- Alternate Character Interpretation: At the end, Little Creek realizes that Rain and Spirit love each other, and that she will be happier with the Mustang and his herd, so he lets her go. The words he says to Spirit when he does so, however, "Take care of her for me," offer a further possible layer—since he was riding her at the time the Colonel shot her, and it was Spirit who jumped in the river to try and save her, Little Creek might feel that he failed Rain and therefore Spirit can look out for her better than he could.
- Awesome Music:
- The entire score by Hans Zimmer comes to mind. Special mention goes to "Homeland" and "Run Free".
- The pop version of "Here I Am" which went on to become a popular Bryan Adams song.
- "Young Hearts" is simply stunning. Its melody was also used for "Brothers Under The Sun".
- The real tearjerker "You Can't Take Me" as Spirit is captured by the wranglers and dragged to the fort, fighting them every step of the way.
- The heartwarming "I Will Always Return." which plays during the film's ending.
- Crossover Ship:
- The Colonel and Pocahontas are the subject of many crossover AMVs.
- In the same vein, Little Creek is occasionally paired with Pocahontas' best friend, Nakoma.
- Inferred Holocaust: Spirit returns to his herd, but history says guys like the Colonel eventually won. Today, the prairies are mostly farmland, and entire herds of wild horses are rounded up to make room for this. Not to mention that there was a railroad line scheduled to run across Spirit's homeland, and they certainly wouldn't abandon a project of this scale just because of two exploded locomotives, which means that sooner or later his herd would have to deal with trains passing by all the time. Indeed, Spirit: Riding Free shows his son having to live with human settlements as a result of the train.
- Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Both Spirit and Rain are used in many, predominantly interspecies, Crossover Ships. Shipping either one with the Great Prince of the Forest or any one of various Lion King characters is common.
- Magnificent Bastard: The Colonel of the U.S. Army leads the Calvary into the western frontier with the desire to move it forward in advancement. Capturing and having wild horses trained by the soldiers to be used for battle, the Colonel is engaged by Spiritís unfettered refusal to be broken and takes special interest in getting his men to do so while then attempting and nearly succeeding in doing it himself. The Colonel also leads a charge against the Lakota tribe that Native American Little Creek is part of, having previously detained Little Creek for theft and nearly kills Little Creek and his horse Rain in the chaos. Pursuing Spirit and Little Creek one final time until they escape across a gap between cliffs while also deducing their location based on the trail, the Colonel ultimately prevents Spirit being shot from a distance and then concedes defeat while giving Spirit an impressed and honorable nod.
- Misaimed Marketing: A figurine of Spirit, Rain, and their foal came with a description of the Bureau of Land Management's annual mustang roundups and the importance of "adopting" a wild mustang. Not only does this run counterproductive to the film's message, but the BLM's roundups routinely result in horse fatalities.
- Narm: The entire scene with Rain lying injured beside the river. You have Spirit's dramatic whinnying, the face he makes when they hear the soldiers coming, and the fact that Rain looks pregnant.
- Popular with Furries: Spirit is one of the most popular animated films with horse fans. The horses are all so gorgeously animated and people just love the whole 'Escaping Captivity' plot.
- Spiritual Adaptation: Could be considered an Old West version of Black Beauty, though admittedly Matt Damon's narration is nothing compared to Alan Cumming's for the 1994 film.
- Unintentional Uncanny Valley: The weirdly intelligent horses with eyebrows drop some viewers into it.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: Horses are traditionally considered one of the hardest animals to animate, and the animators got them down beautifully.
- The Woobie: The wrangler's horse that first urges Spirit to run. He only appears briefly, but his guilt and anguish when Spirit is captured are extremely palpable. It's clear there's a very sad story there.
YMMV / Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron