Aug 26, 2009

There's Something About Flicka

Flicka (2006)
My Friend Flicka (1943)

Most people know the story of how these movies came to be, but I'll go over it anyway. Mary O'Hara wrote My Friend Flicka, the first of a trilogy, in 1941. Two years later, the movie came out. Thunderhead (my personal favorite) closely followed. Apparently Green Grass of Wyoming was also made into a movie, but that one is the lesser known of the three. About sixty years pass, and for whatever random reason someone comes along and decides to remake My Friend Flicka. Only this time it will be with a girl named Katy and Flicka will be a female version of the Black Stallion. Awesome, right? Maybe? Sort of?

Flicka (2006)
Despite thinking that turning Ken into a Katy was a really bad, but fairly obvious course of action, I do like this movie. Even if Katy is annoying, has few manners, and makes really poor decisions that would've won her a Darwin Award if she hadn't been graced with main character status. Even if her brother is the guy who plays Jason in True Blood, and as a result I snickered every single time he arrived on screen. Even if I could draw parallels between this and Joanna Campbell's The Wild Mustang until the end of time. It may have been hit and miss concerning the original story, but it's a pretty movie and it held my attention.

Downsides are it's predictable, Katy is every horse story main character rolled into one, and Banner is not there. I mean, come on. Banner was the most awesome ranch stallion to ever exist. Flicka is rocking the Black Stallion look. Rob has this "I am a man, and you live under my roof, blah blah blah" attitude that does a 180 about five minutes from the end. Upsides are the pretty, it is the opposite of boring, and at least there is some action to speak of.

My Friend Flicka (1943)
This is the horse story classic and helped set the standard for the "horse of my own" plots you see so frequently. Ken wants a horse, sets his heart on a filly his father disapproves of because her grandsire is The Albino, a local mustang stallion, and in order to win the approval of his father he goes about attempting to bond with this filly everyone claims can't be tamed. Today, I find this interesting given that so many current movies make a big deal about how fantastic and wonderful mustangs are, because in 1943 they made it a point to connect Flicka's crazy gene to The Albino being a mustang. There is no "mustangs are worthwhile and beautiful creatures that should be cherished!" line in this movie. Ken just basically wants to be friends with Flicka, and thinks he's up to the task of taming her. The main story revolves around Ken and Rob, and Ken trying not to be the eternal screw up who causes stampedes and picks the worthless mustang filly.

Downsides are it's slow going. Not a whole lot happens here. And there was one weird moment where Rob's advice to Ken concerning gentling Flicka had to do with taking away everything she knows, her friends, etc. And I thought that was insanely creepy, despite the fact that he was talking about a horse. Upsides are that the characters actually don't annoy me, and Flicka is not black. She is sorrel. Like she's supposed to be.

And in case you weren't finished with Flicka...

Flicka (2010)
When her grandmother is diagnosed with dementia, skateboarder Carrie McLaughlin (Tammin Sursok) is forced to leave the pavement of the big city behind to go live with her estranged father Hank (Patrick Warburton) on his horse ranch in Wyoming. With her skateboard tightly in hand, and no ramps or cement in sight, Carrie feels completely alone and is determined to make it back to the city. While putting in her time at the ranch, Carrie makes an unlikely friendship with a wild horse named Flicka who is just as unhappy and alone as Carrie.

That's right. Flicka meets Caitlin's Way! Due out next year, you guys. I know you just can't wait.


Kitty said...

Unfortunately, I am umable to enjoy the 2006 version because of the deaths of two horses while filming. The movie did not get a Humane Society Cert. because of this, and I have to say that losing one horse is sad enough -- but losing two in the same week, under pretty much the same circumstances, says to me that somebody didn't know what the hell they were doing.

JellyFish72 said...

Wow, so, I somehow never found this blog until last night, which I find completely unacceptable, because this is what I've been waiting for my entire life! xD Reading all these reviews is making me wish I hadn't sold my nearly complete TB series (though they may be packed away somewhere...), and want to reread the High Hurdles series...

Anyway, I was going to actually make an intelligent comment on this post, but I forgot what it was. So I'll just say this - for some reason, Flicka (2006) makes me cry. Not just cry. Bawl. For, like, half the movie. It starts when they sell Flicka, and I just don't stop. I don't know why, and I don't know why I keep rewatching it knowing I'm going to cry, but I do. (This is made more pathetic because the only other movie I cry during is Rent, and I only cried at the movie version the first time. Now I only cry at the live version.)

And I'm going to stop rambling, because it's after 2 AM and my brain-mouth barrier has stopped working. :P

Molly said...

WHY does everything need to be OMG GIRL POWERed these days?! As a kid I had no problem with Ken and Alec being guys; I still enjoyed the movies. Well, more or less; My Friend Flicka really was pretty slow-moving.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the femme movement happened!! Yet we still have girl-enabling sports and "spirit" classes, "GIRLS RULE" products, school objectives geared toward girls...if there were ever classes designed to make guys feel empowered, or t-shirts saying BOYS RULE...Anyway, I hated this...I hated both the Flicka movies. The first one was ok, the horses were neat, it was fairly true, but Roddy was a weepy noodle and English and Howard was gone and here Katy's a whiny brat and Howard is gone.

Molly said...

I don't mind girl power movies really. What I mind is ripping apart something considered a genre classic just to make it marketable.

It sounds like Flicka could just have easily been an original movie, so why the hell did they feel the need to go there?