free

Spirit Untamed is written to be a standalone movie or a starting point for watching the Spirit Riding Free series. Spirit Untamed took a new direction in Lucky’s story and includes details about her mother, a fearless Latina horse-riding stunt performer named Milagro Navarro (Eliza González). Lucky gets more character development into her Mexican heritage, something that got lost in the series. It also gives us a look into the Prescott family business and how Lucky, played by Isabela Merced, came to be in Miradero.

Milagro Navarro (Eiza González, center) and other horseback riders and their horses in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Spirit Untamed Activity Sheet Printables

My girls have been watching Spirit Riding Free since it first premiered on Netflix. One thing they changed is the relationship between Lucky and her father. Instead of starting a new life in Miradero together, Jim Prescott (Jake Gyllenhaal) lets Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) and Lucky’s grandfather help to raise Lucky back in the city after her mother passes. It creates a challenge for both characters to overcome in the story.

(from left) Spirit and Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Another difference is the villain of the Spirit franchise, the heartless horse wrangler Hendricks (Walton Goggins), and his crew. When they put Spirit’s herd in danger, the PALs spring into action to help. There are many storylines from the show that make an appearance in the movie that allows the movie to stand alone. The adventures and relationships give the film a lot of heart.

Hendricks (Walton Goggins) in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

One thing I love that Spirit Untamed got rid of is Maricela. The mean girl trope is one that I would love to disappear forever. Friendship is highlighted instead. The PALs (Pru-Abigail-Lucky) make a great team. They lift each other with positivity and kindness.

Spirit Untamed is playing in theaters now.

Spirit Untamed is a Fun Ride with Lots of Heart

Meghan Cooper [JaMonkey]

Spirit Untamed

Summary

Spirit Untamed is a wild ride filled with charm and lots of heart for young audiences. It teaches young audiences to be fearless and brave to protect the things that matter in life.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Buy me a coffee

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