Racing Stripes

Release Date: January 14, 2005

Movie of the Day for Monday, July 5, 2004
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She's a little big to be a jockey.

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Position Staff In Brief
131/166 David Mumpower As far as dumb movie ideas go, the rest of the 2005 schedule will be hard-pressed to top this one.

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It ain't easy being different.

That's a theme that has been repeated over and over again in variegated children's tales. The Ugly Duckling, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Finding Nemo, Shrek, Pinocchio, and Dumbo have all centered around characters that overcome their own self-doubt and prejudices of their peers to shine brightly. There's a reason such stories are so relevant for young audiences. Almost every kid is the victim of teasing and torment from peers at some point. It's easy for self-confidence to take a huge hit with such an influx of negativity, but uplifting stories about characters in similar circumstances provide some measure of optimism and empathy.

Warner Bros. upcoming live action/animated combo Racing Stripes will combine that classic theme with the current interest in horses and horse racing that have escalated thanks to films such as Seabiscuit, Hidalgo and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Ever-popular teen actor Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) will provide the voice of an abandoned zebra named Stripes that grows up believing he is a racehorse. Much like young Rudolph's experiences during the reindeer games, Stripes finds himself the target of taunts from the thoroughbreds that live on the Kentucky farm.

Stripes is befriended by a number of the other barnyard animals and a teenage girl named Channing (Hayden Panettiere). Channing dreams of being a jockey, and she and the farm gang work to help the zebra overcome his insecurities to pursue his dream to race with the real thoroughbreds. It's not just the prejudices of the other horses that Channing and Stripes must contend with, though. Their hopes are threatened by Channing's father Nolan (Bruce Greenwood), who lost his wife in a horse racing accident years before.

Movies that feature animation combined with live action have been a mixed bag over the years. While Who Framed Roger Rabbit was most successful in making the process work, audiences just haven't been as quick to buy more recent stuff such as Monkeybone and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. The wild card here is that the animation will be CGI, which is of course enjoying an enormous amount of popularity thanks to the Pixar films, Shrek and Ice Age. The premise certainly has universal appeal, and since the story is often the driving force in determining whether animated films find success, Racing Stripes certainly looks to be getting a great start out of the gate. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Racing Stripes
Main Cast Frankie Muniz, Hayden Panettiere, Bruce Greenwood
Supporting Cast Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Pantoliano, Mandy Moore, Patrick Stewart, Joshua Jackson, Michael Rosenbaum, Steve Harvey, David Spade, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jeff Foxworthy
Director Frederik Du Chau
Screenwriter David Schmidt, Kirk DeMicco, Mike Samonek
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Running Time 84 minutes
Screen Count 3,185
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Racing Stripes
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Finding Nemo 5/30/0370.25 70.25 3374 20821.00 20821.0 339.71 339.71 4.84
Monsters, Inc. 11/2/0163.48 67.75 3237 19611.00 20131.6 255.87 273.09 4.03
Toy Story 2 11/24/9957.39 68.39 3236 17735.00 20248.6 245.82 292.94 3.05
Ice Age 3/15/0246.30 48.13 3316 13966.00 13966.0 176.39 183.39 3.81
Shrek 5/18/0142.35 45.20 3587 11805.00 12118.4 267.65 285.66 6.32
Bug's Life, A 11/25/9832.83 42.20 2686 12223.00 15115.9 162.79 209.29 3.56
Toy Story 11/24/9529.14 40.39 2457 11860.00 15813.3 191.78 265.84 4.90
Looney Tunes: Back in Action 11/14/039.32 9.32 2903 3209.00 3209.0 20.95 20.95 0.00
Monkeybone 2/23/012.69 2.87 1722 1559.00 1600.4 5.33 5.68 1.98



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