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CAP Movie Ministry
A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word

(2005), PG [PG*]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
January 20, 2005
79 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2005), PG [PG*] -- Never doubt who you are, kids.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Alcon Entertainment
Distribution (US): Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
Director(s): Frederik Du Chau
Producer(s): Daniel Brimer, Kira Davis, Kirk De Micco, Genevieve Hofmeyr, Julie Huntsinger, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Edward McDonnell, Philip A. Patterson, Lloyd Phillips, Steven P. Wegner
Story: David Schmidt, Steven P. Wegner, Kirk De Micco, Frederik Du Chau
Screenplay: David Schmidt
Cinematography/Camera: David Eggby
Music: Mark Isham
Film Editing: Tom Finan
Casting: Cathy Sandrich
Production Design: Wolf Kroeger
Art Direction: Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Stripes (voice of Jansen Panettiere as the young Stripes & Frankie Muniz) was a zebra who wanted to be a racehorse. He was convinced he was a racehorse and was crushed when he was told he was a zebra. After recomposing himself, what did it matter that he was a zebra? Stripes continued his life with the goal of being a racehorse.

One day, horse trainer Nolan Walsh (Bruce Greenwood) found a box in the rain-soaked road near his ailing horse training facility and meager farm. In that box was a baby zebra. Finding compassion for the abandoned critter, Nolan brought the zebra home. And there, daughter Channing (Hayden Panettiere) fell in love with the helpless trotter. After an episode of emotions that would have melted the hardest of hearts, Channing convinced her father to let the zebra stay. The wobbling zebra became Stripes.

Stripes was quick to make friends ... and enemies ... at the Walsh farm: Sandy (voice of Mandy Moore); Clydesdale (voice of Michael Clarke Duncan); Reggie (voice of Jeff Foxworthy); Goose (voice of Joe Pantoliano); Franny (voice of Whoopie Goldberg); Sir Trenton (voice of Fred Dalton Thompson) and his son, Trenton's Pride (voice of Kyle Alcazar & Joshua Jackson); several others.

Also in the army of critters doing their best to help Stripes become the race horse he wanted to be was Scuzz (David Spade) and Buzz (Steve Harvey), two flies which provided much of the crude and toilet humor such as getting one's head stuffed in a pile of manure -- and liking it. And flatulence, of course. This is a PG.

While Sandy became stripes' girlfriend, probably the best friend and mentor Stripes had was the Shetland pony, Tucker (voice of Dustin Hoffman) who guided Stripes through his transformation from zebra to race horse. Stripes even made "friends" with the mailman (Caspar Poyck). Every day when the mailman had a delivery at the Walsh farm, Stripes met him and with excited anticipation raced him in his truck along the fence line. That is where it was discovered that Stripes just might make it as a race horse.

So, Stripes was on his way to being a racehorse. And Channing wanted to be the jockey. Such a combination inevitably led to a race. Much to dad's chagrin since he lost his wife to a racing tragedy, Nolan still agreed to let Channing be the jockey to test Stripes' ability to race. Calling on all his experience as a trainer, Nolan took the next likely step to be taken when wrapped around the little finger of your daughter and, thanks to the generosity of racing track rat Woodzie (M. Emmet Walsh), came up with the $5000 entry fee and entered Stripes in a race.

One of the nice things about this film is that Stripes never lost sight of the fact that he was a zebra, not a horse. His solid identity became a little shaky when Stripes said "I hate my life", but by the loving compassion of a lot of friends Stripes was ever reminded he was a zebra and not to feel shame or shortcoming from being a zebra: to go for it in trying to race but always knowing he was a zebra. Never doubt who you are, kids. What you choose to do does not make you who you are. We all make poor behavioral choices from time to time but what we choose to do does not make who we are inside. In a more succinct sense, who you are does not have to dictate what you choose to do and what you choose to do does not dictate who you are. Jesus exemplified this concept as He could see a king in a shepherd boy. Jesus loves each and every one of us. Unconditionally. It is some of the things we choose to do -- our sins -- He hates. And every single non-autonomic movement we make -- every word we say, every thing we grasp -- is a choice. No exceptions. No debate.

Racing Stripes is a delightful tale of encouragement to be whatever you want to be; of mastering one's "limitations" rather than being mastered by them. But this race horse story had a few fleas. Four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11, 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17, Eph. 4:29]. Several episodes of teen arrogance and rebellion against parental authority [Prov. 8:13, 1 Sam. 15:23]. Some issues of cruelty, even of an adult toward a teen [1Tim. 4:12, Matt. 18:10] Much ridicule based on "race." Encouragement of youth to defy their father [Is. 30:1, Luke 17:2, again Matt. 18:10]. Lies to the father [Exod. 20:12]. Crude and toilet humor [Eph. 5:4]. And a "gay" kiss [1Cor. 6:9]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will reveal all that you may want to consider before deciding whether to let your little ones view this film.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker...
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • 1 Sam. 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry...
  • 1Tim. 4:12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones [which includes at-home teens]; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["despise" is kataphroneo: to contemn, disdain, think little or nothing of (which includes abuse and neglect). What do you want the angels for your kids to say to God?]
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
  • Exod. 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • 1Cor. 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, excuse it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Racing Stripes (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • threat with physical harm
  • extortion with health of another
  • beating (unseen)
  • "I hate my life"
  • unsportsmanlike conduct

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus a couple masked uses of it
  • parental restrictions of child's liberties based on "race"
  • lies, repeatedly
  • parental cruelty based on prejudice
  • ridicule based on "race"
  • flatulence, repeatedly
  • adult cruelty of a young teen
  • encouraging youth to defy father
  • "I don't care what they do to me" attitude
  • defiance of fathers instruction, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • camera angle to force viewer on how short a skirt was
  • anatomical reference - crude humor
  • toilet humor, repeatedly
  • "gay" kiss

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Long Distance



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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