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Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron review

If the likes of Toy Story and Shrek have given the impression that animated features are hip `n' happening, then DreamWorks' latest offering is a sharp reminder that far lesser breeds of family fare are still snuffling around. For while there's no faulting the detail and texture of its animation, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron's insufferable sanctimony makes you wish it would trot off quietly to the nearest knacker's yard.

The sermon - - sorry, story - - kicks off with our eponymous hero growing up to become leader of his herd, like his father before him, under the indulgent gaze of his doting mother. Their idyll is shattered by the arrival of cavalrymen, intent on taming the West in typically unsporting fashion. But Spirit (as we're incessantly reminded) isn't a horse who breaks easily, and is soon partnering up with a Native American brave to thwart their common adversaries.

While very young kids might sit rapt at the spectacle of our four-legged friends galloping through a pristine Wild West, adults will have to rely on the bluster of Bryan Adams songs to drown out their inner screams. Not an attractive prospect, maybe, but anything's better than the smug tones of Matt Damon's redundant narration.

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