Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frederik Du Chau|
|Screenplay by||David Schmidt|
M. Emmet Walsh
Michael Clarke Duncan
Fred Dalton Thompson
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Edited by||Tom Finan|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures (United States and Canada)|
Momentum Pictures (United Kingdom)
Summit Entertainment (International)
Constantin Film (Germany)
Roadshow Entertainment (Australia)
|Box office||$90.8 million|
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 Warner Bros.
The film tells the story of Stripes, a circus plains 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 Warner Home Video.
During a thunderstorm, a traveling circus, Circus Sarano, accidentally leaves behind a baby plains 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 13-year-old daughter, Channing (Hayden Panettiere) names him Stripes. He meets a Shetland pony named Tucker (Dustin Hoffman); a goat named Franny (Whoopi Goldberg); and a rooster named Reggie (Jeff Foxworthy). The next day, Stripes soon becomes convinced that he is destined for the nearby racetrack, Turfway Park, not realizing that he is a zebra and is not qualified to race. Two foals named Trenton's Pride (Kyle Alcazar) and Ruffshodd (Frankie Ryan Manriquez) decide to race Stripes until they are stopped by Pride's father, three time Kentucky Open champion, Sir Trenton (Fred Dalton Thompson).
Three years later, after racing the mailman again, 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 while Channing's bloodhound, Lightning (Snoop Dogg) is lazy and talks while he rests. Pride challenges Stripes to a racing match at a secret race track in the woods called the Blue Moon Races; 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 16-year-old Channing and convinces a new farm animal, a pelican named Goose (Joe Pantoliano), to sabotage Channing's motorcycle and Old Blue, Nolan's old pickup truck, so that Channing can ride him to her workplace at Turfway Park. The plan works, and Channing, with Nolan's reluctant approval, rides Stripes to Turfway Park. There, Channing 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, Channing, 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 Channing to sign her and Stripes up for a tryout race tomorrow. She does, despite Nolan's disapproval stemming from his wife's death in a racing accident six years ago, which discouraged him to continue training horses ever since, 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 Channing to fall off. Though she is uninjured, Nolan chastises and blames 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 Channing's pleas and Woodzie's encouragement, 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. With a little help from Buzz and Scuzz, the rescue is successful and they get back in time for Stripes to go to the race.
At 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, and even his jockey, try to stop Stripes from winning until Scuzz deliberately gets them disqualified. Later, Stripes begins to wear out until he finally remembers what Tucker taught him, "Don't look back. Leave it all on the track," which boosts his confidence. Stripes wins the race and 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.
On September 10, 2002, it was announced that Frederik Du Chau was hired and set to direct Racing Stripes. David Schmidt, Steven P. Wegner and Kirk DeMicco wrote the script for the film. Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Lloyd Phillips and Edward L. McDonnell produced the film with the budget of $30 million for release in 2005. On 22 November, it was announced that Bruce Greenwood, Hayden Panettiere, M. Emmet Walsh, Wendie Malick, Gary Bullock, Frankie Muniz, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Mandy Moore, Jeff Foxworthy, Joe Pantoliano, Fred Dalton Thompson, Joshua Jackson, Michael Rosenbaum, Snoop Dogg, Michael Clarke Duncan, Steve Harvey and David Spade joined the film. On March 25, 2003, it was announced that Mark Isham would compose the music for the film.
Two racing zebras, Sam and Daisy, were used in the film. Sam was more well-behaved, and "kind of wanted to be a horse," according to Tim Rivers, who trained him at the Animals in Motion farm near Citra, Florida. Sam had experience in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Second Noah and Sheena.
During production of the film, Hayden Panettiere was thrown off a zebra and ended up hospitalized with a concussion and a pinched nerve in her neck. The producers forbade her from mentioning the injury during publicity for the film; she finally revealed it during a 2013 episode of British talk show The Graham Norton Show.
In March 2003, Frankie Muniz was cast following his performance on Agent Cody Banks. On Jul 27, 2003, another cast were announced such as Hayden Panettiere, who will star opposite the voices of Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Pantoliano, Mandy Moore and Patrick Stewart.
The film's score was composed by Mark Isham, who also produced and co-wrote "Taking the Inside Rail" with Sting; "It Ain't Over Yet," heard with Channing and Nolan train Stripes and at the end of the film, was written by Bryan Adams, Gretchen Peters and Eliot Kennedy and produced by Adams. The soundtrack album was released on January 11, 2005 on the Varèse Sarabande label.
This teaser trailer was debuted in June 2004
Racing Stripes was theatrically released on January 14, 2005 by Summit Entertainment and Warner Bros..
Racing Stripes was released on DVD and VHS on May 10, 2005 by Roadshow Entertainment and Warner Home Video.
The film was a modest success at the box office, having covered its budget. It grossed $49,000,000 at the American box office and an additional $40,000,000 at the international box office.
Critical reaction to the film was mixed to negative, with the movie scoring 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 99 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Racing Stripes might be good for a few laps with younger viewers, but it's too blandly predictable to truly recommend for an all-ages audience." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 43 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.
|IFMCA Award||Best Original Score for a Comedy Film||Mark Isham||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated||Frederik Du Chau||Nominated|