Home > Free Essays > Art > Film Studies > “War Horse” (2011) by Steven Spielberg

“War Horse” (2011) by Steven Spielberg Essay (Movie Review)

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jun 15th, 2022


The film “War Horse Movie” presents an interesting story about a supernormal horse that managed to survive a lot of odds to after its departure from the original owner, only to come back when everyone else had almost forgotten about it. When reviewing a movie, Measom (64) says that there are a number of factors that should be considered in order to have a successful review. Reviewing movies requires a lot of attention that goes beyond simple entertainment.

It goes beyond the fun that is generated from watching the film. This scholar says that in reviewing of movies, some facts that are always easily ignored are what make a lot of sense. When one set forth to develop a movie there are always a message that he or she is passing, or an incident that he or she is trying to recall.

Reviewing of a movie should be done in a way that the intent of the producer can clearly be brought out. It is very important to take into consideration such facts as how the sound is brought out. When grading a movie, sound, color, and the general movement of the camera is always put into consideration.

The analysis will not only be looking at how interesting the storyline is brought up. It looks at how well the story was developed into image, and how successful the firm is in demonstrating what it seeks to demonstrate graphically. Putting several pieces of facts into a successful graphical presentation, with enough light at every stage, and an attempt to make the whole process as realistic as possible is what defines a movie. This study seeks to analyze the film ‘War of Horse Movie’.

The Storyline of the Movie

The setting of this movie is before the onset of the First World War. This is because the type of war talked about clearly demonstrates that the First World War had not been fought. This movie is about a special horse called Joey. Ted, the father to Albert, buys Joey when it is still very young. The purchase is done through bidding. Ted bought Joey at a very high bid just to show his pride, and spite his landlord. After the purchase, Ted realizes that he is unable to pay his rent because he overspent on the horse.

When the landlord, Mr. Lyons realizes that Ted is unable to pay the rent, he gives Ted an ultimatum. He states that Ted must be able to pay the rent by autumn, failure of which Lyons threatens to posses all asserts of Ted. Meanwhile, Albert gets fond of Joey. He takes a lot of time training Joey many things. He uses sound of different animals to communicate with the horse and give simple instruction such as to come near him or to move away.

Ted was a soldier in South Africa, and Rose, Albert’s mother, explains to her son how successful his father was as a warrior. However, Ted has become a drunkard, and is commonly seen drinking at a local joint frequently. He is frequently seen with a flask full of alcohol, giving the impression that he has become an irresponsible man.

Through training from Albert, Joey learns how to plough. Joey shows signs of supernormal strength. Albert and Joey become fond of each other and work well as a team. However, Ted realizes that he is unable to pay his rent within the stipulated time. Lyons has increased pressure on Ted, and tells him that he will make his threat real should Ted fail to pay his rent within the agreed timeframe.

Realizing the seriousness of the threat, Ted decides to sell Joey without the knowledge of his son Albert. He did not want to inform his for he knew that Albert will not agree to this decision. He sells the horse to a cavalry officer named Captain Nicholls in order to get money to repay to Lyons in time before the period elapses. At this time, World War One is underway, and soldiers are preparing to go to the battle field and defend their countries and their colonies and protectorates around the world.

Upon realizing that Joey has been sold to the officer, he pleads with the officer not to go with Joey. The officer sympathizes with Albert upon realizing the closeness that Albert had towards the horse. He promises to use the horse during the war, after which, he promises to bring it back.

This consoles Albert, but he is still convinced that there is a way through which he can stay close to the firm. Due to his tender age, the attempt to enlist in the military is rejected. Joey meets Topthorn, another horse, and together they are trained military operations (Measom 28). Captain Nicholls unfortunately dies in the battle and Joey is taken by the enemy army, the German soldiers.

Joy and Topthorn are subjected to hard tasks which had killed other horses. They survive the hardship even when other horses died soon after being subjected to these tasks such as pulling of chariots and huge loads of food, arms and other items that the military officers needed in their operations. After some time, Topthorn succumbs to the hardships and dies in the battle field. This meant that tasks that they would share would have to be performed by Joey alone.

When the German military reached an area marked as no man’s land, Joey escapes. He finally reaches the British camp where Albert easily recognizes it despite the heavy bandage on Albert’s face. The horse also recognizes Albert with the sound which Albert had taught it when it was still a young colt. The re-union of Joey and Albert brings a lot of joy not only to the two, but also the entire British camp.

Analysis of the Movie

War Horse Movie is presented in a beautiful way. It passes as an above average movie from many fronts. The director of this movie has made a concerted effort to make this movie as realistic as possible. The natural environment in this movie clearly depicts incidents just before the World War One.

The director has brought this out by the dress code of the characters. Their shaving style also depicts those olden days before a number of inventions were found. The way Ted dresses and his flask of alcohol help give a date to this movie. This was important to make this movie relevant.

In the modern day society, soldiers use planes, tankers and other so many other sophisticated means of transport. To give this horse some relevance as a war horse, the setting had to be dated those years when horses were a very important animal to military officers. The director has also succeeded in bringing the chronological events just before the First World War begun. He has clearly brought out the preparations that the soldiers had before the onset of the war.

This movie has also managed to bring out some of the important features of the two military bases. The German soldiers have been depicted as ruthless individuals who did not care about the well being of others (Measom 29). The way in which they treat Topthorn and Joey, to an extent that Topthorn died shows that they never cared about the two animals.

Joey demonstrates this by making a successful attempt to escape from the German’s military camp where it was treated as a slave, to the British camp where it is considered a comrade. This is what the director wanted to demonstrate when comparing the two military camps, and it has come out clearly in this story.

The director and the producer has worked together to ensure that such important features as sound and light are brought out in a way that will help authenticate the story. The color has been made to create an environment that will depict the past.

The main focus is to make the movie appear as that of the period about 1910 to 1919. The sound also helps in depicting this. To ensure that the audience is convinced of the date of the movie, the choice of words used in the movie is that which was common in traditional English of these early years of 19th century.

Works Cited

Measom, Christopher. War Horse: The Making of the Motion Picture. New York: Newmarket Press, 2011. Print.

This essay on “War Horse” (2011) by Steven Spielberg was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2022, June 15). "War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/


IvyPanda. (2022, June 15). "War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/

Work Cited

""War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg." IvyPanda, 15 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/.

1. IvyPanda. ""War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/.


IvyPanda. ""War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/.


IvyPanda. 2022. ""War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-analysis-of-war-horse-movie/.


IvyPanda. (2022) '"War Horse" (2011) by Steven Spielberg'. 15 June.

Powered by CiteTotal, easy essay referencing tool
More related papers