In the animated feature Spirit Untamed, actress Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) lends her voice to Fortuna “Lucky” Prescott, a young, mixed-Latina girl who sets out on an adventure to save a wild mustang from a villainous horse wrangler.
Lucky also gets the opportunity to learn about her late mother, a famous charra, who died when Lucky was only a baby. Spirit Untamed is the sequel to the 2002 Oscar-nominated animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Merced, who was only 10 months old when the original film hit theaters, said she related a lot to her character.
“She is able to stand up for what she believes in,” Merced, 19, tells Remezcla during a recent interview. “I think that is something we can all work on even as adults. She is not afraid to stand up to her dad or the evil guy who is trying to tame these wild horses. She is a great role model for kids everywhere. I’m excited for my niece to watch the movie.”
Although Spirit Untamed isn’t a live-action film and Merced wasn’t actually on a set working with real horses, she said that she learned a little about the animals, especially since the film is directed by Elaine Bogan (TV’s Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia), who is a horse rider herself, and from her co-star Eiza González (Godzilla vs. Kong).
“Eiza is Mexicana and she knows a lot about the culture,” Merced said. “Even though I’m Peruviana, I do have a passion for bull riding and horseback riding fascinates me. I don’t know too much about horses other than that I like them and I want a ranch with them.”
Spirit Untamed debuts at theaters June 4.