The Silver Stallion

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Silver Stallion Movie Poster Image
Some suspense and animal injury in emotional horse story.
  • G
  • 2004
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film's characters show deep reverence for nature and care deeply for the animals who inhabit the world around them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Through the stories she tells her daughter, and through example, Elyne teaches her daughter Indi to love and respect the land and the creatures who inhabit it.


Spoiler Alert: A horse being pursued by two men on horseback is shown running off a very high cliff. While the horse's landing is not shown, the horse's death is discussed. A cowboy whips a wild horse after being thrown off the horse.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Silver Stallion (aka The Silver Brumby) includes some suspenseful moments -- lightning strikes during fierce storms, horses fighting each other for domination, and a man thrown off a horse -- as well as scenes with injured animals in the wild. The slow pace of the movie might be difficult for younger viewers, but for older kids, especially those fond of movies about wild animals in nature, this is a beautiful and unforgettable story of survival in the Australian countryside.

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What's the story?

In the high country of Australia, a girl named Indi is unable to sleep due to fierce thunderstorms. In an effort to calm her, Indi's mother Elyne tells her a story about a beautiful stallion named Thowra. As one of the wild horses (called "brumbies" in Australia) in the land where Indi and Elyne live, Thowra must contend with the difficulties in the changing of the seasons, and fight off the men who want to capture and break her, most notably, a man (Russell Crowe) who grows increasingly obsessed with capturing this kind of the brumby. As Elyne's story progresses, Indi grows to learn and love the nature and animals who surround her, as it becomes increasingly unclear if the story of Thowra is real or simply a local legend.

Is it any good?

While its slow pace might be difficult for younger viewers, this is a memorable movie for older kids who love horses and parents who wish to impart positive lessons of respect for nature. As the story within a story emerges and starts to meld into a single tale, the viewer witnesses the breathtaking scenery of the Australian high country, and Elyne Mitchell's 1957 novel on which the movie is based is brought to vivid life.

Perhaps the best thing about the movie is how animals aren't forced to be anything more than noble creatures engaged in survival in the wild. Animals aren't sugarcoated into displaying human-like emotion, they don't talk in funny voices or perform extraordinary stunts. In this movie, animals can be loved and appreciated on their own terms; that in itself makes The Silver Stallion a worthwhile experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. How is the coexistence between nature and humanity conveyed in this film? What was the point of the mom's story to her daughter?

  • How does this film compare to others where horses are central to the story?

  • Can you think of other stories set in Australia? What are some common features of Aussie films?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

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