Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Movie Poster Image

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron



Many kids will like this mustang tale.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

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.

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

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Parent of a 6 year old Written byroweena December 29, 2009

VERY VIOLENT!!! NOT suitable for SENSITIVE Children...

i think this movie is far too negative and violent for any child under the age of 8. to be honest - i would have preferred my child to never see this! i really feel that the 3 minutes at the end where the horse escapes and finds freedom does not make all the negative and scary parts worth enduring... a very traumatic film full of animal cruelty, fighting and fire! i fast forwarded many of the really violent scenes but to see people mistreating horses that way and no positive message at all... my daughter cried so many times... this is the first time ive seen her sob uncontrollably in a movie! my husband left cause he just couldnt bare it - he said it was a horrid movie! if you have a sensitive child - dont go there - its just not worth it. if you want to see a horse movie consider dreamer or flicker.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written bymweissinger July 25, 2009

sensitive -emotional kids beware

My 6 year old is sensitive and cried multiple times watching this movie. If you have a sensitive child just beware that this movie has parts that are sad when the horse is separated from loved ones etc. that can lead sensitive children to tears.
Kid, 12 years old 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...


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