In his paper "Natives, Nostalgia, and Nature in Children's Popular Film Narratives," C. Richard King offers a critical reading in an effort to appreciate the entanglements of nature, natives, and nostalgia in children's narratives. In this context, an analysis of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Spirit affords an ideal occasion for such a reading because it centers on the relations between Native Americans, Euroamericans, and the natural world as it tells the story of a wild mustang living in western North America in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, as close examination reveals, the film uses race, gender, civilization, and wildness to meditate upon cultural conflict, freedom, and nature. King finds that while Spirit challenges accepted ideas about modernity and technology, it reiterates troubling connections of environment and Indianness while allowing viewers to escape accountability through individualism and longing.

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