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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Spirit: Your views
Spirit is released on Friday 5 July
Spirit is a Dreamworks production
Spirit, produced by the same animators who created the successful Shrek, tells the story of a wild horse who is captured by humans but escapes and embarks on a series of adventures.

The film, narrated by Matt Damon with a soundtrack by Bryan Adams, is a 2-D animation.

"While it is perfectly laudable to try and make a children's film which offers something a bit more serious and thought-provoking than usual, it is another thing entirely to make one which will bore its young audience rigid," wrote BBC News Online's Caroline Westbrook.

"For this is hard-going even for grown-up cinemagoers - the storyline is pompous and portentous and there is almost nothing in the way of laughs or light relief."

But what do you think?

Does it pale in comparison with the latest computer animation films? Is the story clichéd?

Have your say

I've watched the film, as I watch quite a lot of children's films when they come out, and I found the film an amusing romp along the lines of the traditional Bambi-style Disney animated films.

If there's one thing that annoys me it's reviewers who wait for the next battle, the next bit of violence, the next swear word or the next scene with sexual connotations - children's films aren't about that.

I didn't think it was clichéd at all, and I certainly don't think it would "bore its young audience rigid" as your reviewer put it.
Edward Sheldon, UK

My two kids - aged seven and five - loved it and were riveted to the screen throughout the whole performance. They even went to see it a second time. I also loved it and found it very entertaining and heart warming. To say it is boring merely because there is not much humour is very naive.
Tim Gibson, Singapore

I am five-years-old and I loved watching Spirit. It is the best movie I have seen, and I thought the horses looked great and I liked that they didn't talk, but made horsey sounds. Definitely my favourite film.
Chloe Harkins, Australia

This was a lovely film that was thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my two boys aged just three and nearly five. It was a relief to watch something that didn't feel obliged to crack jokes or hit its audience over the head every 30 seconds - who said children's attention spans were dead?
Matthew McGuchan, London

I took my four-year-old grand-daughter to see Spirit on Saturday afternoon. After 30 minutes, every time she heard sad music, she said "Is it finished now Nannie?", after 45 minutes she said she was bored and could we go home. I could only agree with her.

Whilst the narration and Bryan Adams soundtrack might engross older children, I am afraid it did not keep my grand-daughter amused. She has seen many films at the cinema, such as Shrek, Monsters Inc and Ice Age and sat through and laughed, and was scared in all appropriate places. Spirit, I am afraid, seemed hackneyed and dull. I even offered her the video when it came out and she said "no thank you".

Sorry - just did not enjoy it at all.
Wendy Tickner, England

I saw the film over the weekend, and thought it was a masterpiece. The animations are stunning, and it's no wonder that it took the producers four years to make. The film offers a dynamic experience to its younger viewers, giving them a clear insight into the life at the time. The horses don't speak but their thoughts are very carefully narrated and beautifully sang, so that's what makes the film more real. It's not a cliché at all, the storyline is brilliant and the character Spirit is so real, you don't even think it's a horse. I would rate it 10/10 and I can't wait to buy the soundtrack. Simply a stunning masterpiece!
Molly Holmes, England, UK

It was a highly enjoyable film, the animation was excellent as was the storyline. Overall, it was an excellent film which is a must to go and see.
Paul, England

I took my five-year-old son to see this film and he loved it. I usually judge this by how many times he goes to the toilet during a visit to the cinema. He didn't go until after it had finished. So it must have been good.
Neil McBride, England

A fantastic film about how man has either the power to mistreat an animal or learn to understand it and become its friend. Very emotive. A film to be proud of!
A Stephenson, UK

I was shocked to read negative comments regarding Spirit. I took two five-year-olds and a four-year-old to see the film and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. The film evoked strong emotions in myself and the children - a box of tissues would not have gone amiss! All in all it was a lovely film to watch. How anybody who has seen the film could have made such negative comments is beyond me! I would rather my daughter watch Spirit than Harry Potter which was supposed to be for children and yet contained swearing!!! What do people actually want for children these days?!!!
Jackie Henderson, United Kingdom

Wonderful. My seven and five-year-old loved it although the youngest got a little emotional in places. Superb animation and soundtrack. Not too long at 80mins but a wonderous film that lifted the heart. I'm sure there will be plenty who will pan it for such a simple tale and no violence and swearing that seem to dominate the so-called kids market these days. Don't listen to them, just go and decide for yourself.
Simon, UK

So it wasn't exactly the same as all other modern animated films - what a refreshing change! It was entertaining and quite educational, my kids absolutely loved it! Fantastic!
Nicky, UK

I saw Spirit two weeks ago in Sydney and although I am no kid (29) I thought it was thought-provoking, entertaining and a welcome change from the usually violent and mind numbing summer blockbusters. This is a great film for all the family.
Philip Clapham, Australia

I watched it along with a group of 3-8 year olds. Boring for the 3-year-old but my 7-year-old daughter loved it. Having said that I thought it was a bad movie. Anthropomorphised, even the heroine (horse) was blonde and blue eyed with long lashes! I found the scenes more violent than thrilling, as did most of the kids. They were on the edge of their seats through fear/empathy rather than inspiration.

Any info about horses was totally unrealistic, like a horse was shoed before being broken. The drawing was computer-generated, multiple images of the same horses. Poor rendering of how a herd of horses move together, the opening scene of galloping horses was badly captured, too fast and the sound too violent.

There were no bloody gory scenes that would earn the film a not for kids rating but I felt it was too much for any kid under five. The story was a love overcomes all obstacles story with gender bias. There was a lovely fantasy scene of horses frolicking in a pond with water lilies, too little of that and too much fire and horse abuse, though some funny scenes with anthropomorphised horses laughing at humans.

I expected more from Dreamworks. I expected a non-predicatable Disneyfied movie, instead I would expect Disney to have made Spirit, it had all the tacky formula.
Margaret, USA

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