Horse Tales for Flicka Friday
There’s just something about the relationship between horses and humans that makes for great stories. In honor of the Walden Family Theater broadcast of Flicka on Hallmark Channel this Friday at 8/7c, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite horse movies and the books that inspired them.
Flicka is based on Mary O’Hara’s classic 1941 novel, My Friend Flicka, a coming-of-age story that explores the bond between a boy and his beloved horse. Young Ken McLaughlin feels an instant connection with a wild filly he names Flicka. Though his father believes the horse has poor bloodlines and can’t be tamed, Ken is determined to try. Through patience and devotion, he gradually earns Flicka’s trust and, ultimately, his father’s respect.
Black Beauty (1994, 1971, 1946, 1921)
There have been numerous film adaptations of Anna Sewell’s seminal 1877 novel, which remains one of the best-selling books of all time with more than 50 million copies sold. Narrated in the first-person by the titular horse, Black Beauty takes readers on a ride through an equine life filled with hardship and injustice, while teaching a valuable lesson about the importance of kindness and the power of friendship.
National Velvet (1944)
Elizabeth Taylor starred in the film version of Enid Bagnold’s 1935 novel about a 14-year-old girl who conceals her identity in order to ride her horse to victory in the Grand National steeplechase. A consistent theme throughout the book is that almost anything is possible for those who dare to follow their dreams.
Seabiscuit is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s 2001 non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a meticulously researched history of the renowned Thoroughbred racehorse, who, despite his “smallish stature, knobby knees, and slightly crooked forelegs,” defied the odds and became a champion.
The Black Stallion (1979)
The Black Stallion is based on Walter Farley’s 1941 novel by the same name, in which a boy and a horse are stranded on an island together after their ship is lost at sea. Reliant upon each other for survival, the two develop a tight bond that endures after their rescue.