Synopsis by Mark Deming
A horse of a different pattern becomes a spoiler in a high-stakes race in the family-friendly comedy-drama. Nolan Walsh (Bruce Greenwood) is a farmer who once earned his living training racehorses before his wife was killed in an accident while riding, which led him to leave the racing game. Nolan tends to his farm and looks after his daughter Channing (Hayden Panettiere) and a large flock of animals, who speak to one another but not to humans. After a traveling circus passes through town, a zebra pony is left behind; Nolan takes in the animal, intending to return it to the circus, but at Channing's insistence they keep the zebra, naming him Stripes (voiced by Frankie Muniz). Channing loves Stripes, and the zebra is welcomed by the other critters on the farm, including grumpy Shetland pony Tucker (voiced by Dustin Hoffman), slow-moving hound dog Lightning (voiced by Snoop Dogg), a New Jersey-born pelican named Goose (voiced by Joe Pantoliano), skinny-brained rooster Reggie (voiced by Jeff Foxworthy), and deep-thinking goat Franny (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg). Channing discovers that Stripes can outrun nearly any horse around, and Woodzie (M. Emmett Walsh), a local character who has spent years handicapping the ponies, is convinced the zebra would be shoo-in in the Kentucky Open, a prestigious race held at the estate of champion horse breeder Clara Dalrymple (Wendie Malick). Channing believes Stripes can win, but he'll need the help of Nolan, who isn't so sure he's ready to start training again; meanwhile, Stripes gets plenty of advice from the other farm animals about his big step onto the race track. Mandy Moore, David Spade, and Steve Harvey also contribute their voice talents to the picture.
breeding, death-in-family, horse-breeder, pony, race [competition], training, zebra