The Indelible Bond Between Humans and Animals in "Spirit Untamed"

An adventure that centers on freedom and captures viewers' hearts.

Bonnie Mukherjee
Bonnie Mukherjee
January 28, 2022
3.5 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
4 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

An adventure that centers on freedom and captures viewers' hearts.

Spirit Untamed is a 2021 animated adventure film that tells the story of a young girl, Lucky, who forms a bond with a wild Kiger mustang whom she names Spirit. Set in the Wild West during the 1900s, this film centers around the strong bond between a human girl and a horse. Their empathetic connection contrasts the cruelty that lead to the tragic death of Milagro during a circus act in the early 1900s. After Lucky discovers some wranglers are capturing Spirit's herd, Lucky steps in to save his family.

This article will show viewers how lasting bonds between humans and animals are formed and why they leave a lasting impression on a young audience.

Mutual Trust

This imaage is of Lucky on a train meeting Spirit

Lucky meets Spirit for the first time.

The horse, who Lucky names Spirit, has different reactions and behaviors towards different people, depending on his trust level. When Lucky sees Spirit the first time, she is on the back of a steam train racing through the desert. She notices Spirit galloping with his herd. In the corral scene, Lucky witnesses Hendricks, a man who doesn't treat Spirit with respect. Therefore, Spirit aggressively throws him off his back when he tries to tame him. The way Hendricks mistreats Spirit in the corral alludes to his evil plans and sinister nature; when Lucky witnesses him and his men kidnapping Spirit's herd, she recognizes Hendricks as the same man who mistreated Spirit and whose gang regularly abuses horses.

Despite Milagro's death and her father Jim's strict parenting, Lucky builds up the courage to approach Spirit and win his trust. When she offers Spirit an apple, Spirit eats it and allows her to pet him, thus sealing their mutual bond. This heart-warming interaction emphasizes that respect and trust are the keys to animals and humans bridging the gap between them.

Viewers can cheer for Lucky as she becomes a heroine, intent on rescuing Spirit and the other horses. Through her relationship with Spirit, we see that Lucky is courageous and devoted to animals. She also befriends with two other riders, Pru and Abigail, who are inspired by her kindness. Spirit can sense the behaviors and reactions in other people, hence, his intuition reveals who can truly be trusted.

Leading with Spirit

This image is of three girls on their horses.

Lucky and her friends on their horses.

The word "Spirit" is referenced by other characters in several scenes in this film. When Jim tells Lucky that he believes in her because she has her mother's spirit, this shows a the importance of a father-daughter bond after the loss of another parent. In the beginning of Spirit Untamed, Lucky's voice overs highlight the beautiful truth that her mother's spirit lives on within her. The recurrence of the word "spirit" throughout the film motivates viewers, reminding them to tap into their determination and inner strength.

After Lucky and her friends free Spirit and his herd, Lucky releases Spirit so he can live a happy life with his family. While she is sad to let him go, she learns that Spirit will ultimately always be a part of her.

Spirit Untamed shines with strong Hispanic representation and offers a thrilling and heart-warming adventure, highlighting the importance of empathy and independence.