These Animals Talk! Marathon: Racing Stripes (2005)

Further proof of just how much I love my daughter!

Screenplay By: David Schmidt
Directed By: Frederik Du Chau

There are two flies in Racing Stripes, two flies voiced by David Spade and Steve Harvey. They fly, ha ha ha, around making bad musical references and espousing flatulence humor. I don’t know that this appeals to kids, I honestly don’t think it does. Yet kids movie after kids movie features at least one instance of the fart joke, and rarely do I see any kids laughing at said fart humor. My daughter sat stone faced as the two flies fell in a pile of shit, farted in a guys coffee, and more. It’s not funny, that’s the most honest critique I can give to Racing Stripes attempts at humor. It’s not funny, some of it may be cute, but this is a film that’s trying really hard to be funny, but it just isn’t funny.

Beyond the potty humor there isn’t much to Racing Stripes. The story isn’t a bad one, at least not in its message. But, it’s message is one that’s been done before numerous times and to far better effect. As far as the actual story goes, Racing Stripes is a film that thinks its audience of kids are idiots. It’s a film that has some level of professional production behind it, but nothing else. The humor is of the lowest common denominator, the story is paint by numbers, and the film takes every short cut it can take because clearly its audience consists of morons who won’t care. I know, I know, I’m probably taking the film too seriously, but there isn’t a rule that movies for kids have to be stupid. My daughter happens to be a pretty smart lass. I know that she enjoys Racing Stripes because it’s cute, but I also know that the studios can give her a movie that is cute but at the same time doesn’t talk down to her like she’s an idiot. My daughter may not yet know what a combine is, and she may not get why it’s so stupid that a guy took down a path in his cornfield with a tractor in one minute. She does, however, know that every film doesn’t need a tacked on love story. She knows that movies need good characters for her to like and enjoy spending time with. She knows that she deserves more than Racing Stripes is giving her.

Babe is a perfect example of the type of kids movie that is well made and treats its audience of kids with respect. Racing Stripes is a cute movie, with a cute premise that squanders all of the good will it’s cute nature and premise engender with terrible execution. Racing Stripes aims for the lowest common denominator more often than not and it’s a movie not afraid to treat its audience like they are stupid. Don’t reach for the bottom of the kids movie barrel, aim for something better and avoid Racing Stripes.

Rating:

**

Cheers,
Bill

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