Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen.
In the middle of a raging thunderstorm, a traveling circus accidentally leaves behind some very precious cargo--a baby zebra. The gangly little foal is rescued by horse farmer Nolan Walsh, who takes him home to his young daughter Channing. Once a champion thoroughbred trainer, Walsh has given up horse training for a quiet life with Channing on their modest Kentucky farm. The little zebra, or "Stripes," as Channing calls him, is soon introduced to the farm's misfit troupe of barnyard residents, led by a cranky Shetland Pony named Tucker and Franny, a wise old goat who keeps the family in line. The group is joined by Goose, a deranged big-city pelican who's hiding out in the sticks until the heat dies down in Jersey. The un-aptly named bloodhound Lightening keeps a lazy eye on goings-on at the farm - in between naps. The Walsh farm borders the Turfway Racetrack, where highly skilled thoroughbreds compete for horse racing's top honor, the ultra-prestigious Kentucky Crown. From the first ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The Shetland pony Tucker (Dustin Hoffman) had to be painted brown during filming because his real coat turned grey. Everyone was so surprised, but the animal trainers did a little touch-up with brown dye. See more »
As Nolan Walsh comes around the turn of his newly made corn field track and climbs off his tractor, there are no corn stalks on the ground. In the far shot of Channing hugging him, the ground is littered with stalks. See more »
This started in Australia early, so my partner and I went to see it for a change of pace. Expectations weren't what you would call high (this is the home of Babe after all), but we both enjoyed it quite a bit.
The film is well put together, visually it's attractive, earthy, and the horses used are stunning -- any horse lovers will adore the movie, despite the main character being a Zebra.
Actually, Stripes himself is overshadowed by some of the excellent supports, including Hoffman's unappreciated pony and Pantoliano's gangster Pelican called "Goose" (a very funny role). One exception is Snoop Dogg's Basset Hound -- a waste of time, really. Then there are the horseflies, Spade and Harvey -- some of their jokes are dated (an M.C. Hammer gag in 2005???), but they're usually a high point.
The human characters were well cast -- Bruce Greenwood gives a very down to earth performance and is totally believable as a mourning farmer. Hayden Panettiere is a standout, look for big things from her in the future. I remember her as Will Patton's mini-coach daughter in Remember The Titans -- she's grown up with a great look and fine acting.
Direction is fine, the effects of animals talking, etc are all well done. Story is basic, but I guess that's what you want in a family film. Funny animals, good values/morals -- definitely worth watching.
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