Animals have changed many of our lives for the better, except for Alex, who happens to be allergic to everything. In a new animated adventure movie, a wild horse helps Isabela Merced connect to her roots, although it turns out the horse didn’t have to teach Isabela about how to be wild.
Has an animal ever changed your life?
Isabela Merced (as Fortuna): “It’s in your heart to run free. It’s in mine, too.”
In “Spirit Untamed,” Isabela Merced plays Lucky Prescott, a rebellious girl who’s moved by her aunt from an East Coast city to the small frontier town of Miradero.
Isabela Merced (as Fortuna): “They say my mother was one of the greatest to ever ride.”
Eiza González (as Milagro): “Stay wild, mi querida Fortuna.”
Like her late mother, Milagro, Lucky isn’t a fan of rules. She meets an equally independent mustang named Spirit. but with her new friends, voiced by Marsai Martin and McKenna Grace, she has to help save him from an evil horse wrangler.
Isabela Merced: “It’s really a kindred spirit, kind of soulmate connection, and when I was reading the script, it felt exactly like what it felt like when I met my dog Pluto.”
Isabela rescued the three-legged good-boy from a local animal shelter in Australia while filming “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” then flew the little nugget back home.
Isabela Merced: “I went on my own adventure with the airlines. I was on hold so many hours.”
But are the cast as rebellious as the characters? Marsai says…
Marsai Martin: “I ain’t that type of child actor. I mean, definitely feel like there’s a difference between being rebellious and, you know, being raged and all out.”
But Isabela, on the other hand…
Isabela Merced: “One day, I showed up to my house with this tattoo in my arm. I don’t know. I was always running out of the house at night because I wanted to go to some party or something.”
Umm, OK. Bad girl Izzy!
But at the heart of this animated drama is the legacy of a mother.
Alex Miranda: “The most inspiring thing about each of your moms…”
McKenna Grace: “I think that she’s so beautiful, and I think that she’s so strong, and she’s such a great businesswoman. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”
Marsai Martin: “She is bold and not afraid to do anything or speak her mind about anything.”
Isabela Merced: “She is a cancer survivor. She is an immigrant who came here alone at a very young age, raised three children. The most inspiring thing about her is her strength.”
“Spirit Untamed” gallops into theaters June 4.