Parents' Guide to

The Black Stallion

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Breathtakingly beautiful, magical classic is a must-see.

Movie G 1979 118 minutes
The Black Stallion Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 6+

Some gorgeous footage and fun in this classic horse movie

We (my 9 and 5 year olds and me) pretty much categorically love horse movies without too much conflict— and really liked but didn’t love this one. The beginning shipwreck scenes are scary (and were very realistic to my kids— they kept asking if it had really happened) but were manageable with a heads-up and some covered eyes. The section of the film with the boy and horse are absolutely stunning and engaging. The rest of the film wasn’t quite as much, but it was enjoyable and we are fine with slower paced films. My mom thought it was corny and unrealistic— but some of that comes with the territory with horse movies!

This title has:

Great role models
age 5+

Great adventure!

This story was beautifully told. The cinematography is from a bygone era, back when it mattered to set up a shot or a scene just so. No cgi here. The musical score is phenomenal. Yes there is loss and the poor child is on his own, on a desert island. But he doesn't lose hope and I think a story like this is inspiring for young and old. The horse and the boy started the relationship right from scene one and they are truly friends. My 6 year old wanted to watch it again the next day despite the fact that it didn't have mind blowing animation or special effects. There is something to be said for old fashion story telling. It is two whole hours and he was spell bound the entire time. Make some popcorn and settle in!

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14):
Kids say (9):

Walter Farley's novel was adapted by director Carroll Ballard and Francis Ford Coppola's studio into one of the most breathtakingly beautiful, genuinely magical movies ever made. Part of the magic is that the movie has the courage to be quiet. There's very little dialogue, and there are long stretches without a single word. This allows The Black Stallion's images to do the work, and the cinematography by Caleb Deschanel is a joy for the eye and the spirit, creating exactly the right atmosphere for what Pauline Kael said "may be the greatest children's movie ever made."

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate