IMDb > The Race Begins (2006)

The Race Begins (2006) More at IMDbPro »Sheng xiao chuan qi (original title)

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The Race Begins -- Follow pals, Ringo the rat (Tom Arnold) and Oriole the ox as they work together battling the elements and their opponents to compete in the ultimate animal race, where only one can be crowned king.
The Race Begins -- Trailer for Zodiac: The Race Begins


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Release Date:
26 January 2006 (Singapore) See more »
The great Buddha gave the eminent Jade Emperor the task of ruling the celestial and mortal worlds. Although... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Singapore's Stab at Shrek-Style Animation See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Fann Wong ... The Snake / Cat (voice)
Dennis Chong Kheng Chew ... The Rat (voice) (as Dennis Chew)
Jamie Yeo ... (voice)

Vernetta Lopez ... (voice)
Zhao Jing Chen ... (voice)
Johnny Ng ... (voice)
Yun Fei Li ... (voice)
Hock Lai Lim ... (voice)
Saik Nee Ng ... (voice)
Teck Wan Ng ... (voice)
Vivien Pei Ying Tan ... (voice)
Sau Long Wong ... (voice)

Tom Arnold ... The Rat (voice: English version)

Directed by
Edward Fu 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Zhao Jing Chen 

Produced by
Sky Li .... producer
Benjamin Toh .... executive producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sheng xiao chuan qi" - Singapore (original title)
"Zodiac: The Race Begins..." - International (English title)
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Rated PG for some mild peril
Singapore:90 min

Did You Know?

Singapore's first 3D animation film.See more »
Xun MengSee more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Singapore's Stab at Shrek-Style Animation, 3 June 2006
Author: dzong from Seoul

The story of how the Chinese Zodiac was created has always been one of my favorites, so I decided to check out Singapore's animated version of the story, even though I fully realized that I'm about 15 to 20 years older than the movie's target audience.

"Zodiac: The Race Begins" fills in some of the holes from the old fable. Why were these twelve animals chosen? Why not The Elephant? (he was too big and dangerous). Why not The Cat? (she was too lazy and foolishly trusted the Rat to sign her up) After a truly horrible musical number (which is admittedly kind of catchy) the twelve chosen animals begin a race to the Jade Emperor's Heavenly Palace.

Some of the animals have to confront a villain described as The Evil Tree Spirit (?!) who's not very scary or relevant.

My main problem was character development. Obviously, this is a children's movie, but it would have been much more interesting to see an exciting race between the animals. Instead, the mildly annoying Rat and the hard-working Ox are the main characters and the other ten animals are relegated to the background. All the animals have at least one or two scenes, but most don't have much more than that.

Another problem is that the outcome is never in doubt. Anybody who knows anything about the Chinese Zodiac (as most of the audience presumably does) will know the exact order that the twelve animals finish. The director needed to find other ways to engage the audience, and he did not succeed.

The animation would be quite good for a student project, but it's just not up to par for a full-length international animated film. It's quite possible that young children won't notice these flaws, but this is not a "fun for all ages" quality production like Shrek or Japanese animated films.

Final Note: The Snake (my own sign) does sing a pretty song in the middle though.


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