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Spirit is the main protagonist in the film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, which was created and released by DreamWorks in 2002. He is the leader of the Cimarron Herd.


Spirit is a buckskin kiger mustang stallion with brown eyes. He has a powerful, muscular frame and a boxy head with expressive eyebrows.


Spirit is a fun-loving and fiery-spirited horse, but also has his responsibility as the leader of his herd. He also enjoys racing against his friend The Eagle. When a cougar attacks the herd, he puts his own life in danger to protect two unsuspecting foals. Later in the movie, he meets humans in the first place. In his opinion, they’re very strange creatures, and yet, Spirit has to save his herd from being exposed when those humans try to capture him. The humans succeed, and Spirit saved his herd.

Spirit is a strong-willed horse, and he refuses to be broken by any of the humans that capture him, although they try several times. Spirit wants to be free, but when a Native American from the Lakota people, Little Creek, saves Spirit from the army, and introduces him to his horse Rain, Spirit finds himself caught between staying with Rain and the tribe, or returning home.


In Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Esperanza and her newborn foal Spirit

Spirit is born a healthy and strong foal, and of all the foals he is the most mischievous and daring. He's also a bit of a nuisance to most of the other adults horses. But everyone loves him. He is most handsome of them all.

As an adult, Spirit has a become the leader of the herd, and also got his responsibilities. Despite this, he still loves to have fun.

Spirit expels the cougar

Spirit protects the herd with his life, and even saved two foals from a hungry cougar. Everything seems to be perfect, but that night, Spirit sees a light in the distance and he goes to check it out. What he discovers is a camp, and a group of tame horses tied to a tree. They warn him to leave and not come back, but Spirit is stubborn and checks out the area even more. When he puts his nose inside the boot of a human, he throws it through the air, waking up the whole camp. They chase him, and try to capture him but Spirit evades them, and runs back to his herd. It is a short lived celebration, as the cowboys return and eventually capture Spirit.

Spirit strapped onto a pole

Spirit is taken into an army camp, far away from his herd. They try to break him, but Spirit does not allow them. He bucks every single rider that day. To punish and break Spirit, The Colonel decides to tie him for three days onto a pole, with no food or water. Spirit attempts to break free, but it is in vain. The army captures a Native American from the Lakota people, who was sneaking around the supply wagons. The Colonel orders him to be tied to a pole with no food or water, close to Spirit. The young man's name is Little Creek and he tries to get Spirit's attention. Spirit, now distrustful of the "two-legged", ignores him.

The next day, the Colonel tries to ride Spirit. Spirit tries to throw the Colonel off but the experienced rider cannot be unseated. Spirit is exhausted, and begins to feel broken. After seeing the sad looks of the other horses and Little Creek, he gets a second wind and starts to buck uncontrollably, managing to get the saddle off his back and tossing the Colonel through the air. The Colonel, angry and embarrassed, attempts to shoot Spirit, who is saved at the last minute by Little Creek. Spirit, and the other horses escape and Spirit is ready to gallop home, but is distracted by Little Creek's paint horse mare, Rain, who allows Little Creek and two other Lakota Indians to capture Spirit.

Spirit and the Lakota child.

Little Creek and the two other Lakota bring Spirit to their village, where Little Creek takes of the bridle from Spirit's head which he still had on. Little Creek also attempts to ride Spirit, and Spirit threatens to attack him. Rain yells at Spirit for this, and Little Creek uses her to teach the stallion some manners. He ties up Spirit with Rain so she can show him around and teach him some manners. They slowly fall in love, and for the very first time, Spirit finds his heart torn two ways: He wants to be free, but he also wants to stay with Rain who is reluctant about leaving her home behind.

Spirit cares for the injured Rain

Later, the Colonel and his men attack the tribe. Rains gallops to the village to help Little Creek, and is shot by the Colonel, falling into the river. The Colonel turns his gun on Little Creek, but Spirit arrives and saves the Lakota. He immediately leaves to run after Rain to save her. He also jumps into the water, but he's too late, and they both fall over the waterfall. Spirit is alright, in contrast to Rain. She is on the edge of the shore, gravely wounded. Spirit stays the whole night, comforting Rain.

Hours later, some men find the two horses, and recapture Spirit. After this, Little Creek arrives to tend to Rain. He then see Spirit being hauled away by the men and vows to repay a debt after saving his life. Spirit, devastated by Rain's injury, puts up no fight as he is loaded onto a rail car. During his trip on the train, Spirit sees a vision of his mother and his herd, telling him to "remember who you are", and Spirit's energy is restored. He is put to work with 60 other horses pulling a train to the new tracks of the Transcontinental Railroad. As they reach the top of a large hill, he realizes if the railway continues, it will encroach on his homeland. He pretends to die, and as he is hauled away by mules, frees himself of the chain and kicks away the chains binding the other horses to the train, encouraging them to run. The train begins to slide down the hill with no horses to hold it, and Spirit gallops in front, just inches from being crushed. The train reaches the bottom of the hill and explodes, causing a fire. While he escapes from the explosion, Spirit runs and finds himself in a ditch with a tree blocking his path. He attempts to jump the log but the chain around his neck gets stuck on the branch, strangling him. Little Creek arrives just in time and frees him. The two run jump off a cliff and into a river below them to escape the flames.

Spirit's leap of faith.jpg

When Spirit awakens the next day, he and Little Creek celebrate their escape, however the Colonel and his men have caught up with them and are chasing them again. Little Creek tells Spirit to run and attempts to follow, but trips over. Spirit sees the army men catching up to Little Creek and turns back for him, letting Little Creek ride him for first time. Spirit and Little Creek run into a canyon and work together to take out most of the men, but when they run up to a dead end, Spirit takes a life or death chance and jumps over the canyon. They make it to the other side and out of respect for their jump, the Colonel stops the chase. They celebrate their escape and gallop home to Little Creek's village. Rain is still alive and completely healed. Little Creek wants Rain to be happy, and gives her the chance to go with Spirit to his herd. After a long and difficult goodbye, Rain and Spirit return to Spirit's herd.


  • As opposed to most animated characters in movies, Spirit and the animals that appear in this movie don't have the ability to speak, so they use body language to communicate.
  • Although Spirit doesn't speak on-screen, first person narration resembling him is provided by Matt Damon.
  • Spirit is the first DreamWorks Animation animal character to be a protagonist, followed by Rocky Rhodes from Chicken Run, the third being Belt from The Croods, and Barnebis from Trolls.