A contemporary Black Beauty adaptation is heading to Disney+

Black Beauty. Image courtesy Disney Plus, Graham Bartholomew
Black Beauty. Image courtesy Disney Plus, Graham Bartholomew /

Get ready, horse girls: A contemporary adaptation of classic children’s novel Black Beauty, starring Kate Winslet, is coming to Disney+.

Prepare your emotions, fellow (former) horse girls: A new adaptation of Anna Sewell’s classic nineteenth-century children’s novel Black Beauty is headed to DIsney+, with a contemporary twist.

The story of a wild horse captured by humans was originally published in 1877, and followed the story of his life through his experiences with many owners and friendships with other horses. From his young as a colt on an English farm to pulling cabs in London and working as a delivery horse, Beauty’s life is full of both many difficulties and surprising kindnesses.

The Disney+ film will put an American twist on the story, reimagining the horse as a wild mustang born free in the American West. When she’s captured and taken away from her family, Beauty’s story intertwines with a young girl named Jo Green, a seventeen-year-old girl grieving the loss of her parents. The two slowly develop a bond that is built on love, respect, and mutual healing.

In the book, the story is narrated in the first person by the titular horse Black Beauty, who will here be voiced by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, while Interstellar’s  Mackenzie Foy will play young Jo. The film also stars Game of Thrones’ Iain Glen as John Manly and Meet Joe Black‘s Claire Forlani as Mrs. Winthorp.

Black Beauty is directed by Ashley Avis (“Adolescence”) who also wrote the screenplay. The family-friendly story – and a film which features a live-action, rather than CGI, horse – feels like a perfect fit for the Disney streaming platform, which unlike several of its competitors hasn’t had a ton of new content to release each month, particularly since its upcoming Marvel series have all been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The film was shot last year in South Africa and will be available to stream on Disney+ later in 2020.

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Did you love the story of Black Beauty? Will you give this new modern twist a try?