As movies go this one lacks in several areas, especially dialog and acting, which is sometimes amateurish. But you can't find fault with the family story, revolving around a young teen girl who is different, including her first name "Moondance." Kay Panabaker is Moondance. Her dad died not long ago but she still had her artist mom Gelsey, played well by 40-something Lori Loughlin. By her own admission, Moondance has few, if any, friends because fellow students make fun of her name and the way she dresses. The movie starts on the last day of school as summer break begins.
She has a small job, using her bicycle to make small package deliveries in the rural area surrounding her home (filmed in the Canadian Rockies and surrounding areas). One day, riding along a dirt road, a Pinto horse appears in front of her, evidently jumping the fence. We later find out this is a habit of the Pinto, whom she names "Checkers", and this later comes in handy in a jumping competition.
As it turns out the horse is not lost, but is owned by Don Johnson as Dante, a man of gruff demeanor and few words. We later find out he had been a horse trainer but something happened and he had quit. Moondance doesn't want to be separated from Checkers, so she bargains to work free, starting at 6:30AM each day, cleaning stalls, etc and in return she gets to ride Checkers.
It is hard to figure why skater Sasha Cohen has a role, except it seems she has acting aspirations. Here she is Fiona Hughes, a nasty and self-centered girl who won the Junior jumping championship last year, and who takes every opportunity to try and put Moondance down. There is no subtlety to her acting.
Overall a good family film, with a good message, and no bad language, no sex, no violence. We need more movies with those characteristics.
SPOILERS: Dante agrees to help Moondance and Checkers get ready for the yearly jumping competition. But he warns her not to get her hopes up. But they do well, have a flawless ride, and end up co-champions with the mean Fiona. Proving that "different" can be very good under the right conditions.
0 out of 5 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.