Any film that includes ‘spirits’ in its title immediately attracts the interest of our Editor and manages to draw him away from the bar in The Nags Head. Unfortunately for him Spirit is the name of the horse in ‘Spirit Untamed’ the latest animated film franchise that started with ‘Spirit : Stallion of the Cimarron’. Here it’s the story of Lucky Prescott, a plucky city girl with eyebrows that would have Noel Gallagher taking a paternity test and the sort of impossibly glamorous hair that assures her a financially secure future in shampoo commercials. Her mother, a horse stunt rider, had died during a performance and she’s whisked off to live with her grandfather who is running for State Governor but after a bit of slapstick involving a squirrel her Aunt takes her back to visit her estranged father still struggling to overcome the death of Lucky’s mother.
As her father attempts to reconnect with his daughter she develops an attachment to a wild mustang who we are regularly told has plenty of ‘Spirit’ hence the name, although our Editor would have probably named it Glenfiddich (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). With Spirit untamed she finally coaxes the horse into her confidence simply by using apples – the last time that technique was used to get a dumb animal under control was Eve with Adam.
But along with two new friends Pru & Abigail teach her how to ride the trio and their respective horses tangle with an evil wrangler with the sort of large pointy chin that puts anyone in his vicinity in danger of having their eye poked out. But it’s him and his gang who capture Spirit’s posse of wild horsey friends and whisk them away by train to be sold off. So Lucky and her two new pals are in a race to rescue them before the horses are put on a boat.
With occasionally well rendered scenes the animation in Spirit Untamed is a little flat and unsophisticated after Pixar has set the bar so high over the past twenty years. The trio of diverse friends deserve a better girl power story but with a nearly all female production this is aimed squarely at tweenies and is something of an undemanding girls own adventure
Here’s the Spirit Untamed trailer……