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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), G
Analysis Date: May 23, 2002
CAP Score: 93
CAP Influence Density: 0.12
SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (G) -- Well done, DreamWorks SKG.
Distributed by: DreamWorks Distribution LLC
Director(s): Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook
Producer(s): Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mireille Soria
Written by/Screenplay: John Fusco
Music: Bryan Adams (songs), Hans Zimmer
Special Effects: Kevin Oakley, Vincent A. Villanueva
Boxart ©DreamWorks SKG
My ten year old daughter loves horses. I guess its a girl thing because I remember my same-aged cousin Nancy from eons gone by loved horses, too. It seems that girls at or near ten years old develop a fascination for horses. If true, girls are gonna love *Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron*. Not only is this an adventure story of the courage of one horse in particular, it is a romance story as well since Spirit meets a blued-eyed blonde and takes her home to meet mamma.
The horses communicate nonverbally and do a very good job of it. Just about any child old enough to navigate his/her own box of popcorn will understand what the horses are communicating to each other. Exaggerated facial expressions of the horses ... and of the grand eagle ... are enough. A strong base in experiential maturity will not be necessary to watch this movie NOR will a piece of your children's childhood likely be stolen from them by it.
This old West story is a tale of a mustang from colt to stallion. Matt Damon narrates and touchingly begins the tale with a line of rustic wisdom: "They say the history of the old West was told from the saddle of a horse but never from the heart of one." That is the theme of the story. Incredible animation makes even mane hair flow realistic but the cartoon genre is never lost nor is there any apparent attempt to mask it. And I applaud the filmmakers for their modesty in this picture. The birth of Spirit was quite well displayed without invasion into anatomical details. Even the anatomy of the adult horses was responsibly done. Well done, DreamWorks SKG.
From birth, Spirit is a free spirit in the wild West, at home in the rolling hills. He is heir to the leadership of the herd left by his father. But soon, white man encroaches on his Oklahoma land, bent on capturing and breaking for labor the most handsome stallion in Oklahoma. Soldiers of a cavalry outpost try exactly that. The commanding Colonel (voice of James Cromwell) was set in concrete about breaking Spirit for a saddle horse.
After many attempts to break Spirit failed, the Colonel ordered three days with no food or water for Spirit. Weakened and depressed, Spirit allows the Colonel to mount him and ride him ... for a while. Amidst that and other cruelty to Spirit, similar cruelty is shown to a captured American Indian, Little Creek (voice of Daniel Studi). But together, Spirit and Little Creek help the cavalry understand the destiny of Spirit.
Many exciting adventures are there for the young and the young at heart in this 81 minute escapade into animal freedom of the old West, but I do not want to spoil any more of it if you decide to take the little ones to see it. Though it is rated G, there are a few matters the caring parent may wish to be aware of before seeing it with their kids.
There are instances of gunfire to kill, both of horses and Little Creek. And there is a depiction of a campaign from one of our two dark periods in American history as the cavalry attacks an American Indian village. Though a true part of our history, the brutal aspects of our history are best left to the history books and not in and as entertainment for the very young.
Violence is the most present element of invasive programming [Jonah 3:8], but there is an instance of brief clothing by one and *only* one of the American Indians. The rest were responsibly clothed. Maybe that is the way the true Americans dressed but that does not excuse display of it in and as entertainment. The remainder of the questionable programming includes a half empty booze bottle and smoking (once).
If you do decide to watch this movie, you are in for somewhat of an animation treat. The majestic countryside of the old West is faithfully reproduced in animation. The grandeur of the American wilderness is almost breath-taking. The highly textured depth of artistry of the energy of the Cimarron River is intense. Perspective of character motion noted even as the soldiers bob on their horses out of cadence is heretofore unequaled in my experience in animation. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is indeed a highly valued mixture or realism and cartoon.
Please be sure to read the (rather short) listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether this movie is for your family.
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*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|