If you can get past the fact that this adaptation of Black Beauty is set in the U.S., Maryland in 1880, this is probably the version closest to the book in terms of the progression of owners and situations, although many of the details are changed. It loses a lot by replacing British accents with southern drawls. And, couldn't they have found a horse with a real star marking on its forehead? The large star, obviously painted on this horse, looks very unnatural.
The movie focuses more on the people than the horses. There is a narrator, but he doesn't speak in Beauty's voice like the book. The horses are by no means the center of attention. In fact, Ginger and Merrylegs have minimal roles. Ginger is gray, almost white, and Merrylegs is a chestnut, the reverse of their coloring in the book.
As the series begins, young Lucas Gray, son of Farmer Gray, becomes attached to Beauty and wants his father to keep him and train him as a racehorse. Later, Farmer Gray has a stroke, and the family is forced to sell Beauty to Squire Gordon. When Lucas becomes an adult, he begins his search to buy Beauty back, but keeps arriving at Beauty's last owner just as he has been sold to the next person.
My Rating for the Movie: 3
Equine Realism: 4
MPAA Rating: NR
Time (minutes): 300