Behold, for I have eyebrows.
I am the horse in the animated film.
I am unwaveringly loyal to my young hero or heroine: I will follow him or her anywhere, carry her safely over questionable terrain, leap over things only seen on a four-star cross-country course, create mayhem in my wake in a side-splitting quick-cut scene that would actually be horrifying in real life. In my animated world, I can destroy as many market stalls and farmers’ fields as I like, because it’s funny.
We gallop together, my young rider and I, despite the fact that the heroine is always wearing an elaborate dress yet never rides aside. I gallop right out of the barn. I gallop back into the barn. I never need to be warmed up or cooled down. I live comfortably in my tack, day in and day out. I grin throughout all of our adventures, for the equine face with all of its innumerable expressions was not expressive enough for this animated film. I flick my ears and my tail in ways that no real horse ever could. I can narrow my eyes and raise an eyebrow. Because, moviegoer, I have eyebrows.
I make noise constantly. If I were a real horse, you would scope me for respiratory conditions — but I am animated, and I must make these noises in order for you to understand my personality. This is why I smile, or frown, or do that sexy little grin out of the corner of my mouth when an attractive mare walks by. It’s easy, with my full mouth of sparkling white teeth. Sometimes I whistle, like all horses do. I sit, I stay, I roll over. I am really more like a big dog.
Physically, perhaps, I am inaccurate. But culturally, I am a walking symbol of our time and place. Perhaps I am big-bodied and thin-legged, just like the horses in the Chinese silk painting. Or perhaps I am a draft horse, native to my heroine’s homeland. I have a name that is easy for my heroine to pronounce and for young moviegoers to remember, but still encapsulates our entire culture with its proud history.
My heroine and I battle enemies real and magical, and it turns out I am actually a vicious warhorse who can always land a perfect kick right into a bad man’s face — yet somehow wound up being the cherished mount of a little girl or boy. I have the power to swim upstream in whitewater rapids. I have the strength to climb mountains. I am faster than our enemies’ horses, who are always darkly-colored with tiny, scary eyes and blocky heads. But through it all, I am gentle and loyal to my rider. I am a best friend. I am the original drug that got you addicted to horses in the first place.