Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 29
  2. Negative: 6 out of 29
  1. It's an extraordinary feat of animation, possibly the most lovingly conceived, uncompromisingly executed and totally successful animated film since "The Lion King."
  2. It's classic animation wedded to modern technology -- painted pictures that move in magical splendor.
  3. The movie's big action scenes, at times, make you forget you're even watching animation. There's an in-your-face sequence involving a runaway, crashing train that will make you squirm in your seat trying to get out of the way.
  4. An animated fairy tale made with simple, elegant conviction.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The animators have re-created equine movement and behavior with uncanny verisimilitude.
  6. 75
    The film is short at 82 minutes, but surprisingly moving, and has a couple of really thrilling sequences.
  7. 75
    A welcome family film that extols noble values and offers first-class animation.
  8. A cartoon that's truly cinematic in scope, and a story that's compelling and heartfelt - even if the heart belongs to a big, four-legged herbivore.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A poetic and lovely tale, told as a silent picture with music and narration.
  10. 75
    Those for whom Spirit was made will find this to be a thoroughly enjoyable production. As a "kids' movie", Spirit is a resounding success.
  11. Visually the film is a knockout. I'm not sure this will matter to the young adult audience, but the film is philosophically confusing.
  12. Reviewed by: John Horn
    For all its retro design, Spirit actually represents a delicate marriage of the hand and the computer.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    It's a pretty, high-strung story, handsomely done in traditional animation (mostly by hand) that you can take the kids to without wincing.
  14. Popcorn-buyers, beware: This is no "Shrek," with raucous adult humor sailing over the heads of wee ones. This is "Sesame Street"-level, with white hats, black hats and simple moral messages.
  15. Spirit lacks that essential emotional resonance, and suffers because of it.
  16. Despite its good intentions, Spirit is more self-conscious and uninspiring from a dramatic point of view than one might have wished. Still, whenever it threatens to get bogged down in earnest dramaturgy, a stirring visual sequence -- rouses us.
  17. The action is mild enough for fairly young children, and grownups may enjoy its old-fashioned spirit.
  18. The result is a mishmash that is sometimes moving, sometimes absurd and most of the time just oddly off balance.
  19. Rather exciting, rendered in a bright sunset palette and a mixture of expressive, boldly drawn traditional animation and fluid computer-generated imagery.
  20. 50
    It's handsomely mounted, and its heart seems in the right place, but that's not reason enough to put on a show.
  21. Spirit's narration comes to us courtesy of Matt Damon, who, having played a horse's ass in some of his earlier movies, perhaps thought it wise to inhabit the entire nag this time around.
  22. 40
    As it stands, "Spirit" provides neither the profound human touch of the great Disney animation of the past, nor the dazzling, high-tech fun of present-day digital cartooning.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Saddled with a sentimentally "sincere" subject and lacking the stylistic and humorous cachet of the recent computer-animated smashes.
  24. 30
    Can barely limp to its final CinemaScope sunset shot.
  25. 25
    A boring, wincingly cute and nauseatingly politically correct cartoon guaranteed to drive anyone much over age 4 screaming from the theater.
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    Think "The Lion King" redone for horses, with fewer deliberate laughs, more inadvertent ones and stunningly trite songs by Bryan Adams.
  27. 20
    Dreary adventure. Parents, be forewarned: No talking equines means more songs, and the viselike soundtrack might be someone's idea of a cruel joke: hoarse whisperer Bryan Adams.
  28. 16
    The animation is dull, the thought is fuzzy, the storytelling is vague and the music just plain stinks. It's not "National Velvet," it's sure not "The Black Stallion," it's not even "Dances With Wolves."
  29. It's an exceptionally dreary and overwrought bit of work, every bit as imperious as Katzenberg's "The Prince of Egypt" from 1998.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Feb 12, 2013
    I was young when I last saw this movie. This was one of my favorite movies when I was little and I enjoyed the animation and the music in the movie. Sure the story can be a bit weird but that doesn't stop this from being a great film. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2011
    wonderful! the music is awsome,the animation is top notch,and the story is inspiring! i loved it so much i created petition for a sequel! go here to sign or google spirit petition 2 and click on the first link you see. Full Review »
  3. lifeisfun
    Jun 29, 2008
    The impression of this movie on my heart whenever i watch it is beyond explanations. The music i believe is just the match for such a brilliant piece of work or should i say the music is it's soul.A true apotheosis of what SPIRIT is. Full Review »