Is the new DreamWorks animated Spirit 2 film ok for children? Spirit Untamed Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the 2021 Spirit sequel release. No spoilers! #SpiritUntamed
Spirit Untamed Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
YAY or neigh?
Why the long face? It’s been about 9-years since the release of the first Spirit film, which is enough to make this mom feel old…really old. But in an attempt to give new life to the Spirit horse franchise, this Netflix series-based film may be a horse of a different color (sorry, y’all. The horse puns aren’t going to stop anytime soon).
In this Spirit Untamed Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we are breaking down the visuals, the story, the PG rating for violence, adult themes and language, the kids age rating recommendation and if I will be allowing my own children to watch this film. Does this DreamWorks reboot have enough giddy-up to keep families interested? Or should Spirit have stayed in the Netflix corral?
Better than Netflix. As much as my little girl loves watching Spirit, I’m very happy to see that Spirit got more than a facelift from the popular TV series. A little investment in the animation goes a long way, especially when it comes to adults sitting through the 88-minute ride. Am I right? Turn of the century landscapes, a little Spirit touch up, and full or bright colors for little kids, DreamWorks thankfully stepped up for this Spirit 2 reboot.
Horses, horses and more horses. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 2 years since a DreamWorks theater release. (Remember when we were all clutching our pearls when Trolls World Tour went straight to streaming?) But if you were expecting an exciting and unique Spirit adventure film, you may be sorely disappointed.
Technically, Spirit Untamed is not a Spirit 2 sequel. Or at least DreamWorks wants us to think that. A spin-off of the original 2002 Oscar nominated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and a reimagined feature film reboot of the popular Netflix series Spirit: Riding Free (including some the characters), this next chapter of the DreamWorks Spirit horse franchise is less like a sequel and more like a “loosely based on” story (aka $$$). But let’s face it, kids will be calling this movie Spirit 2 anyway.
Starring the voice talents of Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore and McKenna Grace (“Fuller House,” “Captain Marvel“), Spirit Untamed as far as story goes, is pretty tame and predictable. Don’t expect some major plot twist. But perhaps in this first “back to theaters” DreamWorks film, it’s the kind of family movie stability we all could appreciate.
Despite the lack of a unique story, Spirit Untamed is already DreamWorks animation triumph, even before hitting theaters. A “testing the waters” film for theaters post-pandemic, and considering that filmmakers basically completed this animated film at home during the pandemic, that alone is enough to applaud the movie’s success. I also have to note that Spirit Untamed does a good job introducing some multicultural flair into this film, with lots of turn of the century Spanish influence, songs, and a Black best friend. Good to see in 2021.
That PG Rating Explained
Is Spirit Untamed kid friendly? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all child age ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). But you also know how I feel about PG ratings especially. With MPAA ratings unpredictable these days, PG rating oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense and Christopher Robin calm, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can be super helpful in determining if a movie is safe for your whole family to watch, especially being the first DreamWorks theater release since Abominable.
Is this Spirit Untamed Movie Review | Safe for Kids? The latest DreamWorks animated film sequel has been rated PG for “some violence, action and thematic elements.” But does this PG age rating mean that Spirit Untamed is safe for kids to see? Here’s what parents should look out for:
Language. Keeping with the Spirit franchise, these characters are good-mannered when it comes to profanities. No swear words to note in this film. though there are many uses of the word “heck” (they even name a place in the movie after the word) and mild insults like “dimwits” and “demonic.”
Adult Themes. If your kids have seen any Disney animated films, the adult themes will not be overly surprising. Inference of death (without the visual) is the usual flavor of kid films these days. Though I personally can’t wait for the day when an cartoon character can grow up without a tragic childhood. Yup, I said it.
Violence. A horse film would not be complete without the horse peril. And for Spirit Untamed, “breaking” horses is a common theme. Very mild, cartoon animal cruelty is seen throughout the film with kidnapping, spurring, tying down and other means of corralling horses. Thankfully lassos are the main “weapons” used in the film, for an overall very unrealistic perilous violent movie.
What Spirit Untamed Age Rating Is Recommended for Kids?
How old should kids be to watch the Spirit Untamed movie? At a decent 1 hour and 28 minute film length, this film is definitely geared towards younger audiences. With enough musical numbers and action to keep little ones interested, the bigger question will be since the pandemic, can kids sit in a theater seat for that long? Attention spans may have shrunk considerably since the last time your children saw a movie in theaters, so definitely keep that in mind.
What age rating is recommended for Spirit Untamed? I think you’ll be surprised. Though it seems that G-rated films seem to be disappearing, this latest DreamWorks animated movie is very much like a mild G-rated film. With unrealistic peril, violence and many kids already exposed to the mild adult themes, I do see this Spirit film sequel as more for “all audiences” (yes including those toddlers) perhaps even more so than the latest G-rated Disney film, Toy Story 4 (*gasp,* I said it). So saddle up the whole family for this one.
Overall, Spirit Untamed is in one word, tame. Sweet and wholesome, this no-frills horse flick is just the animated movie our little kids need right now. While probably not grabbing the reins of the adults, it’s an 88-minute family-friendly ride that isn’t screaming “should have skipped right to Netflix,” but probably won’t be winning awards either. Safe and predictable, this first back-to-theaters test run for DreamWorks is about what I expected. Without the sharp wit of Shrek, the story of Abominable or the soundtrack of Trolls, Spirit Untamed is just a middle of the road family-film that will grab a new generation of Spirit lovers galloping for the merch. And that’s about it.
Straight from the horse’s mouth…like, whoa.
Follow Spirit Untamed on social:
- Website: https://www.dreamworks.com/movies/spirit-untamed
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamWorksSpirit/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/dreamworks
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dreamworksspirit/
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The all-new original DreamWorks Animation movie Spirit Untamed will be released in theaters on Friday June 4, 2021. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Spirit Untamed Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of DreamWorks. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!