Movie poster for Racing Stripes
|Directed by||Frederik Du Chau|
|Produced by||Broderick Johnson|
|Written by||David Schmidt
Steven P. Wegner
|Music by||Bryan Adams
|Editing by||Tom Finan|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Family Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||January 14, 2005|
|Running time||102 min|
Racing Stripes is a 2005 adventure/comedy movie, directed by Frederik Du Chau. It is similar in the style to the 1995 movie Babe, in that the protagonist is a talking animal who lives on a farm and succeeds at an activity not expected of his species. The movie was filmed in Pietermaritzburg and Nottingham Road, South Africa.
In a rush to pack up during a thunderstorm, the Circus Sorano (a traveling circus) accidentally leaves behind a baby zebra. The foal is rescued by Nolan Walsh, a retired thoroughbred-racehorse trainer. Nolan takes the zebra home to his farm, and leaves it in the care of his daughter Channing, who names him "Stripes". The other farmyard animals try to educate him about life on the farm, but he is convinced that he is destined for the nearby racetrack, even though he isn't a real racehorse (a fact he doesn't realize for several years). He spends his time training, helped by Tucker, a Shetland Pony who had helped coach champion racehorses in the past.
Channing has a similar ambition; to become a jockey. Her father had refused to let her train, as he believed it to be too dangerous; he had retired from training after her mother, also a jockey, had died in a racing accident, when Channing was 12 years old. However, her enthusiasm eventually wins Nolan over, and he agrees to train her and Stripes, with the aim of winning the illustrious Kentucky Open. (Curriously, this "illustrious" race has a name just distinct from that of the Kentucky Derby, which is actually illustrious.)
Tagline: His stripes made him an outcast. His heart made him a hero.
- Nolan Walsh is Channing's father. Ever since his wife got killed when her racehorse stumbled, Nolan hasn't been able to bear training horses. Fearing that Channing will hurt herself if she rides, he refuses to let her anywhere near a saddle.
- Channing Walsh is the movie's human star. She wants to ride, and despite her lack of opportunity she has a natural talent for it. She's determined to race just like her mom, whatever it takes.
- Woodzie is an old racetrack gambler. He sympathizes with Channing, especially since he sees the same gift in her that was present in her mother.
- Clara Dalrymple is Nolan's former employer and a classic example of an egotistical aristocrat. She seems at first to be the movie's main villain, but to her credit she's honest enough not to sabotage the competition; the real villain of the movie is Sir Trenton.
- Stripes is the star of the movie. He may be a zebra, but he won't let that stop him from competing in the Kentucky Open. The horses from Turfway Park all make fun of him, with the sole exception of Sandy, a beautiful white jumper.
- Tucker used to help Nolan Walsh train racehorses. He may be too small to stand a chance in a race himself, but he's got more than enough horse-sense to know what it takes. Years of training horses who never give him any thanks for his help has left him grumpy, though, and it takes almost as much work to persuade him to help Stripes run as it does to persuade Nolan to let Channing ride Stripes. His height and the length of his mane are the subject of running gags throughout the movie.
- Franny is an old goat. She has a heart of gold, and unlike Tucker she's not afraid to let it show. She takes Stripes under her wing right from the start and makes it her business to help Stripes succeed on the racetrack—even when Stripes is ready to quit. She also plays a role in Stripes' relationship with Sandy.
- Sandy is a professional jumper. She's been all over the world, so of course she knows that Stripes is a zebra (a fact that Stripes did not yet realize). But unlike the other horses, she believes that there's nothing wrong with being a zebra. On the contrary, she thinks that Stripes is "the cutest thing on four hooves." The sentiment is obviously mutual: the moment he first laid eyes on her, Stripes forgot what he was doing and crashed headfirst into a tree.
- Buzz and Scuzz are a pair of horseflies. They are brothers, prone to arguing, humorous, and quite alike in appearance. The easiest way to tell them apart is that Buzz has blue eyes and Scuzz has red eyes. This could be seen as an outward manifestation of their musical tastes—Scuzz is a rap fan, whereas Buzz favors more conservative music. They are old friends of Tucker from the racetrack, and play an indispensable part in Sandy's escape from Sir Trenton, as well as helping Stripes out in the race.
- Reggie is the Walsh farm's rooster. He means well, but is not very bright. He seems to be in the movie mostly for laughs.
- Goose is a American White Pelican from the big city with a gangster accent so thick you could cut it with a knife. Tucker sums up Goose's personality as follows: "Goose, who is really a pelican, is really a stool pigeon, who is actually a chicken that ducks. That makes five birds in one, count 'em." In addition, he is terrified of loud noises.
- Sir Trenton an arrogant black Thoroughbred horse and the main antagonist of the movie. Trenton sees his son, Pride, having no purpose other than to carry on the Trenton legacy. Sir Trenton always calls stripes a beast for no reason.
- Trenton's Pride, Sir Trenton's son, who is a bully, and he picks on Stripes every chance he gets. in the end he is honest enough to admit that he lost fair and square, despite his father's hatred for stripes. During the race, Pride's rider uses pride to pin Stripes to the rail.
- Ruffshod seems at first to be merely a bully-lackey to Pride, but in reality he is a worse bully by far, proving quite eager to help Sir Trenton threaten Sandy in order to keep Stripes from running in the Kentucky Open. Even when Stripes and his friends thwart the cheat, Ruffshod—and even his rider—persist in fighting dirty. During the race, Roughshod's rider whacks Stripes with his riding crop, and Roughshod pins Stripes to the rail with a maneuver Goose calls "the old Jersey squeeze," until both Ruffshod and his rider are taught a lesson by Scuzz. In all probability Ruffshod is jealous of Stripes. When Ruffshod first tried to get Sandy's attention, she bluntly turned him down, parting with a comment of "Talk to the tail." Her attentions were obviously for Stripes alone, much to Ruffshod's jealousy and anger.
- Bruce Greenwood ... Nolan Walsh
- Hayden Panettiere ... Channing Walsh
- Caspar Poyck ... Mailman
- Gary Bullock ... John Cooper
- Wendie Malick ... Clara Dalrymple
- M. Emmet Walsh ... Woodzie
- Thandi Puren ... Reporter #1
- Morne Visser ... Reporter #2
- Dawn Matthews ... Reporter #3
- Matt Stern ... Reporter #4
- John Lesley ... Paddock Boss
- Graeme Hawkins ... Track Announcer
- Tarryn Downes ... Anthem Singer
- Frankie Muniz ... Stripes (voice)
- Mandy Moore ... Sandy (voice)
- Michael Clarke Duncan ... Clydesdale (voice)
- Jeff Foxworthy ... Reggie (voice)
- Joshua Jackson ... Trenton's Pride (voice)
- Snoop Dogg ... Lightning (voice)
- Joe Pantoliano ... Goose (voice)
- Michael Rosenbaum ... Ruffshodd (voice)
- Steve Harvey ... Buzz (voice)
- David Spade ... Scuzz (voice)
- Fred Dalton Thompson ... Sir Trenton (voice)
- Dustin Hoffman ... Tucker (voice)
- Whoopi Goldberg ... Franny (voice)
- Jansen Panettiere ... Young Stripes (voice)
- Frankie Ryan Manriquez ... Young Ruffshodd (voice) (as Frankie Manriquez)
- Kyle Alcazar ... Young Pride (voice)
Plot details and coincidences 
- Racing Stripes has many plot similarities to the later-released Disney movie, Herbie: Fully Loaded. In fact an Image Search for "Racing Stripes" on Yahoo revealed pictures of Herbie (due to his design) much sooner than it did any pictures pertaining to Racing Stripes.
- According to Ripley's Believe It or Not at least one person has succeeded in training and riding a zebra as a racehorse.
- In the movie, Tucker says he has "shorter legs than a sheepdog." This is probably a bit of a pun on the fact that he is a Shetland Pony, since there is also a Shetland Sheepdog.
- In the alternate ending on the DVD, it is revealed that Stripes and Sandy eventually had a son. Such a hybrid of zebra and horse is possible, and just as Nolan said such a crossbreed is called a "Zorse, though the animal shown in the film more closely resembles quagga. However, professional horse-trainers claim they are not the easiest animals to get along with.
- Scuzz once calls himself "Luke Skuzzwalker", a reference to the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker.
- Goose's remark towards Tucker "Hey, be careful, Pony-Boy, or someday someone's gonna wake up with your head in their bed!" is a reference to The Godfather
Sound track album 
The soundtrack album was released 2005-01-11 on the Varese Sarabande label.
- Taking the Inside Rail
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
- At Home on Walsh Farm
- I'm a Racehorse
- Blue Moon Races
- Pelican Named Goose
- Tucker Lays It Out!
- Goose Makes a Hit on the Iron Horse
- Run Like the Wind
- Twilight Run
- Upstaged by a Zebra
- Brave Decision
- Glory Days
- If You Build It, They Will Come
- Out of Africa
- Spring Training
- Filly in Distress
- Race Day
- They're All In
- The Big Race
- In The Winner's Circle
- It Ain't Over Yet
See also 
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Racing Stripes|