(kr) wrote: I am astounded that this film received as little attention as it did during its initial theatrical release. With critics raving about the artistic usage of silence and minimal dialogue in the first half of Pixar's over-rated "Wall-E," this film accomplishes the same feat, but in higher quantities and better taste; in fact, it consistantly uses music, natural sounds, and no character dialogue throughout the MAJORITY of the film's running time. This is even more impressive considering the fact that its release was smack-dab in the post-Shrek world, an era of American animation characterized by cranked up noise, crude humor, and sarcastic wisecracks. "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron" is a beautiful film that features some of the most spectacular horse movements I've seen in animation. One can clearly get a sense of Spirit's power, rippling muscles, and, untamed speed; in addition, through memorable songs by Bryan Adams, (such as the show-stopper "Here I Am,") the horse's quest for freedom in an American West slowly becoming domesticated by man was pretty powerful. Though "Lilo & Stitch" got most of the spotlight in 2002, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron" is a hidden gem that should be seen by all families. While never overly walloping audiences over the head with its message and seriousness, the film does contain more drama than Dreamwork's previous "Road To El Dorado" and comes surprisingly close to matching "Prince of Egypt" for thematic elements and situations. The animation has been famously noted for its 'tradigital' techniques, a hybridization of 2D and 3D CGI; while artists could have toned down the realistic portrayal of running water and rocks, much of these distractions occur in the first half of the film and are not nearly as awful as the 'tradigital,' eye-gorging monstrosity, better known as "Titan A E," two years earlier. Apart from the occasional mismatch of animation styles, the film does get a bit monotonous towards the middle, with Spirit getting captured, breaking free, getting captured, breaking free, getting captured.... This kinda gets tiresome after a while. But setting aside these flaws, this is a great horse flick that can be watched by equine lovers everywhere, alongside "The Black Stallion," "Black Beauty," "Hidalgo," and particularly the recent "War Horse," which borrowed a lot from this film.