‘Spirit Untamed’ Review: Horse Girls Unite

Nearly 20 years after “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” and its eponymous yellow mustang got here on the scene, “Spirit Untamed” — a chirpy, digitally reupholstered spinoff — has arrived. While each are from DreamWorks Animation, the reboot has little in widespread with the 2002 authentic, which clung to hand-drawn visuals at a time when the pseudo-realistic laptop animation of “Shrek,” additionally from DreamWorks, and Pixar motion pictures like “Monsters, Inc.” started taking on. For higher or worse, this new “Spirit” takes a contemporary method.

Instead of a heavy-handed, power-ballad-filled melodrama a couple of bronco and his saintly Native American comrade, “Spirit Untamed” is innocuously geared towards younger (horse) women in every single place. It makes use of the racially numerous characters from the Netflix collection “Spirit Riding Free,” which debuted in 2017 and reintroduced the franchise, to ship a coming-of-age story with a predictably heavy dose of woman energy.

At the movie’s middle is the thrill-seeking Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced), who is basically banished from her stuffy East Coast abode and despatched to spend the summer time together with her estranged father (Jake Gyllenhaal) within the frontier city of Miradero. Instantly drawn to a stallion she names Spirit, our American Girl-esque protagonist strives to earn the horse’s belief, concurrently getting in contact together with her Mexican roots and defying her dad, who stays scarred from her mom’s horse-riding-related demise.

Thankfully, Lucky (who additionally goes by her actual, Spanish title, Fortuna) isn’t a loner. When brutish wranglers horse-nap members of Spirit’s herd, our heroine is joined by her intrepid gal buddies on a dangerous impediment course-like rescue mission by way of the outback.

The kiddies, I’m certain, will likely be glad. The movie (directed by Elaine Bogan) is a bubbly, fast-paced romp by way of the Wild West, which isn’t to say it’s an enchancment on the maudlin authentic. With its saucer-eyed, bobblehead-like characters, it’s a model barely distinguishable from the vast majority of animated kids’s motion pictures nowadays — extra like Spirit domesticated.

Spirit Untamed
Rated PG. Running time: 1 hour 27 minutes. In theaters.