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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is a 2002 animated film that was released by DreamWorks. It follows the adventures of a young Mustang stallion.

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After a brief introduction featuring an eagle and the mustang's homeland (which resembles Yellowstone National Park, and is likely to be Cimarron County), there is a scene showing the birth of a Buckskin Kiger Mustang, who is the main protagonist, Spirit. His mother is known as Esperanza - a beautiful palomino mare. His father, Strider, is never shown in the actual movie, although he is seen in photos to be pure black (as his mother is yellow and white mixed with black, creating yellow and black; although this probably wasn't thought out by the animators). He grows into a stallion, and assumes the role as leader of the herd. As leader, he defends two foals from a cougar.Spirit is a grand leader with a serious mischievous streak and a high sense of curiosity. Spotting a camp one night not far from his herd, the stallion is unable to control his curiosity and moves towards it, as he's never seen humans before. Against his mother's wishes, he goes to investigate anyways, thus beginning his journey. To Spirit's surprise, the humans (cowboys or horse-traders) are vicious.
After a long chase, he is captured and taken to a US cavalry post. During this time in the movie, the army are fighting the Indian Wars and colonizing the soon-to-be western United States. There he encounters a Colonel (based on Colonel Custer; in the film he is known simply as "The Colonel"). He sees the stallion as a symbol of the West, which he is setting out to conquer. Naturally, he attempts to conquer the mustang, too. Spirit is not tamed easily and manages to outwit all who attempt to ride him. Not pleased with this, The Colonel orders the horse to be tied to 'the post' for three days, without food or water.During this time, a Lakota American Indian named Little Creek is also brought into the fort and held captive. After being thrown a knife over the fence by a Lakota tribe member, Little Creek quickly hides it just as the bugle at dawn sounds.
This marks the end of the three days and the Colonel decided to attempt to break Spirit himself. Spirit seems at first to have given up in exhaustion, but his wild spirit seems to return and he manages to throw the Colonel off and escape with Little Creek. The rest of the horses are intentionally freed in the process. Little Creek's own mare, Rain, gallops up beside them and, while Spirit is distracted Little Creek and the other Indians with him loosely capture Spirit.After a failed attempt at mounting the mustang, Little Creek ties him and Rain together. Rain shows Spirit her world of the Lakota village. Spirit begins to understand their ways and grows close to the mare. His affections for Rain, however, do not soften his yearning to be free.At the end of this time Little Creek decides that Spirit should never be tamed and frees him. However this occurs just before an attack on the Lakota village by an Army regiment led by the Colonel, in which Rain is shot by the Colonel and falls into a river. Spirit is determined to save her, and falls over a waterfall with her in his attempt. They survive, but Rain is injured and on the brink of dying. Spirit is captured, yet again, by the Army. After finding Rain just as they lead Spirit away, Little Creek is determined to free the mustang once and for all, and follows the men who captured the stallion after tending to his own mare.Spirit and some other Indian horses are put on a train and taken to the work site of the Transcontinental Railroad, where they are put to work pulling the locomotive engine up a mountain. As he and many other horses are dragging the locomotive up a mountain, Spirit realizes that if the track extends along its present course, it will infringe on his homeland.
Spirit tricks the humans once again and, with the aid of the other horses, breaks free from the steam engine and causes it to fall down the steep incline they had been moving on. The locomotive rolls down the hill, chasing Spirit all the way down. The engine collides into another locomotive, causing a boiler explosion which starts the camp and woods on fire. As fire erupts, the chain that had remained around Spirit's neck catches on a log while he was leaping over it, but he is freed by Little Creek before he strangled himself.When he wakes in the morning, Spirit spends a short time playing in a lake and on the grass with Little Creek before the Colonel and his men find them. In desperation, Little Creek sends the mustang running. Realizing Little Creek is in danger, Spirit runs back and pushes Little Creek on his back.
During the climactic chase scene on the winding rock passages leading to the canyon, the two get trapped on a plateau. As the Colonel and his men get closer, there is no where to go unless they jump over a large gorge. In a spectacular leap of faith, the mustang and Little Creek jump across to the other side. The soldiers do not attempt to follow. The Colonel stops one of his men from shooting the two, and exchanges nods of respect with Spirit before they part.After a brief celebration, Spirit races back to the rebuilt Lakota village with Little Creek still on his back, where he finds Rain still alive. The horses share a happy moment, and Little Creek, knowing it's for the best, sets Spirit-who-could-not-be-broken and Rain free, and they return to the wild herd. As they race back, the song "I Will Always Return" is played. Eventually, they meet up with his herd and Esperanza. The film ends with Spirit and Rain standing at the ledge, with the herd below. The camera then spans up to the eagle as he flies into the blindness of the sun.