Racing Stripes is a 2005 American sports comedy family film directed by Frederik Du Chau. The film was produced by Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Lloyd Phillips and Edward L. McDonnell, based on a script written by David Schmidt, Steven P. Wegner and Kirk DeMicco. It was released theatrically on January 14, 2005 by Summit Entertainment and Warner Bros..
The film tells the story of Stripes, a circus zebra who is accidentally abandoned in Kentucky and raised on a farm next to a racing track. Believing he is a racehorse, Stripes dreams of training for and competing in the races. The film stars Hayden Panettiere, Bruce Greenwood, Wendie Malick and M. Emmet Walsh, with the vocal and voice talents of Frankie Muniz, Mandy Moore, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jeff Foxworthy, Joshua Jackson, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Rosenbaum, Steve Harvey, David Spade, Snoop Dogg, Fred Dalton Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Whoopi Goldberg.
It was filmed in Pietermaritzburg and Nottingham Road, South Africa. The film received mixed reviews from critics and it earned $90 million. Racing Stripes was released on DVD and VHS on May 10, 2005 by Roadshow Entertainment and Warner Home Video.
During a thunderstorm, a traveling circus accidentally leaves behind a baby zebra (Jansen Panettiere) after replacing a flat tire. The foal is rescued by widower and former racehorse trainer Nolan Walsh (Bruce Greenwood), and is taken to his farm where his daughter, Channing (Hayden Panettiere) names him Stripes. He meets a Shetland pony named Tucker (Dustin Hoffman); a goat, Franny (Whoopi Goldberg); and a rooster, Reggie (Jeff Foxworthy). Stripes soon becomes convinced that he is destined for the nearby racetrack, the Kentucky Open, not realizing that he is a zebra and is not qualified to race. Two foals named Trenton's Pride and Ruffshodd decide to race Stripes until they are stopped by Pride's father, Kentucky Open champion Sir Trenton (Fred Dalton Thompson).
Three years later, after racing the mailman, an adult Stripes (Frankie Muniz) meets an Arabian filly named Sandy (Mandy Moore) and develops a crush on her after losing to the mailman in their usual race. While talking to Sandy, he is approached by Pride (Joshua Jackson) and Ruffshodd (Michael Rosenbaum), Stripes' tormentors since childhood. Pride challenges Stripes to a racing match on a Blue Moon night; he accepts, but loses the race. The following day, Tucker, having secretly watched Stripes, approaches him and suggests that he gets proper training first. Stripes, in need of a rider, chooses Chan and convinces a new farm animal, a pelican named Goose (Joe Pantoliano), to sabotage Chan's motorcycle and Old Blue, Nolan's old pickup truck, so that Chan can ride him to her workplace at the Kentucky Open. The plan works, and Chan, with Nolan's reluctant approval, rides Stripes to the Kentucky Open. There, Chan is antagonized by her boss, Clara Dalrymple (Wendie Malick), for bringing Stripes to the racetrack, while Stripes meets a pair of horsefly brothers, Buzz and Scuzz (Steve Harvey and David Spade).
As night approaches, Chan, remembering her first ride on horseback with her mother Carolyn, completes a lap around the track with Stripes. They are approached by Woodzie (M. Emmet Walsh), a racetrack gambler and old friend of the family, who encourages Chan to sign her and Stripes up for a tryout race tomorrow. She does, despite Nolan's disapproval stemming from his wife Carolyn's death in a racing accident six years ago, which discouraged him to continue training horses after that, but Stripes has a major meltdown after being easily scared by the horse-gate like all the other horses the next morning at the tryouts. Once he calms down, he begins running, but then gets hit in the face by flying dirt while racing, causing Chan to fall off. Though she is uninjured, Nolan chastises her. Then, Dalrymple sarcastically signs Stripes up to compete in the Kentucky Open competition. Meanwhile, Stripes realizes he is a zebra after being told off by Sir Trenton, which severely discourages him. Despite Chan's pleas, Nolan refuses to let her race Stripes. Realizing this, the farm animals lure Nolan into the farm to show him a table holding his past accomplishments and he changes his mind. Meanwhile, due to Stripes' misbehavior during training, Franny reveals to Stripes that Tucker helped Nolan train the racehorse champions including Sir Trenton without getting any thanks, which encourages him to begin training.
Refusing to allow Stripes to race, Sir Trenton and several thoroughbreds ambush Stripes and Sandy at a creek as they are talking and making up for their previous argument one night, kidnapping Sandy and threatening to hurt her if he races. The next day, after rescuing Stripes, Tucker, Franny, and Goose agree to rescue Sandy. They do it (with a little help from Buzz and Scuzz) and get back in time for Stripes to go to the race. Before the race, Nolan bets Dalrymple that if he wins then he gets Sandy, and if he loses then he will come back to work for her. During the race, Ruffshodd tries to stop Stripes from winning until Scuzz deliberately gets him disqualified. Later, Stripes begins to wear out until he finally remembers something Tucker taught him, which boosts up his confidence, and he wins the race and finally earns respect from the other racehorses, including Pride. In the end, they all pose together in a group photo which is later shown with the other previous Walsh wins.
Live action actors
- Hayden Panettiere as Channing Walsh
- Bruce Greenwood as Nolan Walsh
- M. Emmet Walsh as Woodzie
- Wendie Malick as Clara Dalrymple
- Gary Bullock as John Cooper
- Frankie Muniz as Stripes
- Jansen Panettiere as Young Stripes
- Dustin Hoffman as Tucker
- Whoopi Goldberg as Franny
- Mandy Moore as Sandy
- Steve Harvey and David Spade as Buzz and Scuzz
- Jeff Foxworthy as Reggie
- Joe Pantoliano as Goose
- Fred Thompson as Sir Trenton
- Joshua Jackson as Trenton's Pride
- Kyle Alcazar as Young Pride
- Michael Rosenbaum as Ruffshodd
- Frankie Ryan Manriquez as Young Ruffshodd
- Snoop Dogg as Lightning
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Clydesdale