There's something oddly satisfying about seeing a notoriously disobedient wild animal like a zebra racing alongside horses. For parents of the four to 10 year-old children that this talking-animal picture is geared toward, that spectacle alone should provide sufficient entertainment value in a guileless kiddie movie.
Rural Kentucky is the backdrop against which former horse trainer Nolan Walsh (Bruce Nolan - "Thirteen Days") and his pretty teenaged daughter Channing (Hayden Panettiere - "Raising Helen") discover and rescue a baby zebra abandoned by a traveling circus. Cute, I know.
Once in the comfort of the family farm, Stripes the zebra (voiced by Frankie Muniz) strikes up a talky relationship with his farm cohabitants (voiced by such audience-pleasers as Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Mandy Moore).
All the action leads to a big race between Stripes and his giant thoroughbred rivals at an adjacent racing track. In the old days this would have been a "G" rated movie.
Rated PG. 101 mins. (B) (Three Stars)
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