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Hayden Panettiere and Stripes (voiced by Frankie Muniz) in 'Racing Stripes'

Movie Info

RATING:

PG for mild crude humor and some language.

RELEASE:

Jan. 14, 2005

GENRE:

Comedy, Drama

STARRING:

Hayden Panettiere, Bruce Greenwood, Wendie Malick, Frankie Muniz, Mandy Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg

DIRECTOR:

Frederik Du Chau

DISTRIBUTOR:

Warner Bros.

 

Please Note

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.

MOVIE REVIEW

Racing Stripes

By Elliott Ryan
Guest Reviewer

CBN.com 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 his family.

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 uncomfortable.

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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