Picks and Pans Review: Running Free
In this worthy children's film the yearning to break loose from the shackles of a miserable life is heroically personified (make that equineified) by Lucky, the four-legged malcontent who knows there's more to life than being a workhorse. "I will never be chained to a wheel," Lucky tells viewers in a voice-over (Lukas Haas speaks for the horse). "I was born to run free and wild."
Run free and wild he does, eventually. Free, sentimentally appealing and beautifully photographed, briskly follows Lucky from his birth aboard a grim German freighter carrying horses to South Africa for work in copper mines, to his separation from his mother (cue the dream sequence where he romps with Mom), to his adoption by an orphaned stableboy (Moore). The movie ends with Lucky's happy triumph as the leader of a herd of wild horses in the desert and his finding true love with a dewy-eyed mare. Pity Mr. Ed: He never had it this good. (G)
Bottom Line: Shows excellent horse sense