Spirit Untamed Continues The Adventure

Spirit in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Spirit Untamed is the next installment in the Spirit franchise, which also includes the Spirit Riding Free animated series on Netflix.

The first Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron film, all the back in 2002, was a major shift in what we’re used to seeing in animated features. Instead of people voicing animals, Matt Damon provided Spirit’s internal thoughts. Not that there’s anything wrong with this but for a film focusing mostly on animals, it was such a change. Anyway, the big shift here is going from the classic form of animation to the all-too-typical CGI animation. It certainly works for the film even if one misses the traditional animation style. Fair warning for people who want to watch the original film: the sound mix on Peacock is terrible.

The gist of the film is that Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) moves in with with Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) after her mother, Milagro Navarro (Eiza González), passes away. Upon returning to live with her father, Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal), in Miradero, Lucky comes to befriend Sprit. Jim doesn’t take to this particularly well. Before we know it, Spirit heads off for the wild with Lucky on his back. Lucky also makes new friends in Pru Granger (Marsai Martin) and Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace). Jim’s best friend just happens to be Pru’s dad and the owner of the stables, Al (Andre Braugher). Things take a turn when Hendricks (Walter Goggins) plans to capture and sell Spirit. As far as the rest, you’ll just have to watch the film.

The thing about Spirit Untamed is that I’m not sure whether it’s a direct sequel to the film or just a film adaptation of 78 episodes of Spirit Riding Free. To be fair, I haven’t watched the animated series on Netflix. I just feel like there’s more to the story here that I just don’t know about. Maybe the film will work better for people who watched the series. When we last saw Spirit in 2002, he was reunited with the Mustangs after being captured. How did he end up in Miradero? Am I to assume that this question gets answered in the series? I mean, the film also jumps from an opening prologue to its present day when Lucky discovers Spirit. Aside from this, the film itself isn’t hard to keep up with–it’s certainly not a repeat of The Dark Tower.

Spirit Untamed is all about the beauty of friendships.

DIRECTOR: Elaine Bogan
CO-DIRECTOR: Ennio Torresan Jr.
SCREENWRITERS: Aury Wallington and Kristin Hahn
CAST: Isabela Merced, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Walton Goggins, Andre Braugher, Eiza González, with Julianne Moore and Jake Gyllenhaal

DreamWorks Animation will release Spirit Untamed in theaters on June 4, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.