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Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (also known as Spirit) is a 2002 American animated Western film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook (in their feature directional debuts) from a screenplay by John Fusco. The film follows Spirit, a Kiger Mustang stallion (voiced by Matt Damon through inner dialogue), who is captured during the American Indian Wars by the United States Cavalry; he is freed by a Native American man named Little Creek who attempts to lead him back into the Lakota village. In contrast to the way animals are portrayed in an anthropomorphic style in other animated features, Spirit and his fellow horses communicate with each other through non-linguistic sounds and body language like real horses.


In the 19th-century American West, a young Kiger Mustang colt, Spirit, is born to a herd of wild horses. Spirit grows into a stallion and assumes the leadership of the herd. One night, upon following a strange light near his herd, Spirit finds horses kept in chains and their wranglers sleeping around a campfire. They awake and, seeing him as a magnificent specimen, seize him, taking him to a US cavalry fort.

In captivity, Spirit encounters "The Colonel", who orders the mustang tamed; however, Spirit fends off all attempts to tame him. To weaken Spirit, the Colonel orders him tied to a post for three days without food or water. Meanwhile, a Lakota Native American named Little Creek is also brought into the fort and held captive. Spirit is later supposedly tamed by the Colonel, who speaks his idea of how any wild horse can be tamed. Spirit gets a second wind and finally throws him off. Humiliated, the Colonel attempts to shoot him before Little Creek (who frees himself from his bonds with a knife) saves Spirit from being shot as they escape from the post. Little Creek's mare, Rain, meets them along with other natives, who promptly recapture Spirit.

After returning to the Lakota village, Little Creek attempts to tame Spirit with kindness, but Spirit is unwilling. Little Creek ties Spirit and Rain together, hoping she can discipline him. Spirit falls in love with Rain in the process. Meanwhile, a cavalry regiment led by the Colonel attacks the village. During the battle, the Colonel attempts to shoot Little Creek, but Spirit tackles the Colonel and his horse, deflecting the shot. Rain is instead shot and thrown into a river. Spirit runs after Rain but they both plummet over a waterfall. Spirit rescues Rain and stays by her side until the cavalry recaptures him. Little Creek then tends to Rain and vows to free Spirit.

Spirit is forced to work on the transcontinental railroad, where he is pulling a steam locomotive. Sensing that the track will infringe on his homeland, Spirit breaks free from the sledge and breaks the chains of other horses. They escape, and the locomotive falls off its wooden sledge and slams into another locomotive, causing an explosion that sets the forest ablaze. Spirit is trapped when the chain around his neck snags on a fallen tree. Little Creek intervenes, and together they jump safely into a river.

The next morning, the Colonel and his cavalry find Spirit and Little Creek and a chase ensues through the Grand Canyon, where they are trapped by a gorge. Taking a risk, Spirit makes a leap of faith across the gorge. Spirit's bold move amazes the Colonel; he humbly accepts defeat, and leaves them be. Little Creek returns to the Lakota village with Spirit and finds Rain nursed back to health. Little Creek names the stallion the "Spirit-Who-Could-Not-Be-Broken". Spirit and Rain are then set loose by Little Creek, bidding them farewell. They depart to Spirit's homeland, where they eventually integrate into Spirit's herd.

A bald eagle (seen at various points throughout the story) reappears and soars into the horse-shaped clouds.