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BMZ Review: The Young Black Stallion
By Paula Tagle

 

The Young Black Stallion
Written by: Paula Tagle
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: December 26, 2003

     

Category: Reviews

Disney's first dramatic feature made specifically for the giant screen, The Young Black Stallion combines the grand, expansive imagery typical of Large Format films with a somewhat meager narrative.  Set in Northern Africa, the film makes good use of the immensely cinematic desert wasteland to tell the rather simple story of a young girl and her friendship with a wild horse.

Biana Tamimi stars as a precocious youth, Neera, who after being estranged from her family finds herself alone in the barren desert.  Hearing the sound of running water, she rushes to a small water hole where she encounters a black foal, spirited but volatile.  Their meeting, though seemingly arbitrary, is rooted more deeply than in mere chance.  Their friendship quickly flourishes, which sets in motion the growth of both Neera and the young stallion into the heroes of Disney's narrative.

The film, however, stumbles in its fractured storytelling.  Too short to truly leave a dramatic impression, the film's pacing hardly allows the audience to immerse themselves in the story.  The stiff, uninspired acting also dampers a rather humdrum tale.

Despite the narrative shortcomings, The Young Black Stallion is not without its stirring moments.  The titular character is quite a likeable creature and it is not surprising why the wild horse is the true star of the film.  Here, the film spends some time following the horse as it gallops at top speed, full of energy and nobility.  Perhaps the most marvelous moment in the film is simply watching the stallion run free across the expanse of the desert.  So glorious is he as the untamed horse of the desert, a premature domestication into saddles and harnesses seems to humble one's image of the once-princely colt.

Nevertheless, although The Young Black Stallion tells a rather bland and wanting story, the film contains some quintessential Giant Screen visuals which should appeal to families with young children.

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Additional BMZ Reviews of The Young Black Stallion

The Young Black Stallion by Dave Lewis
Taking a Ride on the Big Screen by Ross Anthony

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