I attended a free Virtual Screening in exchange for my honest opinion.
SPIRIT UNTAMED is a new film in the Spirit franchise from DreamWorks Animation. Featuring an all-star cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Isabela Merced, and more, it works as a standalone movie. Rated PG, it’s a family film of animated adventure, set in the late 1800s Old West.
LOGLINE: An epic adventure about a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse, Spirit Untamed is the next chapter in the beloved story from DreamWorks Animation.
The story opens when Fortuna “Lucky” Prescott is a baby and watching her mother perform with the Caballeras at the rodeo in Miradero. A tragic accident, where her mother dies, leads to Lucky being sent to live with her grandfather, a railroad baron, and primarily raised by her Aunt Cora as her father still grieves. The movie cuts to years later when her grandfather is running governor while Lucky, a fearless and precocious young woman, and her antics go awry, leading her to be sent to stay with her father for the summer.
Arriving in Miradero, Lucky finds herself drawn to the rodeo. Everyone seems to know who she is, and the Caballeras give her a sash like the one her mother, Milagro, wore. She befriends two local girls, Pru Granger of Granger Corrals and Abigail Stone. At her father’s home, her room is decorated like strawberries because her father knew she loved them as a baby. As she explores her room, she discovers the wardrobe is covering an opening to another room which contains her mother’s things. In there she discovers a zoetrope depicting her mother’s trick riding. Lucky’s is enchanted with her mother’s life trick riding as a Caballera.
As she explores the town, she sees Hendricks, a wrangler she met on the train, trying to break a wild Kiger mustang. He’s abusive toward the animal, but Lucky learns to treat the horse gently and earns its trust. Because he’s full of spirit, she names the mustang Spirit. Her father is not happy with Lucky being around horses because of her mother’s death, so Lucky runs away, crossing a railroad bridge leading to a magical field of lighting bugs, and then she finds a herd of wild mustangs. Unfortunately, so does the wrangler and his gang.
Determined to stop the gang from stealing the horses and selling them, Lucky convinces Pru and Abigail to join her, but in order to beat the train, they have to cross Heck Mountain and ride across the Ridge of Regret. As the girls have bonded, they share friendship bracelets and campfire songs–it becomes a grand adventure as they race against time and the train.
By the end of the movie, Lucky finally finds Miradero is a place which feels like home, she has her father in her life, and he shares more about her mother. The family motto, “Prescotts Never Give Up!” is ever present in the movie. Lucky knows she has to let Spirit and the other mustangs live free.
Spirit Untamed is a heartwarming movie about family, friends, and never giving up, and it features diverse characters. The soundtrack is full of beautiful and fun songs, with some partly in Spanish to reflect Lucky’s heritage. With a lot of girl positivity in the movie, Lucky learns it’s okay to rely on friends to help her—she doesn’t have to go it alone. Lucky is ready to embrace the legacy began by her mother.
A wonderful way to kick off the summer of 2021, Spirit Untamed delivers on family entertainment that’s heartfelt, full of spirit, and endearing!
#SpiritUntamed is in theaters starting on June 4, 2021.