Cantering Along for Children
With a project to do for school widower Frank Mills (Fred Ward - Management) arranges for his daughter Hannah (Miranda Cosgrove - School of Rock) to go and stay at the Bear Mountain Ranch run by an old friend and former girlfriend Matty (Connie Sellecca - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus) so she can take photos of the wild horses. Matty arranges for her young friend CJ (Danielle Chuchran) to show her around and the two become best friends as CJ teaches Hannah all about the horses and the legend of last wild mustang stallion which often joins the horses. But the girls also discover a nefarious plot by businessman Novak (Robert Wagner) which endangers the horses.
Sometimes I feel like I am teaching people to suck eggs when it comes to movies and it frustrates me. I am on about those who watch a movie which is obviously made for a young audience and then ripping it to shreds because as an adult they found it a corny experience with an unsubtle plot, painful performances and more cheese than you would find in a cheese warehouse. That brings me to "The Wild Stallion" a movie which is obviously aimed at young girls, pre-teens and as such doesn't worry itself over the solidity of the storyline or subtlety in fact not being subtle works in this sort of movie. Yet you go looking for information on "The Wild Stallion" and most reviews by grown ups rip it to shreds.
Now as I said lack of subtlety is the order of the day here and so "The Wild Stallion" is shall we say totally obvious for anyone over the age of 13. We have Fred Ward as a widow who still has a spark with Matty the former girlfriend played with simple charm by Connie Sellecca and of course it doesn't take a genius to know that the cuteness of this will play out in a positive and pleasant manner behind the main storyline.
That main storyline, well that is two fold as on one hand we have Hannah and CJ becoming best friends for life as they find a common love of horses. But then we also have the evil businessman, intentionally over played by Robert Wagner, who has hired locals to steal horses for Novak industries. Of course you know in time honoured tradition are young friends will get wind of what is going on and stop it, come on what else do you expect. Of course this simplistic story and lack of subtlety struggles to entertain adults but it is cute and innocent for young children.
Now admittedly there are issues with "The Wild Stallion" and the most noticeable is the lack of flow. In a scene where Matty talks to Hannah about the horses it feels like the camera focussed on Connie Sellecca as she delivered her lines and then afterwards the camera turned and focussed on Miranda Cosgrove delivering her lines with it being edited together afterwards. But the end result is clunky with the two not having a conversation but delivering a series of statements. It doesn't feel natural and as a grown up it makes "The Wild Stallion" hard to watch even when younger children won't notice it. And as for the legendary black stallion well all I will say is that it is not black.
What this all boils down to is that "The Wild Stallion" isn't a bad movie and certainly not as bad as some would suggest it is when you put it into context that it is a movie for young girls. But admittedly it is a movie which whilst cute and inoffensive is hard work for grown ups who find themselves watching it with children.