Synopsis of the Script
As a published children's book author, Cynthia Rogers Erkel took the opportunity to embellish the gentle story with the other people in Billy’s life whom must have existed somewhere between the lines. In order to make a film, the story needed to be expanded with dignity, staying as true to the spirit of the original as possible. The C. W. Anderson Estate, upon reading the script, endorsed it completely.
Synopsis of the Script
It is the late 1930’s. We are introduced into Billy’s world through scenes of lush rolling hills, white washed barns, and stone fences. The credits roll. Horses frolic and run as the music softens and swells until we are at a white farmhouse. We enter the quiet of a boy’s bedroom, with an unfinished scrapbook project spread out on the floor. The decor is complete with a number of juvenile watercolors, all of horses with the prominent signature - BILLY. When the music stops to magnify the tinkling and swishing of a paintbrush, Billy tacks his painting safely to the wall. The astute viewer will recognize this scene in Billy’s room to be the first illustration in the book.
As the film proceeds, forty-five more detailed reenactments of the famous picture book reveal that day when a boy would take off across plowed fields at a steady run, reach his destination happily out of breath, and climb up to straddle a mountain of a work horse.
We begin to see how it is to want a pony more than anything else in the world. When a sharply maintained luxury car pulling a horse trailer comes down the country lane, the friendly gesture Billy offers the boy in the front seat is not returned and we have our first introduction to Gordon Hill. There are many colorful characters in the story, but it is this boy who will be a constant contrast to Billy’s fresh spirit. Gordon insists his father purchase the mare intended for Billy’s birthday and actually causes Blaze, a pony of unusual spirit and beauty, to become Billy’s instead. An intense jealousy brews when Gordon understands the result of his petty behavior. Billy revels in his relationship with the pony of his dreams, enjoying many explorations in the woods near his home. On one of their woodland adventures Billy discovers a dog caught in a farmer’s trap. Bereaved of his master, an old horse trainer, the dog comes to trust Billy as his new master and joins their romps in the woods to jump joyously alongside Blaze. When Gordon realizes Billy may be his competition in the horse show, he is determined to keep the silver cup from Billy. Convinced of the misery that would occur should the trio be divided, Gordon accuses Billy of stealing Rex. Gordon’s selfish plan is well conceived for it is evident, as Billy and Blaze wait to enter the ring on the day of the show, that Billy does not have the heart to win. Suspense builds as Rex struggles to escape Gordon’s father’s kennels, and the crowd cheers when Rex, as is his custom, rushes into the ring to jump alongside his companions for the last round as Blaze gloriously wins the cup.
Every paragraph C.W. Anderson wrote is employed to guide the plot of a film children will love and the most distinguished equestrian will appreciate.
If you'd like to see the Storyboarding of the Script and how the illustrations are utilized, please click here: