If you can't say anything good - don't say anything at all. Well one great thing about Racing Stripes is the truly academy award level CGI. It is some of the best if not the best CGI I have ever seen on the silver screen. Better than I, Robot better than Titanic just superb. On this level it is an amazing technical achievement. Unfortunately the rest of the movie sits comfortably at the level of an ABC after school movie.
There is nothing offensive about this movie, unless fart jokes and potty humor offend you, but neither is there anything of particular merit. The story is a typical paint by numbers story about an outsider trying to make it in a world where he is not accepted. A baby zebra accidentally left on the road one rainy night is adopted by a widower farmer (Bruce Greenwood) and his cornfed beautiful daughter (Hayden Panettiere). The farmer - Nolan Walsh - is a retired champion race horse trainer whose wife was tragically killed in a horse riding accident and now is over protective of his horse loving daughter. The Walsh farm is located right next door to the race track where the Kentucky Open race is held annually setting up the desire of our hero Stripes to become a race horse. Bringing our farmer out of retirement and strengthening the bond between father and daughter.
Talents like Wendie Malick and the great B movie character actor M. Emmet Walsh are squandered on the insipid script and the "comic relief" of the CGI animals is so far from funny that one wonders how the comic talents of Whoopie Goldberg, Jeff Foxworthy and Steve Harvey were lured into this movie.
From start to finish this hackneyed plot and story has few redeeming qualities other than the moral of the story - to thine own self be true. While this is a noble sentiment it just is not worth the price of admission. The six year old girl and ten year old boy who watched the movie with me both gave the movie the nod of approval though the ten year old was a little reserved in his endorsement.
The upshot - on a rainy day with the under ten set and you really need to grab some Z's they will be entertained and you won't worry about what you missed on screen.