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Look out for more coverage of
Racing Stripes in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Racing Stripes

THE STARS:
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

THE COMMENTS:

HAYDEN PANETTIERE:
“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.”

FRANKIE MUNIZ:
“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.”

MUNIZ:
“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.”

PANETTIERE:
“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.”

PANTOLIANO:
“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.”

PANETTIERE:
“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!”

MUNIZ:
“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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