What can you expect from DreamWorks’ new movie about a little girl and a horse in “Spirit Untamed”? You can expect a lot of shenanigans from a willful young girl and a wild, powerful mustang. “Spirit Untamed” might refer to the horse or the girl. But mild shenanigans, escapades that would threaten the lives of the girl are rushed over and no one suffers any consequence, a dream for an unruly child. Adventures not authorized by adults might be a better way to term the action on the screen, wild stuff tamed down to be non-threatening to 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old girls.
DreamWorks, the famous movie factory founded by Steven Spielberg and a couple of friends in 1994 has evolved into a division of Universal Pictures, itself a division of NBC, itself a division of Comcast, the cable provider. DreamWorks has won a pair of Oscars but the last one came in 2005, long before Comcast took over. This smells like a film fabricated by bean counters, not that the children in the audience will mind.
Neither of the two directors, Elaine Bogan and Enno Torresan have made a feature-length film prior to “Spirit Untamed.” Both however have done work on other DreamWorks projects in the past.
A fine voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, McKenna Grace, Julianne Moore, Walton Goggins, and Eiza Gonzalez. Sometimes it is fun for the adults to guess which famous actor provides the voice of which animated character.
This one is perfect for the target audience, girls of grade-school age and younger. It is full of horses, excitement, horses, misunderstanding adults, horses, gal pals, adventure, and horses. The three girl buddies rush to rescue a band of captured wild horses by defying the danger of Heck Mountain, to give some context to the age group targeted.
“Spirit Untamed” carries a very mild PG rating so feel free to bring even young children and get them out of the heat for an hour and 28 minutes. DreamWorks allowed a budget of $30 million and has brought in a very mild $10 million thus far.
The computer-animated film breaks new ground in that it is the first feature-length film to be manufactured from a Netflix streaming series.