Kate Winslet Voices Beloved Horse in Family-Friendly Take on Classic Tale

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Like so many beloved children’s classics, the story of “Black Beauty” has always been run through with blunt messaging, tough traumas, and the kind of painful imagery no kid ever really shakes off. Over time, some of those more realistic impulses may be dulled down for wider consumption — the sort of thing Disney has built its animated classics around, woe to the tyke who watches “The Little Mermaid” and then seeks out its source material — but the darker elements that author Anna Sewell oriented her 1877 novel around have mostly endured through countless adaptations. And while the latest, a family-friendly drama from Disney+ and filmmaker Ashley Avis, offers

Plus, there’s Kate Winslet voicing the horse of the title, a powerful bit of casting that can’t be denied. (And that’s to say nothing of the aces horse acting that goes into creating the on-screen Beauty, emotive and thrilling enough to ably drive home the story’s primary theme that animals have feelings, too.)

Sewell’s novel has been adapted many times over the years, and even Avis’ film’s apparent big twist (Beauty is a girl! and so is the kindly kiddo who loves her!) has been done before (the 1921 silent film version of the story featured a female protagonist, and that was nearly a century ago). But this “story of a wild horse and the girl she loved” has been freshened up in other ways, from its sensitive handling of grief (both human and equine) to its no-holds-barred plea for animal welfare.

Relocated from the English countryside to the American West (though primarily filmed in South Africa), this “Black Beauty” follows a young wild mustang after she’s captured, tamed, and forced to cycle through owners both good and bad. As is always the case with this particular mythos, Beauty remains steadfast in her love for her best owner — winningly played by a lovely Mackenzie Foy — and the hope that they may one day be reunited. Opening with Beauty’s early years in a wild herd (plus a loving mother, clearly not long for this world), Winslet’s spirited and emotional voiceover narration lays out both the scene and the filly’s state of mind.

Caught during a wild mustang roundup, Beauty and her mother are separated, and it’s only dumb luck that lands the young horse with a good-hearted trainer (Iain Glen). Sewell’s story is rooted in the weird chances of life, cycling Beauty through both happy and horrible times, the only difference owed to the people who populate the different circumstances Beauty winds up in. While Avis’ film often gets heavy-handed with that messaging, it’s true to the spirit of Sewell’s book, which forever impacted the fight for animal rights and led directly led to the abolishment of the use of the “bearing rein” (a type of tack that didn’t allow carriage horses to lower their heads) in Victorian-era England.

So, yes, the themes of “Black Beauty” are relatively simple, but that doesn’t

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Allbirds Just Released Its First Clothing Line, and Everything Is Just as Sustainable (and Cozy) as Its Beloved Shoes

Allbirds

Allbirds—known primarily for its eco-friendly, celebrity-loved sneakers—launched a line of cooling underwear earlier this year. The collection of men’s and women’s underwear and bralettes quickly sold out (though it’s been restocked since, thank goodness), and now the sustainability-focused, Certified B Corp is trying something else new: a clothing line.

The new clothes from Allbirds have the same modern minimalist look and simple design as the sneakers and Allbirds flats, with a continued focus on sustainability and high-quality materials. The new TrinoXO Tee is made from discarded crab shells, and the wool sweaters are made with superfine New Zealand merino wool.

The initial clothing launch includes four items. The T-shirt, dubbed a “perfect everyday tee,” is incredibly soft, with a flattering boxy shape and the slightest crop that makes it perfect for wearing with high-waisted pants. (The men’s Tee is a more classic relaxed fit, but both benefit from the odor-reducing material.) There’s also the Wool Jumper, which has a standard, straight fit, and the Wool Cardi, a cardigan that is a little more professional looking (and perfect for throwing on over a T-shirt for all those Zoom meetings). The final piece in the introductory collection is the Trino Puffer, which prioritizes natural materials in place of synthetic ones to offer warmth and weather protection without getting too heavy or stiff.

As far as sustainability goes, Allbirds’ commitment to using materials made from nature and transparency regarding its carbon footprint continues here. Allbirds released the carbon footprint of each item in the clothing line, and they’re all carbon neutral as a result of sustainable practices such as using natural materials and carbon credits. (Allbirds itself is a completely carbon-neutral business.)

Allbirds.com

To buy: Wool Jumper, $135; Allbirds.com

Each of the four items released October 20 are available for men and women, in sizes XS through XXXL for the Tee and sizes S to XXL for men and XS to XXL for women in the other items. The color options are mostly soft neutrals—think lots of blacks, whites, and greys, though there are brighter limited edition colors for the TrinoXO Tee. Prices range from $48 through $250 per item, with the Tee being the least expensive and the Puffer being the most.

Die-hard Allbirds fans won’t need much convincing to pick up a few of these items ASAP. (Frequent Allbirds shoppers also already know to act quickly on new launches because Allbirds tends to sell out quickly.) But anyone looking for reliable, soft, comfortable basics as we enter the cooler months of the year won’t be disappointed by these essentials, which are more sustainable than many other options without sacrificing quality. No, they’re not particularly flashy, but that’s not Allbirds’ way—this is the place to turn to for sustainable, reliable basics and high-quality essentials, not statement pieces. If you’re interested as a new or returning Allbirds shopper, just act fast—we have a feeling this initial launch will be sold-out before too long.

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