Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Cast
Featuring the voices of:
Narrator: Matt Damon
The Colonel: James Cromwell
Little Creek: Daniel Studi
DreamWorks Pictures presents a film directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook. Written by John Fusco. Running time: 82 minutes. Rated G.

Central Theme
No one can take freedom from the determined and perseverant individual who will not be broken despite the attempts of oppressors

Story
The inspirational story of a horse who will not give up no matter how hard his antagonists try to break his spirit. With a heavy does of individualism and dedication to personal freedom, the real appeal of Spirit is his commitment to the family, friends and homeland he loves.

The wild mustang Spirit is born in the untamed natural majesty of the west where the eagle soars, buffalo roam and horses enjoy free reign. A victim of his own curiosity, Spirit is captured by the westward expanding Cavalry, but refuses to be broken by the determined authoritarian Colonel. Spirit wins the respect of his fellow prisoners, including a Lakota Indian named Little Creek. Little Creek manages to escape by partnering with Spirit but then makes his own attempts at taming Spirit. He uses friendlier methods, but his intention is the same as the Colonel’s and meets the same fierce resistance. He achieves moderate success when he uses his own horse Rain, who Spirit finds irresistible. When the Calvary raids the Lakota village Spirit saves Little Creek, but is again hauled off by the Cavalry for duty by railway crews laying track destined for Spirit’s homeland.

A happy ending is not certain and the dramatic unfolding of plot draws you into a concern for the well being of your favorite characters.

The movie is a bit heavy handed on a politically correct environmentalism and tends to portray the wild horses and free native Americans as virtuous and good and the westward expanding new Americans as evil, although eventually the Colonel displays a valor and respect for those he seeks to conquer.

Overall though, the story is one of personal responsibility, community and the importance of individual and communal freedom.

Jeffery Katzenburg refers to the technology of this movie as tradigital in that it combines old style and digital style animation. The production is made more compelling by the decision that the horses would not talk. Of the story itself Katzenberg said, while in production it was irresistible to call the movie ¢â‚¬Ëœdie horse’ after the Bruce Willis ¢â‚¬ËœDie Hard’ series. Willis would not give up regardless of how many times you tried to suppress him and Spirit carries that same quality of indestructibility.

The scenery of the west is beautifully done. Production designer Kathy Altieri said, As much as the physical journey, the emotional journey that Spirit makes is echoed in the color and quality of the setting. Each location has its own emotional integrity. What I mean by that is, in designing the look of the film, it was important to reflect the emotions of the story, as well as to honor the beauty and majesty of nature.’

Beliefs num
–Nothing is more important than freedom.
–Just when you think it is bad as it can get, it gets worse.
–No matter how hard the challenges you face you should never give up.
–Your determination will encourage others towards greater heights and will attract help when you need it.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Why was Spirit more determined to win freedom than the other horses in the story?
–Was Spirit most concerned about himself or his family and friends?
–What made Spirit so successful in ultimately coming home?
–Why is freedom so important?
–In this story nobody prays and asks God for help. Is that something you should do in real life? Will god help us when we ask?

Provocative Quotes byline
–The story of the west has often been told from the saddle of a horse, but it has never been told from the heart of a horse.
==Narrator
–A wiser horse might have turned and run, but I wanted to know what kind of strange creatures these were.
==Spirit
–I may be captured, but you cannot take me because I am free.
==Spirit when captured.
–The army has dealt with wild horses before and this one will be no different. To the corral. It is time to break this horse. Tie this horse to the post with no food or water for three days.
==The Colonel.
–Little Creek seemed different from the rest.
==Spirit observes Little Creek.
–You see gentlemen. Any horse can be broken. It just takes discipline, time and patience. There are some who say the Lakota will not submit to providence.
==Colonel right before Spirit bucks him off again.
–I couldn’t believe it. One moment I was free and the next more ropes.
==Spirit goes from the Cavalry to the Lakota.
–Great mustang, today I will ride you.
==Little Creek wrongly optimistic that Spirit will cooperate.
–Bye-bye horsy.
==Cute little Lakota plays with Spirit.
–For the first time in my life I found my heart torn in two ways.
==Spirit about feelings for Rain.
–I lay beside her that night hoping she’d be all right.
==Spirit trying to save the badly injured Rain.
–Leave her there she’s not gonna make it.
==Cavalry takes Spirit but leaves Rain to die.
–You saved my life.
==Lakota to Spirit.
–That was the moment I understood they were headed towards my homeland and I had to stop them.
==Spirit about the railroad’s westward expansion.
–I don’t know where he came from or how he got there, but I sure was happy to see him.
==Spirit about Little Creek.
–Oh no. Oh yes.
==Spirit and Little Creek \before the leap across the cliff.
–You will always be in my heart.
==Little Creek releases Rain to go with Spirit.
–Take care of her, spirit who could not be broken, I’ll miss you my friend.
==Little Creek says good-bye to Spirit and names him Spirit.
–I’ll never forget that boy and how we won back our freedom together.
==Spirit about Little Creek

Posted in Movies, Staublog in May 23, 2002 by | No Comments »

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