Caught this newest animated offering from Dreamworks on Saturday at an advanced screening. Took my horse-obssessed six year old (girl) and my not-so-horse-obssessed 4 year old, who would have been upset if left at home. First, the negative: a bit too much anthropomorphizing for me. The horses smiled, rolled their eyes, and generally acted a bit too "human," especially since there was a great deal of interaction WITH humans in the movie. Matt Damon's voiceover work was not annoying, just unnecessary, though it probably helped some of the kids follow along. Probably the worst aspect was the nearly non-stop barrage of Bryan Adams songs...once again, kids will probably like them as they fit nicely with the story, but adults will more than likely be gritting their teeth as ole Bryan starts belting it out for the 4th, 5th, etc, time. The positive: Animation is very well done. Dreamworks has done a very good job mixing digital animation with hand-drawn cell animation. Some of the skies, and especially the water of a turbulent river, were simply amazing. Horses are drawn very realistically (except for being able to smile and the way they move their eyes) -- not highly stylized or exaggerated. What really impressed me is the two humans we see close-ups of -- the Lieutenant and Little Creek -- both had very individual faces and expressions. It felt like you were watching ACTORS, not drawings. The cavalry officer's looks were obviously modeled on Custer's, though he looked meaner than any portrayal of Custer I've seen. The film also features one of the best animated fiery explosions I've ever seen....extremely well done. As a nice counterpoint to Bryan Adams' wailing, the Hans Zimmer score was fantastic...when you could hear it. I really wish Dreamworks had cut BA's involvement either entirely or just down to 1 or 2 songs. What I heard of the score really fit the majestic animation and landscapes, and would have been much more fitting to the time period and story. And for what it is worth...my 6 year old loved it, and wants to see it again. My 4 year old had her face buried against me for much of the movie. Spirit is captured by the cavalry, and as part of the breaking process, is tied to a post for 3 days without food or water. My 4 year old was VERY upset at Spirit having ropes around his neck and being treated badly by the soldiers. The G-rating was not really pushed, but just know your kids. My 4 year old is very sensitive and easily upset by and cruelty or sad plot turns.