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Racing Stripes in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Racing Stripes

Bruce Greenwood • Hayden Panettiere • voices of Frankie Muniz • Dustin Hoffman • Whoopi Goldberg • Joe Pantoliano
DIRECTOR: Frederik Du Chau

Racing ahead THE CONCEPT:
A baby zebra abandoned by a circus is rescued by a horse farmer and his young daughter, who names him Stripes. The zebra grows up to believe he’s a horse, and under the training of a grumpy Shetland pony named Tucker he miraculously gets to compete against a group of thoroughbreds for the ultra-prestigious Kentucky Open.

U.S. RELEASE: January 14 2005, Nationwide
• Rated: PG


“Riding a zebra was great, because zebras are very different than horses. They’re a little more temperamental. You’ve got your nice ones, you’ve got your horrible ones and you’ve got your totally crazy ones. They’re very slow animals actually, unless you stick a lion behind them, and even then they won’t run in a straight line. Some of the ones that we had were so sweet and so well trained, it was amazing what we did with these zebras.”

“I started doing my voice-over stuff four months before they even started filming the movie. I had no idea how anything was going to look. They videotaped my mouth to try and match the animation to my mouth. I did it how I thought it should be, and it turned out good.”

JOE PANTOLIANO (voice of Goose, the big-city pelican):
“This pelican has got to create an identity because he’s so insecure about his own life, he makes up the fact that he’s a gangster. He’d rather have people fear him than love him, because he’s never been loved, so he creates this illusion that he’s a tough bird.”

“I went to a zoo in Australia and they let me feed all the animals, but they wouldn’t let me touch the zebras because they’re really mean animals. I wonder how they got Hayden to ride them.”

“Frankie wasn’t even in South Africa [where we filmed the movie]. He was in a booth with a microphone. I raced four baby zebras and eight adults. Some of them do bite and kick, but they’re very sweet.”

“This movie is about tolerance, it’s about fitting in, it’s about being an outcast, thinking you’re a horse and wondering why you can’t play with the other horses. That was really touching to me how this band of have-nots [living in the barnyard], low on the food chain, vicariously live through the zebra, that he can fulfill his dreams and race against the horses.”

“It was the funniest thing when I first saw Frankie after I came back from South Africa. I was like, ‘I rode you for five months.’ My mom would say that that doesn’t sound right, but he was the zebra!”

“They had me go in for one voiceover session with Dustin Hoffman for 30 minutes. There’s one scene where we have a lot of dialogue back and forth, and you have to have the other actor there to get into it. I was very intimidated at first. He’s a very respected actor and I’m just me, doing what I do, hoping it was okay. But he was really nice and we worked well together.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Racing Stripes site
Images above © Warner Bros Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #653, February 2005 cover

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