(Review originally written at 31 January 2006)

Of course when watching a movie like this one you know it is going to have a predictable and formulaic story. "Racing Stripes" is a very typical underdog sport movie with this time a zebra in the lead. The movie is not one bit original and all the typical genre clich├ęs are once more present in this movie. The movie also reminds me too much of the other talking animal movie "Babe" at times. So, no "Racing Stripes" most certainly doesn't deserve an originality prize.

Perhaps the biggest problem of the movie are its characters. The characters aren't deepened out and it has many missed opportunities. The animals could had been a lot more fun to watch if they developed some more- and more likable personalities. But also the human characters are severally lacking. They could have done some more and better things with the element of Mrs. Walsh her death and how it effected her husband and daughter. Especially the Channing Walsh played by Hayden Panettiere feels like a big miss. In the beginning she isn't present enough in the movie and her relation with Stripes is amazingly underdeveloped, though she claims that no one understands him better than she does. It felt weird because they hardly had any screen time together in the first halve of the movie. It's even weirder because at the end of the movie it becomes obvious that she was actually the real main character of the movie, besides Stripes of course. You have the feeling that a better and more experienced director would had done something more- and better with the story and its character. But fact will always remain that movies like this will always be directed by below average and unexperienced directors like Frederik Du Chau.

The story is highly unbelievable and unlikely. It also lacks some real memorable moments or even some good humor. The only reasonable good humor is provided by the Joe Pantoliano voiced character.

It amazed me why so many great respected actors agreed to lend their voices to this movie. Actors like Joe Pantoliano, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Clarke Duncan. Those are some big 'serious' actor names. It makes you wonder if they had even read the script before singing on.

Guess it's good clean fun for children but obviously everyone else should just better skip this one.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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