Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002

Common Sense Media says

Many kids will like this mustang tale.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Horses starved and beaten, scary fire, peril.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable


Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Liquor bottle

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie may be too scary for younger kids. The soldiers use guns and treat Spirit harshly, applying whips and spurs. The blacksmith makes an unsuccessful attempt to brand him. Characters are in peril and it appears that one has been killed. There's a fire and a chase scene. The Native American boy is portrayed as brave, compassionate, and honorable. Some families may be concerned that all of the white males are portrayed as brutal and insensitive.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this animated horse tale, Spirit is born (in a discreet G-rated scene) to a loving mare and grows up in a paradise of mountains and plains, with plenty to eat and drink and freedom to run as far as he can dream. He becomes the leader of the pack of horses, and watches out for his group to keep them safe from predators. His curiosity leads him to investigate a campsite, and he is captured by cavalry soldiers. A brutal commander tries to break him, but even starvation does not make him submit. Spirit escapes with an Indian boy named Little Creek and they grow to care for each other. Spirit also cares for Little Creek's pretty palomino, Rain. But Spirit still will not let anyone ride him. Little Creek sends Spirit back to his home, but he is captured again and has many more adventures before returning to his family.

Is it any good?


Many kids will enjoy this traditionally animated story about a brave wild mustang in the 19th century American west, but parents may find it overlong even at a running time of less than 90 minutes. Parents should also know that there are some scary scenes and that the story may be hard for younger children to follow because the horse characters do not talk.

There are some lovely and powerful images of horses racing through endless stretches of grass, mountains, and rivers. The scary scenes are very vivid, especially the fire and a railroad engine knocked off its tracks that comes tumbling downhill. But the story moves slowly, especially during the dreary Bryan Adams songs. The narration (by Matt Damon) is more poetic than descriptive, so younger kids will benefit from some discussion about the story before they get to the theater.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different ways that the Colonel and Little Creek have of trying to teach Spirit to carry a rider. Do different parents have different ways of teaching children? What ways work best? What made Spirit different from the other horses, those of his family and those he met on his travels? Families of older children might want to talk about the triumph and tragedy of the Westward Expansion in the 19th century.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 24, 2002
DVD release date:November 19, 2002
Cast:Chopper Bernet, James Cromwell, Matt Damon
Directors:Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Horses and farm animals
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:scenes of peril, scary fire

This review of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written byhorsenrider April 20, 2010

The BEST horse movie on Earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spirit is the BEST horse movie I have ever seen!!!!!!! WARNING - This movie is so awesome that it will make you cry! I wish I had the bond with my horse like the one Little Creek had with Spirit. I have watched this movie so many times that I can almost remember every word. When I was about 5, I drew a picture book about Spirit because I loved it so much (a very lame attempt if I do say so myself!)
The audio buy Bryan Adams if pretty cool too...

Kid, 11 years old Written bySmarty1999 April 16, 2010

You have to watch this!

thsi movie rocks! i got around when i was 6 and nothing bothered me. I love horses so that movie was and still is one of my all time favorite movies!!!!!!!

Adult Written byjubajen April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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