Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Rated 3.0 In this beautifully animated feature, writer John Fusco and directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook follow the adventures of a wild mustang in the Old West—kidnapped from his herd, drafted into the U.S. Cavalry, pressed into service on the transcontinental railroad. The story is a pastiche of sources—Black Beauty, Dances With Wolves, Little Big Man—owing much to Disney’s forgotten live-action 1958 feature Tonka. The story is predictable, riddled with anachronisms (would horses and Lakota Sioux really say things like “OK”?), and geographically implausible. What saves the movie is the truly dazzling animation, swooping from the clouds to the prairie grass with giddy grace, sweeping us off our feet and proving that there’s nothing like well-done “classic” animation to tickle the inner child.