"Doo The Right Thing"
What You Need To Know:
RALLY ROAD RACERS has lots of adventure, some laughs and heart. The animation is colorful and does a good job following the action during the racing. The cast features John Cleese as the dastardly villain, which heightens the movie’s conflict. The movie’s messages are a bit mixed. For example, RALLY ROAD RACERS promotes family and doing the right thing, but it also has references to the confused Chinese philosophy of Daoism. Zhi’s grandmother keeps telling him to find his own dao, or path. There’s also some fighting and scary situations. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
RALLY ROAD RACERS is an animated fantasy adventure about a young small loris (cute little mammal – see below), who must beat the current road rally champion in a four-day rally across China to save his village and home from destruction. RALLY ROAD RACERS has lots of lively adventure, some laughs and heart, with beautiful animation, but the messages are a bit mixed, varying from strong nods to family and doing the right thing to references to the Chinese philosophy of dao in Daoism, where people are encouraged to find their own path but align themselves with the impersonal cosmos.
The movie opens by introducing the villain, a large toad named Archie Vainglorious, who’s become the current road rally champion, mostly by cheating. Switch to the last slow loris village in China. A slow loris is a small primate with large eyes, a prehensile tail and strong hands.
Zhi is a young small loris who likes to race his tricycle around the village. He lives with his grandmother and wants to race cars. His granny tries to discourage him, however. She urges him to find his dao, find his own path. Zhi runs into a female slow loris named Shelby. They establish a connection, but Shelby leaves the village when her father finds work in the city.
Years later, Zhi still wants to race cars. He would like to race in the new Silk Road Rally, a four-day race across China, but it’s a distant dream. One day, however, a bulldozer arrives in the village. Everyone gets an eviction notice. The notice comes from Archie Vainglorious, who wants to take over the village for his father’s company.
Zhi goes to Archie to convince him to leave the village alone, but Archie refuses. So, Zhi challenges him to a bet. If Zhi beats Archie in the Silk Road Rally, a four-day race across China, Archie will give Zhi the deed to the whole village. If, however, Archie beats Zhi, Archie keeps the deed, and Zhi will work for him.
Zhi gets help finding a car to race from Gnash, an old goat and retired racing champion. At the rally, Zhi surprisingly runs into Shelby. What he doesn’t know, however, is that Shelby’s working for Archie, who wants her to help him sabotage Zhi and his team.
RALLY ROAD RACERS has lots of adventure, some laughs and heart. The animation is colorful and does a good job following the action during the racing. The cast features John Cleese as the dastardly villain, which heightens the conflict in the movie.
The movie’s messages are a bit mixed, however.
For example, the movie promotes family and doing the right thing. On the second day of the four-day race, for example, Zho and his navigator, Gnash, stop racing to save the other drivers who are stuck on a frozen lake whose ice is beginning to crack. Also, at two points in the movie, Zhi’s success in the road race is referred to as a “mini miracle.”
These positive messages are mixed with references to the Chinese philosophy of dao in Daoism. For example, Zhi’s granny keeps telling him to “find your dao,” find your path. Daoism encourages people to find their own path but align themselves in harmony with an impersonal cosmos instead of with the personal God. Also, Zhi and his granny keep a little shrine to Zhi’s mother in their home. Zhi talks to his mother’s picture. Finally, Zhi’s granny is shown doing tai chi in the movie, an exercise related to Daoism. The movie focuses on Zhi finding his own path rather than on the pantheistic nature of Daoism, however.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children with RALLY ROAD RACERS because of its mixed messages.
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