It’s easy to feel conflicted about Spirit: Untamed, largely because it’s an empowering movie that is bound to remind girls and women that they can do what they want and remain strong and independent in life, but there’s also the idea that it might be taken to mean that the rules of a given society simply don’t apply because that untamed spirit is far more important. It’s easy to agree that girls and women should be given leave to be who they want to be since it’s a very human thing to do and holding anyone back would the absolute wrong thing to do, but staying wild at heart doesn’t necessarily mean that rules don’t have to be followed and that caution is for those too afraid to live. The movie looks like it will be one that’s geared to be uplifting and entirely kid-friendly since the young protagonist, Lucky, will be able to do pretty much anything once she gets the hang of riding and is able to bond with the fiery-hearted Mustang she names Spirit, including beating up three grown men on top of a moving train. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing you’d find in an animated movie where the majority of the male figures are bound to be either unfulfilling in some way or nothing but ignorant and arrogant jerks that think they know everything, while the women and girls are wise and free and powerful. There’s nothing for it but to laugh since it is animated and it does promote a positive image that doesn’t have to be one hundred percent realistic.
Barring that, this movie does look like something that might help to inspire a lot of kids since the message it sends, once one gets away from the practical side of it, is overwhelmingly positive. The idea that horses can feel what a person is feeling is pretty accurate since many studies have been conducted to test this very thing. Horses are fascinating creatures since those born in the wild, like many animals, know the feeling of running free and don’t particularly enjoy being tamed since it’s a rough process depending on the horse and the situation. Even those that allow riders aren’t necessarily tamed but can be ridden if a person makes it clear that the horse can trust them, and can keep that feeling consistent. Some folks might think that horses are big dumb animals, but the truth is that horses are not unlike people in some ways, as they can figure certain things out and their level of intelligence differs from one horse to another. Just like humans, there are some that are crafty, some that are ill-tempered, and many others that exhibit other traits that set them apart from each other but still denote a type of intelligence that’s hard to miss.
Too many people appear to think that a horse is just an animal and not to be respected, and is able to be broken and put to the type of back-breaking labor that such animals have been doing for countless generations. It’s likely that a lot of people that work with horses will tell you that if one treats their horses kindly, takes care of them, and doesn’t ask for more than the horse can give that they’re doing it right. A lot of people might argue that horses aren’t meant to be beasts of burden, that they’re meant to run free and not be subjugated, which is a big message in this movie without a doubt. The argument of course is that horses have helped to revolutionize the world in a very big way since for longer than many people care to think about, horses have been depended upon for many different tasks, and anyone would admit that there are those that don’t deserve the service or the friendship of a horse since they mistreat them in horrible ways. But with enough trust, love, and understanding, humans and horses can accomplish amazing things together. I know, I know, that sounds like the Saturday morning cartoon type of wisdom that a lot of us grew up with, but the truth of it is that by understanding and respecting the animals that we still use and rely on it’s possible to earn their trust, service, and friendship, which makes for a much more amenable relationship with our four-legged companions.
Spirit: Untamed is bound to be one of the many animated movies that people will roll their eyes at, I know I did, but it’s bound to be a great movie for families to watch together all the same since it does appear to teach a few very valuable lessons that would be great for many people to learn at some point. It looks cute without a doubt, and it’s bound to catch the attention of plenty of viewers.