A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie has minor violence (men with guns chase the horses and surround the caravan) and tense scenes (Neera loses consciousness and finds herself lost in the desert), which are magnified by the large IMAX screen and may seem more intense than they would on a normal screen. Some kids might be alarmed when the black stallion's mother is taken away and Neera is left alone in the desert--they might also wonder what happened to Neera's parents (she lives with her grandfather and there is only one passing reference to her mother).
What's the story?
A prequel to The Black Stallion, this drama is set in 1946 North Africa. Young Neera (Biana Tamimi) gets separated from her family as they ride on camels to her grandfather's farm. Abandoned in the desert, she meets a gorgeous black colt who has also been separated from his mother. After she earns the skittish stallion's trust, they find their way back to Neera's grandfather's house. Unfortunately, Neera finds that her grandfather was forced to sell all of his horses in her absence. The only hope of getting them back is to enter an annual race in which the winner gets to take all of the horses that entered. Despite her grandfather's orders, Neera decides to tame the wild stallion and enter the competition.
Is it any good?
Kids who haven't seen The Black Stallion or The Black Stallion Returns are the best audience for this visually stunning version, as it borrows heavily from these movies. (The main difference being that this time the main character is a girl.) They are also less likely to be bothered by the wooden acting and clichéd villains.
But both kids and parents will be blown away by the gorgeous landscapes and the sensation that they are the ones riding bareback on a wild stallion. One eight-year-old viewer exclaimed that he "had to wipe his eyes when he watched the racing scene because he felt like there was dust and sand in his eyes." He and his class of squirmy second graders were captivated by the movie--they burst into spontaneous applause at the end. Of course, even they had some criticisms: they wanted to know how Neera and the stallion survived for several days without eating and why the black stallion and his mother ended up with Neera's family at the end instead of being returned to their life of freedom.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: December 25, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: December 21, 2004
- Cast: Biana Tamimi, Patrick Elias, Richard Romanus
- Director: Simon Wincer
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Horses and farm animals
- Run time: 51 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all audiences
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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.