Disney Movie Hidalgo Pictures Of The Character
Spanish Mustang Horses Are At The Center Of This Disney Movie
The Walt Disney Movie Hidalgo pictures of the character seems destined to stir up more controversy about whether it's true or false than about the quality of the movie. Historians, particularly those who have studied the history of Arabia prior to the 1950's claim that there was no such race. They back up their statements with disparaging remarks about the possibility of self-serving in the website dedicated to the main character in the film, Frank Hopkins. The story was written by John Fusco who is or was the author of the website about Hopkins.
Fusco states that his interest is in promoting the Spanish Mustang horses of which the title character in the movie was one. Any time you get into a discussion with a horse owner no matter what the breed, there will be sparks flying at even a hint that their breed of horse is not the world's best, fastest, smartest and capable of amazing feats of strength and endurance. This seems to be at least a part of the current controversy over the historical accuracy of the story behind the film.
Hidalgo is supposed to be based on a true story. Determining what part of the movie is based on the true story may be somewhat difficult. It seems obvious that there was a person in the American Old West who was named Frank Hopkins. Frank was known as a teller of tall tales as well as a showman who had some association with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Did he have a horse named Hidalgo? Possibly. Was there an Ocean of Fire Race 3000 miles across the Arabian Peninsula.
A little map work with a beginning point of Aden where the race purportedly begins and 3000 miles in any direction doesn't remain in Arabia. Did Hopkins actually spend time in Arabia in 1890? There is no record of his having done so. There is also no record of such a race.
There also appears to be a good deal of concern over the portrayal of the Bedouins as the 'bad guys' in the movie. This may actually be more appropriate to blame on the tendency in human nature to root for the underdog. One Mustang and rider against one hundred Bedouins on purebred Arabians makes it pretty clear who the underdog is supposed to be. Are Arab, Muslim and Islam peoples harmed by the stereotypes which are pointed out by responsible voices in the Arab world? Yes, for those same people who believe in the stereotyped Native Americans in the American West.
As some have pointed out, the movie is an exciting adventure story. Those who are interested in the history of the Bedouins, Arabian horses, Spanish Mustangs, Frank Hopkins, or even the Old West can find much to use as a starting point for additional research, reading, and study. But to expect even a fictional story to remain absolutely true to the historical fact and environment in which it is set is unrealistic.
It is unfortunate that the story claims to be be based on the truth. That statement seems to be standing in the way of enjoyment of an exciting adventure story.