Parents' Guide to

Spirit Riding Free: Spirit of Christmas

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

So-so holiday horse tale warms with timely themes.

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Kids say (3 ):

This Christmas movie has the feel of a requisite series add-on rather than an inspired holiday tale, but it still manages to tug at the heartstrings at opportune times. Inexplicably the story mostly dismisses the relationships that Lucky and her friends share with their respective horses, relegating the animals to mere afterthoughts who only get screen time because the kids (for reasons unknown) bring them along to the big city. Instead the story more closely follows the girls' infatuation with their favorite singer, Sally Jessup (Katherine McNamara), whom they meet by chance on their trip, and their older-than-their-years spunk that helps lead all of the stranded passengers to safety.

Spirit Riding Free: Spirit of Christmas is a must see for fans of the series as a whole, but kids who don't already know the characters and their histories will have a difficult time jumping into their timeline with this particular story. Happily, though, the movie emphasizes themes that are perfect for the Christmas season, in particular the joys of gift giving, appreciating what you have, and connecting with new friends over shared experiences.

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