Spirit Riding Free Review: Noooooo!

Maybe this should have been obvious. There was zero signs that this Netflix show would be anything good, but I grew up with movies like the original Spirit, so I couldn’t help myself.

If you don’t remember, Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron was one of Dreamwork’s last 2D animated feature film. It starred Matt Damon and was about a horse growing up and wanting to be free from human captivity. May not have been a huge it back in the day, but I really enjoyed it myself from time to time.

Part of what made that film worked for me was how convincing Matt’s narration was, allowing you to feel the inner thoughts of Spirit as he’s otherwise voiceless. Wasn’t overbearing or telegraphing everything that was about to happen, but gave this house some vibrant personality that I’ve never seen in a movie.

This show takes the Barbie route with a spaghetti western setting. Heck, Barbie already had this toy line set in the 80s, and I can’t believe I had to research that.

What is this show about? Not Spirit, but a self-entitled teen named Luckey Prescott (voiced by Amber Frank) who just hates her boring family life. Things start to turn around for her when she finds and rescues Spirit from a couple of rangers.

The rest of this 6-episode series is Luckey complaining about the teen life, bonding with Spirit and getting into cliché TV show scenarios. No episode relates to another as they jump into one tired plot after another.

The show even going off as to introduce an antagonist and a reason to keep the horses safe, but only to ditch it in the final episode for a generic birthday party plot. Placing Spirit in the background and taking away his narration kind of seems like a jerk move towards people who enjoyed the original and it is.

Neither Luckey or her two sidekick friends, Pru Granger (voiced by Sydney Park), and Abigail Stone (voiced by Bailey Gambertogolio) are likeable and develop any sort of personality. I wouldn’t mind the focus not being on Spirit have the replacement star show any sort of personality, but you don’t get that here.

I would even try to forgive and look past as this is for the kids, but these girls are bratty and rude, treating their kind dads like crud, and always wanting to be hip and cool with the others. And when you get the great Nolan North to voice Luckey’s dad, the problem with these girls becomes more highlighted.

Nolan North just makes you feel sorry for his character with how sincere and kindhearted Luckey’s dad is, especially when reacting to her bratty nature. You feel sorry for the horses because they don’t mean anything to this show put to be for some lame slapstick humor and to be plot objects.

I mean you have alright TV show animation, but that doesn’t mean anything when nothing around the animation is good and that a movie from 2002 looks visually superior to this 2017 series.

I mean this screen above makes it clear why this show exists. Again, I’d look past it, but these are not the characters that your daughters should resonate with. It’s short, with each episode being only a half hour-long, and that’s kind of it for positives. This show is awful, the end!

Just pop in the original Spirit movie and move on with your life!

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