A young wild mustang, Spirit (Matt Damon) takes a journey across the majestic wilderness of America to save his homeland and obtain his freedom. Along the way he outwits relentless soldiers, makes friends with a young Lakota brave and falls in love with a beautiful pain named Rain.
An eagle soars over the spectacular landscape of the American West. Below, on the ground, gallops a herd of wild horses, symbols of unfettered freedom. Spirit is born into the herd and grows up to be its leader – fast of foot, headstrong and inquisitive, Spirit stumbles on a small group of men – the first he has ever seen. He is captured, sold to the cavalry, and broken in by a martinet officer. Still, he manages to escape in the company of an Indian brave, and, during many adventures, his love of freedom sustains him.
In many ways, this is a throwback to the old kind of animated feature films which we thought had been superseded by productions like Toy Story 1 and 2, Monsters Inc. and Shrek, which had plenty of humour for children and adults alike, and a strikingly different look about them. Spirit, despite its three-dimensional backgrounds, features characters and animals which are drawn as if they're from another era of animation. Songs, by Bryan Adams, regularly interrupt the story. And the story itself is something of a throwback to Bambi – the tale of a beautiful animal who is much nobler, and braver, than most of the human characters. It's a film in which the pioneering white Americans are the bad guys and the Indians and the horses are the good guys.
Little kids may be a bit scared at times, and adults may find less to interest them here than in those other recent animated delights.