DreamWorks Brings Spirit’s Backstory to the Screen in Spirit Untamed

Spirit Untamed movie review
(from left) – Spirit and Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Fans of the Spirit Riding Free on Netflix are in for a surprise. DreamWorks is releasing Spirit Untamed in theaters on June 4th, a prequel to the animated series that kids of all ages enjoy. Spirit Untamed takes viewers back to when Lucky first goes to Miradero to be reunited with her father, meets Spirit and even shows how she meets Abigail and Pru.

Milagro Navarro (Eiza González, center) and other horseback riders and their horses in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

Unlike the animation in the Netflix version, Spirit Untamed is a bit more streamlined. The animators at DreamWorks upped their animation on the humans and the horses in the film, but still kept the softer animated look that fans and kids will relate to. They took special care to make sure they matched (most) of the movements of the horses to real life, but still giving them personalities along the way.

Spirit in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, directed by Elaine Bogan.

While Spirit Untamed is like an extended episode to the series, it gives you all of the background to the main characters. It builds the canon for characters in the story and series. The story is one that kids will relate to as they grow up and have a desire for independence and more freedom as they do it. The movie teaches about friendship, patience and finding your own path.

And while there are bad guys in the movie, there aren’t any violent scenes that parents will object to. There are questionable practices that are being used to initially try to break Spirit but they are even called out as that and addressed in the movie.

The story in Spirit Untamed is actually one that is enjoyable and that you will enjoy watching with your kids and tweens. The Spirit series on Netflix and now the movie have a very specific demographic in mind, young girls who love animals and especially horses. But that doesn’t mean that you wont enjoy the film if you’re not in that age range or the target market. The movie is one that is entertaining for kids of all ages.

SPIRIT UNTAMED – in theaters June 4

Overall Rating:

Four Star Review

About Spirit Untamed:

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.

Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced, Dora and the Lost City of Gold) never really knew her late mother, Milagro Navarro (Eiza González, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), a fearless horse-riding stunt performer from Miradero, a small town on the edge of the wide-open frontier.

Like her mother, Lucky isn’t exactly a fan of rules and restrictions, which has caused her Aunt Cora (Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore) no small amount of worry. Lucky has grown up in an East Coast city under Cora’s watchful eye, but when Lucky presses her own luck with one too many risky escapades, Cora picks up stakes and moves them both back with Lucky’s father, Jim (Oscar® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal), in Miradero.

Lucky is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy little town. She has a change of heart when she meets Spirit, a wild Mustang who shares her independent streak, and befriends two local horseback riders, Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace, Captain Marvel) and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin, Little). Pru’s father, stable owner Al Granger (Emmy winner Andre Braugher, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine), is the best friend of Lucky’s father.

When a heartless horse wrangler (Emmy nominee Walton Goggins, FX’s Justified) and his team plan to capture Spirit and his herd and auction them off to a life of captivity and hard labor, Lucky enlists her new friends and bravely embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse who has given her freedom and a sense of purpose, and has helped Lucky discover a connection to her mother’s legacy and to her Mexican heritage that she never expected.

Spirit Untamed is the next chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s beloved franchise that began with the 2002 Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron and includes an Emmy-winning TV series. The film is directed by Elaine Bogan (Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Television’s Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia) and is produced by Karen Foster (co-producer, How to Train Your Dragon). The film’s co-director is Ennio Torresan (head of story, The Boss Baby), and the film’s score is by composer Amie Doherty (Amazon’s Undone, DreamWorks Animation’s Marooned).


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