Racing Stripes

Writer/director Frederik du Chau’s live-action debut might win by a nose according to kids, but for adults, it doesn’t even leave the starting gate. In this typical underdog (or underzebra) story, an abandoned circus zebra conveniently finds its way into the life of a starry-eyed young girl whose father just happens to be an ex-horse trainer who lives near the racetrack. The fate of the Seabiscuit wannabe comes to no surprise. In a feeble attempt at originality, a motley crew of farm animals, each with a voice of a down-on-his-luck celebrity, is added to the cast. Everything from a pelican (Joe Pantoliano) named Goose with an identity crisis to a quick-tempered Shetland pony (Dustin Hoffman) tries to add some comic relief. But, it feels like a separate movie from the zebra-turned-racehorse plot. Perhaps du Chau should stick to animated films.

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