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(Review originally written at 9 June 2008)

I never was too anxious about seeing this movie. I mean, an animated movie about horses? Nevertheless I still decided to give this movie a shot, since it visually looked fine and the musical score by Hans Zimmer was just great. The end result was sort of relieving but also disappointing.

The time that big animated movies only got made at the Disney studios are far in the past. DreamWorks Animation proved with its past movies "The Prince of Egypt" and "The Road to El Dorado" before that it could make good animated movies with an own style and aimed toward a different public the Disney movies always got aimed at. Nevertheless they sort of go into the more mainstream direction with "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron". It follows the safe and usual formulaic road of an animated movie, that is predictable in almost every way possible.

The movie is wonderfully animated and visually there is a lot to enjoy while watching this movie. Unfortunately the story is not doing much justice to its animations, or better said the way the story is told and progresses.

Thing is that the movie its story just never could interest me. It also lacked a clear main plot-line and didn't seemed to have the right proper character treatment in it. You just never care about the characters and you're never frightened by the villains because just non of them are properly developed. The movie often repeats itself throughout and the action/chases and all are just more of the same the whole time. Spirit is really lacking a spirit. And its getting kind of annoying seeing animals all the time reacting and thinking as humans, in order for the viewer to be able to bond with the animal characters.

Positive thing is that it was a good move not to give the animals human voices. The images and interactions between the animals speak for themselves and you always understand them, though like I just said before, it's kind of annoying that they are doing this in a more human behavioral way.

The musical score nevertheless still brings some life to the movie and often its action. The music is so loud during some sequences that you can't help being blown- and carried away by it. It's yet another fine musical score by Hans Zimmer, who also did the music for previous DreamWorks animated movies. There are also some songs being sung by Bryan Adams but those songs are mostly blah and predictable sounding nonsense. Guess they tried to achieve the same thing Disney's "Tarzan" achieved by using Phill Collins, as a sort of singing narrator and describing character's thoughts and emotions. Didn't quite work out though.

Still somewhat watchable for the movie its visuals but it's not a movie that shall leave an awfully big impression on you.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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