Cozy up this holiday season with your loved ones, and grab some popcorn (and maybe some tissues) because there’s nothing to get you in the holiday spirit quite like an old-fashioned movie – especially one featuring horses.
From tear-jerking dramas to heartwarming animated adventures, below are our top picks featuring stellar casts, screenplays, and stallions.
Black Beauty (2020)
This poignant adaptation of Anna Sewell's beloved novel follows the captivating journey of Black Beauty, a gentle and spirited black horse who navigates the complexities of life through the changing hands of various owners.
Through Black Beauty's eyes, we witness the stark contrast between beauty and brutality as he experiences both kindness and cruelty.
Despite the hardships he endures, Black Beauty's unwavering spirit and compassion serve as a testament to the nobility of horses.
War Horse (2011)
This epic war drama, adapted from Michael Morpurgo's acclaimed novel, tells the extraordinary story of Joey, a thoroughbred horse who is separated from his young owner, Albert, during the horrors of World War I.
Joey's remarkable journey takes him through the trenches of war, where he encounters both kindness and brutality as Albert enlists in the army to be reunited with his horse.
Despite the trials he faces, Joey's unwavering spirit serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the resilience of horses and the enduring power of human connection.
This award-winning and Oscar-nominee adaptation by master director Steven Spielberg is definitely not one to miss.
Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron (2002)
This visually stunning animated film from DreamWorks Animation takes us on a breathtaking journey to the untamed American West, where Spirit, a wild and free stallion, roams the vast plains. Spirit's unwavering love for freedom is challenged when wranglers capture him, but his indomitable spirit refuses to be tamed. On the way, he befriends a Native American child, and the two develop a wholesome friendship that saves both their lives.
Matt Damon does a brilliant job of narrating the protagonist's thoughts. Through Spirit's adventures, we learn about the importance of preserving the wild spirit of horses, the power of friendship, and the unwavering bond between humans and animals.
This animated feature definitely impressed critics and got itself nominated for an Oscar.
Dark Horse (1992)
This heartwarming tale unfolds in the heart of a local stable, where Allison Mills, a troubled teenager struggling with the loss of her mother, finds solace and an unlikely companion in Jet, a wild and untamed horse.
As Allison nurtures a bond with Jet, she embarks on a path of self-discovery, learning to trust herself and harness the healing power of horses.
The theme of the film resonated with so many that it received great reviews on its release at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992.
National Velvet (1944)
The 1935 novel "National Velvet" captivated readers with its tale of a young girl named Velvet Brown, who defied societal expectations and trained her beloved horse, Pie, to compete in the grueling Grand National Steeplechase.
This inspirational story of an ordinary girl achieving extraordinary things was brought to life on the silver screen in 1944, starring a 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet and Mickey Rooney as a drifter who mentors her.
The film's heartwarming narrative and captivating performances garnered critical acclaim, earning five Academy Award nominations and two wins. In 2003, "National Velvet" was rightfully inducted into the National Film Registry for its enduring cultural significance.
The Man From Snowy River (1982)
Set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Australian wilderness, this classic Western stars the legendary Kirk Douglas as a determined rancher fiercely protective of his land and his daughter. When a young man named Jim Craig inherits a neighboring ranch, tensions escalate between the two families. However, Jim's deep connection with horses, particularly the wild stallion he tames, proves to be a powerful force that transcends conflict and animosity.
Sorry To Bother You (2018)
This unconventional and satirical film takes a unique approach to the horse movie genre, blending social commentary with surreal humor. Cassius Green, a young telemarketer striving for success, discovers that his company is involved in the creation of equisapiens – human-horse hybrids. As Cassius delves deeper into this mysterious world, he uncovers a web of corporate greed and hidden agendas, all while grappling with his own identity and place in society.
These six captivating horse movies offer a diverse range of stories and perspectives, showcasing the unique and profound bond between humans and horses.
Whether you're seeking a heartwarming tale of friendship and resilience, a thought-provoking commentary on societal issues, or an unforgettable adventure filled with humor and heart, there's a horse movie out there that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.