Racing Stripes (2005) – This is a Real Film

Zebra Racing, Frankie Muniz, and Early CGI. What more could you want? “This is a Real Film” reminds us of this mid-2000s family comedy. 

Remember Racing Stripes? It’s a 2005 feature film about a circus zebra that is trained as a race-horse. On today’s instalment of “This is a Real Film”, we thought it was high time someone brought this up.

The cast list for Racing Stripes reads as a perfect storm of mid-2000’s stardom. Frankie Muniz, listed by CBS as “one of Hollywood’s most bankable teens” played the lead role as – you guessed it – Stripes.

The Zebra’s name was Stripes, and the movie was called Racing Stripes. 

This is the kind of free-flowing creativity you could only see in 2005.

racing stripes

Hayden Panettiere looks very concerned for her safety

Muniz, still dominating television on Malcolm in the Middle, and fresh from the overwhelming success of one of cinema’s great triumphs, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London was a clear choice for the lead role. The lead human role is played by a young Hayden Panettiere, but it’s the voice-over roles that make the film so iconic.

Plot-wise, Stripes is an abandoned circus Zebra (tragic origin story, really) who is taken in by the Walsh family. Not realising that he’s a Zebra (it’s important that the Zebra doesn’t realize he’s a Zebra), Stripes yearns for the race-course. After falling in love with a horse (Mandy Moore), – yes, there’s some interspecies romance in here, immoral – Stripes meets the real stars of the film. In a stroke of sheer casting genius, the comic relief of this film is filled by two flies, played by the unlikely duo of David Spade and Steve Harvey.

David Spade.

Steve Harvey.

This is a real movie.


Buzz and Scuzz, portrayed expertly by Steve Harvey and David Spade


Watching the trailer, the comedy that these two characters bring to the movie is some of the most cringe-worthy stuff that you will ever see. In one scene, Spade and Harvey sing, “who let the zebras out”, clearly intended as a hilarious parody of the iconic Ba-Ha men track, “who let the dogs out?”. Yes, that’s a real thing in this movie.

There’s so much in this movie to dissect. Snoop Dogg, in an inspired bit of creative casting, plays a dog. How clever is that?


racing stripes 2

An All-Star Cast

Mr Walsh has a tragic backstory involving the death of his wife that makes him reluctant to train horses, but does it make him reluctant to train Zebras? (It does, but he gets over it).

The other horses threaten to murder the love interest horse if the zebra races. I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence.

In the end, Stripes wins the race, and is now friends with all the horses. DESPITE THE FACT THEY THREATENED TO MURDER HIS GIRLFRIEND.

What is this movie? Why does it exist? It certainly does exist though, it is a real movie.

Relive the magic of Racing Stripes by watching the official trailer below

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