Black Beauty

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +3

Content: +4

BLACK BEAUTY is the life story of a black stallion in England in the late 1800's. This version, perhaps 60% loyal to the classic novel, is told from the horse's perspective, with Alan Cumming as the voice of Black Beauty. A young colt on a wealthy country estate, Black tries to win the affection of his rambunctious stable mate, Ginger. They frolic in the plush pastures and are treated well by their masters. When Black and Ginger are almost killed in a stable fire, they are saved by Joe, the son of the head groomsman. Life changes dramatically for the two young horses when they are sold to another aristocratic family. Young Joe is heartbroken, but vows he will be reunited with Black someday. The horses' new home is a nightmare of mistreatment and abuse. Labeled as troublemakers, Ginger and Black are separated, and Black is sold to Jerry, a kindly cab driver in London. One day he sees Ginger rigged to another cab. The life is gone from her eyes, her master has worn her out. When Jerry becomes ill and can no longer drive a cab, Black is sold into pulling grain carts. The arduous work is killing both his body and his spirit, until one day he thinks he sees his long lost friend Joe at a horse sale. Will the now grown-up Joe keep the promise he made as a young boy? Children six and older will get caught up in the heartwarming story; younger ones will enjoy delightful scenes of Black Beauty as a young colt, trying to stand for the first time, and frolicking through the meadows.

Before parents take young children to see BLACK BEAUTY, it may be helpful to explain a few things. First, this is Edwardian England, and horses are valued for their ability to transport. They are treated as transportation vehicles, not pets. The rough treatment and lack of affection shown is typical of that era. The cruelty of Black and Ginger's second owners goes beyond rough treatment, however, and is upsetting to watch. Thankfully, no horses are shown dying in the stable fire, but a few painful injuries occur through accidents and mishandling of the animals. Also, there are a few tear-jerking scenes that may be too intense for sensitive youngsters. The opening scene of Black Beauty's birth may serve as an opportunity for families to discuss the miracle of birth. Completely void of foul language and sexual content, this G-rated film just may be one of your family's entertainment highlights of the summer.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Warner Brothers, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory once

Violence: Few times (not gratuitous or exploitive) - Moderate (rough treatment of horses resulting in injuries; stable fire)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Drunkenness once, not condoned (results in fall off horse)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Children under 12, horse lovers of all ages

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