Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
May 24, 2002
Following 2001's Shrek, DreamWorks offers up a traditional, 2D-animated film for Memorial Day weekend 2002. While early Internet reports were skeptical of this project, popular online sentiment is changing, with reports from a few early screenings and reviews of the teaser trailer that was included on the Shrek DVD. The critical skepticism was warranted, though, considering the generally poor opinions of DreamWorks' previous 2D-animated films, The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado.
The film tells the story of a wild horse named Spirit, and breaking from animation's talking-animal norm, he will not speak; rather, Matt Damon will narrate the story and elaborate the horse's thoughts. Spirit wanders far from his herd, ends up captured by the US Calvary and must fight not to be tamed. Set in the Old West, Spirit's friends include a young Lakota brave and a female horse named Rain, as well as a guardian bald eagle.
The Road to El Dorado made $50.8 million domestically, and Prince of Egypt earned $101.22 million domestically, while Shrek has earned a staggering $267.65 million domestically. The Shrek DVD, released in November 2001, featured a sneak-peek trailer for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The DVD is wildly popular and has set new sales records, meaning more than eight million homes have already gotten a peek at this 2002 film.
Anyone who has seen the trailer will have to admit that this picture is a great leap forward for DreamWorks animation. The depth, beauty and sense of space all point to this as a new day for the studio, even when viewed in a small box on the computer screen.
With Disney moving its summer 2002 offering, Lilo and Stitch, to late June, Spirit looks to have all the makings of another profitable, summer family film for 2002. With early positive critical response, it may just be entertaining as well, which will bode well for word-of-mouth, long-term prospects, and return ticket sales. (Matt Kinney/BOP)
Comparison films for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
|Atlantis: The Lost Empire
|Prince of Egypt, The
|Road to El Dorado, The
|Hearts in Atlantis
|We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story