Black Beauty - Disney+ Movie Review

Black Beauty - Image from Disney+

Black Beauty was on my must-watch list as soon as I saw the trailer.  I remember reading the book as a child and the story has seen a few screen adaptations over the years.  The classic tale of bond between animal and human is once again brought to life for viewers - this time with a more modern flair.  With strong female leads in both Beauty and Jo, girls and boys alike will be filled with strong emotions as Beauty endures the highs and the lows of her long life.

Black Beauty Movie Review

The 2020 adaptation is both new and familiar at the same time - offering a sense of reassurance in the otherwise chaotic year we've been having.  I grew up with horses so the switch to Jo as a female character resonated well with me.  Kate Winslet voices Beauty and Mackenzie Foy stars as Jo.  Winslet's voice adds a layer of sophistication to the "wild" Beauty - which sometimes feels out of place, but when you think about Beauty looking back and telling her story from the view of an older, wiser horse the calm maturity makes sense.  Foy is convincing as both a heartbroken teenager clear through her portrayal as a successful young woman.

Check out Mulan for more girl power on Disney+!

Black Beauty - Image from Disney+

While some of the stories may take on different angles in this new 2020 adaptation, the theme of animal cruelty that is central to the novel is present.  Viewers see Beauty and some other horses going through abusive owners, but the presentation of the content is not so much that it would be inappropriate for younger viewers.  While the animal cruelty is there, the bigger overarching theme continues to be love, kindness, and empathy.  Viewers watch a bond form between Beauty and Jo - both heartbroken, both lonely, both with a wild spirit - that stands the test of time.  

Black Beauty - Image from Disney+

Want more animal movie magic from Disney+?  Check out The One and Only Ivan!

There is nothing inappropriate in the movie for kids, but the story moves at an inconsistent pace which may be difficult to hold the attention of young viewers if they're not drawn heavily into Beauty's tale.  I would recommend this movie more for upper elementary and older kids unless you have a young horse enthusiast in your house.  I enjoyed watching the movie as an adult too so don't shy away from this if you don't have little ones at home - Black Beauty's story is truly timeless!

About Black Beauty (From Disney+)

Black Beauty - Image from Disney+

In this modern day reimagining of Anna Sewell’s timeless classic, we follow Black Beauty, a wild horse born free in the American West. Rounded up and taken away from her family, Beauty is brought to Birtwick Stables where she meets a spirited teenage girl, Jo Green. Beauty and Jo forge an unbreakable bond that carries Beauty through the different chapters, challenges, and adventures of her life.

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