Spirit Untamed is the latest CGI/animated film form DreamWorks Animation. The film follows Lucky Prescott (voiced by Isabella Merced), a young girl moving from the city to small town with to live with her father (voiced by Jake Gyllenhaal). She learns the history of her late mother as a horse riding stunt performer. Bored in the town, she meets a wild horse named Spirit and the two form an unlikely bond. Lucky and her new friends, Abigail (voiced Mckenna Grace) and Pru (voiced by Marsai Martin), work to stop an evil horse wrangler from capturing Spirit and his herd to auctioning them off.
The film is based on the Netflix animated series Spirit Riding Free that’s run 9 seasons from 2017-2020. There’s 9 seasons of rich character history and storytelling in the background of this 1hr 27 minute film. Even without any of that context, Spirit Untamed was still a very enjoyable film.
The Pixar films that dominated box offices over the past 25 years are – and this is putting it mildly – are a cut above the other animated films. Spirit Untamed isn’t as layered or as intricate as those films, and it doesn’t smother you with emotions. It’s a predictable family film that takes you on a simple journey of love and friendship.
The risk taking Lucky is the heart of the film. She’s a wonderful character that’s as powerful and spirited as the horse she befriends. Lucky is a loveable character that’s easy to cheer for and her journey to find friendship is a relatable one.
The film shines because it’s a family friendly film that’s focused on being a fun time at the movies. It’s anchored by some very good animation. The use of bright colors and shadows make the film feel alive. One of the best animation sequences involves Lucky riding Spirit for the first time.
Spirit Untamed delivers as a wonderful family film for the summer. It’s a story that focused on young girl’s journey but is fun for all ages.