Back in 2002 the original Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was impressive with stunning visual backgrounds along with an interesting narrated story. Spirit Untamed brings back to the screen the same (if not better) visual effects filled with animated characters with personality in their enlarged eyes that speak even more than the dialogue.
This story revolves around Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced of (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) who (against her will) is on a trip to visit her father with her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore), who lives in the West in a beautiful location with hills, valleys and lakes that wild horses live and play in. Spirt is introduced to her as the train begins to pass through Spirit’s playground and the horse chases the rail cars Lucky is traveling on. Lucky shows her spirit of adventure by walking on the outside of a rail car to reach the back end of the train so she can interact with Spirit and his band of free horses.
The success of an animated feature like this can be measured by the attention given to the film by young viewers. Those watching this film at the same time as I did were completely immersed in the story and visual experience. They rated the film an A+.
Jake Gyllenhaal voices the father Jim Prescott. He has displayed concern for his daughter by sending her to live in the East when her mother was killed ten years before. The visit from his daughter has an edge as we learn Lucky did not want to leave the town of Prescott and is not comfortable visiting her father.
Early on, Lucky visits a carnival style horse show in which she meets two new friends, Pru (Marsai Martin) and Abigail (Mckenna Grace). The three young girls will carry the remainder of the film along with the wild horses they attempt to keep from captivity.
The adventure brings the girls and their horses through Heck Mountain and Ridge of Regret, dangerous locations which bring a sense of danger and excitement to the screen.
As we would expect father and daughter come together in the final scenes in which Lucky and her friends save the horses. But the flow of the story which is predictable is told on a beautiful background with scenes that are not stretched but come quickly from one to the other which makes for a film that kids can follow and enjoy.