The Black Stallion Returns



A lackluster sequel to the well-loved original.
  • Review Date: May 2, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1983
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many of the Arab characters are too stereotypical. (However, there are some benign, even heroic Arabs.) Alec's decision to stowaway on a plane headed overseas is hardly appropriate behavior, and the film makes a mild joke of his mother's concern for him.

Violence & scariness

There are sword fights and other battles of the type common to classic adventure movies. There is also an incident of arson as the villains try to capture the black stallion.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a few exciting scenes and eye-catching location photography keep this sequel afloat, but it's nothing compared to the original. Those who haven't seen the original shouldn't risk this one, as it's involved plot may not hold their interest. A barn fire and Alec's struggle to survive when he and his friend are lost in the desert are mildly frightening, but shouldn't bother most children. Children under 8 will have problems sitting still through the involved plot. Some grade-school children may be disappointed that the black stallion is absent from much of the film. This is mainly for fans of the original.

What's the story?

In this sequel, young teen Alec Ramsay (Kelly Reno) is devastated when his Arabian stallion is retrieved by its original owner. He learns that the horse is to run in a race that determines the balance of power among the tribes. Alec stows away on a plane headed for Casablanca. He befriends Raj (Vincent Spano), an American-educated Arab prince who has returned to ride in the race. Raj teaches Alec enough about the desert to help him get to the oasis of Abu Ben Ishak, the horse's owner. Although the young princess Tabari has been raised to ride the stallion for her people, Alec proves that only he has the horse's trust. Abu Ben Ishak agrees to return the stallion to Alec, if he can ride it to victory in the race.

Is it any good?


The main problem with THE BLACK STALLION RETURNS is it isn't nearly as good as its predecessor. While the new filmmaking team assembled by executive producer Francis Ford Coppola does sturdy work, they just weren't able to muster the magical aura of the earlier film. At fault is the script, which has far too much desert intrigue and far too little of the horse. Sharp-eyed kids will certainly point out that, although this story is supposed to begin shortly after the end of the previous one, star Kelly Reno looks substantially older.

Nevertheless, fans of the first movie will like this sequel, if they can sit through a more involved story. The exoticism of the Moroccan locations give the film visual appeal, and the glimpse into the lives of desert dwellers, provided by prince Raj, should spark the imaginations of viewers. (Too bad this chance for cultural bridge-building is offset by the presence of several stereotyped Arab villains.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about sequels. Are they ever as good as the original movies? If they're often worse, why do they get made -- and why do we see them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1983
DVD release date:November 2, 2004
Cast:Kelly Reno, Teri Garr, Vincent Spano
Director:Robert Dalva
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Horses and farm animals
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic intensity

This review of The Black Stallion Returns was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK 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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Kid, 12 years old April 20, 2010

It's OK but it isn't a 'must see' or anything ;)

Definitely not as good as the first one, they seem to be taking it a bit far and I think it should have ended at the first one. Still an OK movie to watch if your bored. The main character isn't setting a very good axample of how to get your own horse...
Parent Written byElizabeth Darcy October 22, 2011

mediocre but still fun

A good movie, but definitely not what the original Black Stallion was.The whole thing falls just a little flat, but it's not bad, just mediocre. The only real point of concern in the movie is the violence (there are innumerable gunfights throughout the whole thing), but there is no blood shown whatsoever. There are some parts which could be scary for younger children (several kidnappings, nighttime scenes with "bad guys" prowling around Alec's yard up to no good, and of course the ever-present gunfights.) And Alec is definitely not the greatest role model, as he stows away on a plane headed overseas, disregarding his mother's concern for him and placing his horse over his family. Other than that, this is a very clean family movie and pretty fun at that.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bymaroodada December 25, 2008


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