THE SILVER BRUMBY
Making a film where the central characters are horses though is not an easy task unless one is prepared to resort to animation or nature film footage with dubbed over voices, or go the Babe (1995) route and use animatronics. [Similar things were tried with the animated Spirit: Stallion of Cimmaron (2002)]. The film takes neither course so in order to tell its story, it has to invent the recursive structure of having Caroline Goodall (playing Mitchell) write the story for her daughter in order to narrate the tale. It is a device that has a distancing effect unlike in the books, the horses are now no longer the central characters although it does allow the various horses to be imbued with enough character to be sympathetic.
Ultimately though, the various inter-horse and horse-human politicking is not that interesting (unless one wants to see Russell Crowe before he got famous). Young girls who like horses will probably like it but as a childrens tale, the film is oddly plodding. The outer story tends to get somewhat silly at times the scenes of British-born Caroline Goodall, who hardly convinces as a High Country wife, imparting Aboriginal mysticism, Bush Country wisdom and lessons in growing up to daughter Ami Daemion come out unintentionally funny. The main appeal of the film is principally a visual one the shots of the horses prancing in slow-motion are great and the helicopter tracking shots of them racing across the landscape, accompanied by eerie music, is often exhilarating.
The books were later made into an animated series The Silver Brumby (1998), which lasted 39 episodes, and actually comes closer to the books in spirit than this film does.
Director John Tatoulis has mostly produced television. His only other effort of genre note was the obscure science-fiction film Zone 39 (1996).
Full film available online here:-