Spirit Untamed is the second film in DreamWorks’ Spirit franchise, following on from the 2002 flick Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and based more directly on the 2017 Netflix spin-off series Spirit Riding Free. It tells the story of Lucky Prescott, a free-spirited girl who is sent to live with her estranged father in the frontier town of Miradero after one shenanigan too many. Here, she meets a stallion called Spirit, and in her efforts to gain his trust fosters a greater connection to her Mexican roots as well as her late mother.
The story here is fairly standard “horse girl” fare, but it hits all the necessary narrative beats well enough with a script that is simple but sweet, presenting a coming-of-age story confidently and with a lot of charm. The plot isn’t breaking any new ground, but it’s executed with sincerity. Some of the characters can be a bit one-note, but none of them overstay their welcome, and will be well received by younger audience members.
The movie’s visuals are excellent – DreamWorks really show off the full power of modern CGI with Spirit Untamed, with captivating, gorgeous backgrounds and very well animated action scenes. There are also a couple of fun musical numbers to help break up the story; they’re nothing fantastic but are nevertheless very sweet and fun.
Overall, Spirit Untamed is a fun and pretty enough ride, even if it is ironically lacking in spirit, swapping out the anti-colonialist bite of the original for wider appeal. Its target audience will definitely have a great time, but parents and kids on the older end of the demographic might end up feeling frustrated with how safely it plays things.
Spirit Untamed is released nationwide on 30th July 2021.
Watch the trailer for Spirit Untamed here: