IMDb > Reed Smoot > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDeskmessage board
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDeskmessage board
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

Connect with IMDb



2014 | 2004 | 2003

1 item from 2003


The Young Black Stallion

24 December 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Opens

Thursday, Dec. 25

"The Young Black Stallion" represents the Walt Disney Co.'s first dramatic movie made expressly for Imax's giant screens. While the movie helps advance the case for more large-screen dramatic films, it weighs in at a mere 51 minutes, making it a throwback to the B-movie programrs of the '30s and '40s that usually ran an hour or so. "Stallion" is designed to maximize the visual opportunities for Imax's cameras even as it minimizes the dramatic conflicts that make for a satisfying moviegoing experience.

The project was created by the writer and producer of the 1979 classic film "The Black Stallion", Jeanne Rosenberg and Fred Roos (along with producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy), from the final book of Walter Farley's "Black Stallion" series, which told about the horse's days in Arabia as a colt. This was then entrusted to director Simon Wincer, himself no stranger to horse movies, having helmed "Lonesome Dove", "Phar Lap" and "The Lighthorsemen".

Veteran Imax cinematographer Reed Smoot gets the most out of the spectacular African locations along the Namibian Skeleton Coast, the Spitzkoppe and South Africa's Drakensberg mountain range with tracking and helicopter shots that make this very much a motion picture. Sometimes the sheer size of the screen almost defeats the movie's dramatic purpose. In one shot where a young girl must climb an outlook and gaze at the colt in the distance, it takes awhile for a viewer to pick out the two figures in so vast a landscape.

Whatever Farley's original story was -- it was completed by his son Stephen following his death -- not much winds up in this sketchy movie. In North Africa at the end of World War II, a young girl named Neera (Biana G. Tamimi) gets separated from her caravan when it is set upon by raiders. (Who these raiders are and what happens to the rest of the caravan are never explained.) The same raiding party then goes after a mare and her newborn colt. The colt escapes and is discovered wandering alone in the desert by Neera.

She names the horse Shetan, and without too much difficulty the two "orphans" somehow find their way to the casbah of Neera's grandfather (Richard Romanus). How do they find their way? What do they eat? How is Neera able to make a fire? The filmmakers show no interest in the story of their survival.

Once Neera reaches her grandfather's place, Shetan runs off only to return a year later as a magnificent stallion. Without even a moment to break in the stallion, Neera simply climbs on Shetan's back and gallops off. Within a matter of minutes and against her grandfather's wishes, she enters Shetan into a desert horse race against several powerful mares that furnishes the movie's climax.

As one can see from this synopsis, characters and story are woefully thin. Even the villains (Gerard Rudolf, Ali Al Ameri) do little more than furrow their brows. The movie exists for its splendid vistas and the final horse race. These elements do justify "Stallion", but if the Mouse wants to pursue Imax features, much more dramatic meat will have to go into the storytelling.

Young Tamini, who has ridden horses virtually all her life, makes a credible heroine even though little is asked of her as an actress. The other actors are stranded by the weak dramatic material.

Production designer Paul Peters and costume designer Jo Katsaras give the film a Moroccan feel. William Ross' score also is a plus, though it contains more than a hint of Maurice Jarre's musical themes from "Lawrence of Arabia".

THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION

Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

Credits:

Director: Simon Wincer

Screenwriter: Jeanne Rosenberg

Based on the book by: Walter Farley and Steven Farley

Producers: Fred Roos, Frank Marshall

Executive producers: Jeanne Rosenberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Director of photography: Reed Smoot

Production designer: Paul Peters

Music: William Ross

Costume designer: Jo Katsaras

Editors: Bud Smith, Terry Blythe

Cast:

Neera: Biana G. Tamimi

Ben Ishak: Richard Romanus

Aden: Patrick Elyas

Rhamon: Gerard Rudolf

Mansoor: Ali Al Ameri

Kadir: Andries Rossouw

MPAA rating: G

Running time -- 51 minutesG-13>Emma: Dina Waters

Michael: Marc John Jefferies

Megan: Aree Davis

Running time -- 88 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

Permalink | Report a problem


2014 | 2004 | 2003

1 item from 2003


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners