Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

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.

More info


The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.