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SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMMARON

The Two-Leggeds
Though the narration and songs came late in the production, the minimal human dialogue in the film had to be recorded early on by the actors so the character animators would be able to "lip-synch" their animation to the voices. In "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" the main human characters are Little Creek, a young Lakota brave, who comes to befriend Spirit; and an unyielding Cavalry Colonel, who is determined to break Spirit.

Asbury observes, "The Colonel personifies the winning of the West; Little Creek personifies living in and being part of the West, not conquering it. Those are the two dimensions of the human world that Spirit encounters."

Lorna Cook adds, "The Colonel is a hardcore military man who sees the West as something to be broken, and he's the guy to do it—whether it's the land, the Indians, or the horses, they all fall under the same category for him. Yet, the Colonel does turn out to be a more complex person than he first appears at the outset. On the other hand, Little Creek is in some regards the human counterpart to Spirit, in that he is also taken captive and his life is forever changed by the arrival of the Cavalry. Still, his friendship with Spirit is hard won, but once it's won, they will go to the ends of the earth for each other."

"Little Creek and Spirit are two similar facets of the unsettled West," says Daniel Studi, the young Native American actor who is the voice of Little Creek. "Here is this powerful horse who cannot be tamed and this young Indian who's wild and full of fight. They end up stuck in the same position, both captives, and have to come together for their mutual well-being."

Though Studi is actually of Cherokee descent, he grew up learning the ways of all the Native American tribes, so he was able to give valuable input into the mannerisms and language of his character. "Daniel brought great authenticity to the role of Little Creek," Mireille Soria states. "He helped us to shape the character and he was a real inspiration to Pres."

Pres is Pres Romanillos, the supervising animator for Little Creek, who agrees with Soria, saying, "When I first met Daniel, he was exactly how I'd envisioned Little Creek. He had this aura of confidence about him and a strong presence, so he could be convincing as a young warrior. At the same time, he had the character's sensitivity. There's a scene where Little Creek is comforting Rain after she's been injured, and Daniel brought tears to everyone's eyes with his reading."

Studi could relate to the bond between Little Creek and Rain, noting, "I grew up around horses and on horses, and my horse from when I was a kid was like my best friend. I also knew horses that were like Spirit—raw animal—and I always respected them to the utmost. Some things aren't meant to be conquered."

In addition to Daniel Studi, the production was able to take advantage of two other major resources for information about the language and ways of the Lakota Indians. The first was screenwriter John Fusco. An adopted member of a Lakota family on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, Fusco is well-versed in their native language, so the dialect we hear in the Lakota village is authentic.

Ironically, the other resource was James Cromwell, the veteran actor providing the voice of the Cavalry Colonel who becomes a formidable adversary to both Little Creek and Spirit. Cromwell not only has strong ties to the Lakota Indians, he has also become a vegan and an animal rights advocate on the heels of his Oscar®-nominated role in the beloved hit "Babe." Consequently, in real life, Cromwell's symp

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