One word came to my mind after watching this film: wang.
The word "wang" has two different connotations. First, it's a euphemism for the male sexual organ, the penis, the little fireman. Second, it's a pejorative term used for Chinese people by English-speaking Neanderthals who enjoy the monosyllabic ease with which the word can be uttered. It can often be heard in the boardroom of Abercrombie & Fitch.
"Wang" is the overwhelming thematic device of "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron." Spirit is a horse who runs free in the American West shortly after the Civil War. Unfortunately for him, he's captured by U.S. soldiers and they attempt to break him. This, apparently, is a bad thing, because wild horses should be able to run free, as should all animals. Domestication is bad. So remember, after you see this film, run home and let your pets out and don't let them back in. They want to be free.
Spirit escapes with a Native American who's also captured by the soldiers, and when they get to the guy's tribe, he introduces Spirit to a mare. Now you can see how this film is about wang. Spirit spends the entire movie thinking about this hot-looking mare. Remember that a horse penis is two feet long, so that might make some of YOU (note the emphasis on the word "you") feel inadequate.
Before Spirit is able to put his wang to good use, he's captured again and made to haul a steam engine over a mountain pass with a bunch of other horses. Spirit, being spirited as he is, breaks the chains of his oppressors and helps all the other horses escape. See, the oppressors are bad for making the horses do these horrible things, like work. It's good that Spirit is able to thwart the oppressors and escape and have the potential to use his wang. However, this made me think about the millions of Chinese who were still working on the railroad during that era as slave labor. The filmmakers conveniently gloss over this small fact, content to thrill the audience with the clever horsies, ignoring the millions of Chinese who actually did much of the heavy lifting in building the infrastructure of the American West. I imagine a movie in which Chinese laborers rebelled against their oppressors wouldn't have done so well in terms of box office grosses, toy store revenue, or fast-food promotional tie-ins.
Why DreamWorks couldn't have filmed a simple story about horses without resorting to a historical context fraught with potential disaster is anybody's guess. Perhaps Jeffrey Katzenberg was supposed to be Spirit and Michael Eisner was the big fat steam engine. After all, whenever Katzenberg's involved in a movie, there's always a Michael Eisner figure in there somewhere.
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