PG for mild crude humor and some
Jan. 14, 2005
Hayden Panettiere, Bruce Greenwood,
Wendie Malick, Frankie Muniz, Mandy Moore, Dustin Hoffman,
Frederik Du Chau
In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.
By Elliott Ryan
After being accidentally left behind in a rainstorm by a
band of traveling circus performers, a baby zebra is raised on a farm by
a horse trainer (Bruce Greenwood) and his daughter (Hayden Panettiere).
Named Stripes by the farmer’s daughter, the zebra comes to believe
he is a horse just like every other horse he sees running on a nearby racetrack.
Stripes begins to dream that one day he too will be a great race horse.
The movie tells this story from two different perspectives. The first
is from the human perspective. We learn that all is not well with the
family that welcomed Stripes to their farm. The father has given up on
his dream of training horses since the death of his wife. He has also
become overprotective of his daughter since she is all that is left of
But the movie is also told from the perspective of the animals. The
animals’ voices are provided by well-known actors such as Frankie
Muniz, Mandy Moore, Dustin Hoffman and Whoopi Goldberg among others. The
other animals on the farm become a supportive family for Stripes as he
sets out to achieve his goal of becoming a race horse. They all help him
train and plan out his strategy to make his dream come true. And none
of them have the heart to inform Stripes (voiced by Muniz) that he is
not actually a horse.
Both the humans and the animals learn a lesson about accepting others
who are different along the way. The actual racehorses are not at all
happy to see a zebra running around pretending he’s a horse. Stripes
is befriended by the only female horse in the movie (voiced by Moore)
who is then ostracized because of her friendship with a zebra. The humans
also learn a lesson about acceptance as the father and daughter strive
to accept one another while dealing in their own ways with the grief of
losing a family member.
Movies featuring talking animals are typically aimed at a particular
demographic. Many years have passed since I was a member of that demographic.
I can however recognize that this film is a fun, heart-warming story that
most members of the family will enjoy. They will do so in spite of the
fact that it is not in any way ground-breaking in either the talking animal
movie genre or the underdog sports movie genre. The movie may repeatedly
remind viewers of other movies in each of these genres that were a bit
better than this one.
While this movie is designed as a family movie, it may be a bit on the
vulgar side for some viewers. It is rated PG. But several double entendres
and a number of jokes dealing with animal fecal matter may make some parents
Overall, this is a harmless bit of family entertainment that can be
used by families to start a discussion with kids about accepting people
who are different. God’s creation comes in many different forms
and colors. Some of the things He created even came with stripes.
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