Written by Karlamon :
A full 15 years after the release of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, DreamWorks Animation has decided to do the unthinkable. Revive it as a Netflix series called Spirit Riding Free. A trailer of the series has been released, but be warned: This isn't Spirit as we know it...
From what we see here, this series takes on a completely different turn from the Oscar-nominated movie. It is presented in cheap CGI instead than the beautiful 2D "tradigital" animation, there is no Matt Damon narration, and Spirit himself isn't even the focus of the show. Instead, we look into the life of new-to-country girl Lucky who makes new friends, and they go riding on Spirit and other horses.
My big problem with this series is the portrayal of Spirit himself. Not only is he shoved aside to make the girls the main stars, but it seems they have stripped all of his non-verbal personality. Everything that made him memorable and developed in the movie has been removed to the point that he's just any ordinary horse. Any other house could have been used, and the series wouldn't be any different.
As for the animation, DreamWorks prove they can deliver decent TV-quality computer animation in shows like Dragons, Trollhunters, and even The Penguins of Madagascar. But in the case of Spirit Riding Free, the rendering appears more on the cheap side, and doesn't capture the tone or spirit (no pun intended) of the movie.
While Spirit Riding Free may find an audience with young girls, those expecting a proper Spirit TV series will probably be disappointed. If you're still somewhat curious to see it, six 22-minute episodes will be released onto Netflix on May 5.
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