Ready to Run

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
Ready to Run Movie Poster Image
Tween sports drama teaches self-belief and perseverance.
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 96 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain rather than educate. May inspire some viewers to learn more about horses.

Positive Messages

Themes of perseverance and hard work are central. Importance of believing in yourself and ignoring bullies. It's possible to succeed in your passion regardless of gender. Family and community are key, as are messages of having faith and letting go.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are shown to love, support, care for others above all else. Corrie displays empathy toward the horses and is willing to sacrifice her own dreams for the sake of her training team. Her family is close-knit and caring, while her compassionate trainer, Hector, is also a strong role model. The one "bad guy," Max, is a greedy racing trainer who bullies the competition and shows no love for anything other than money, though he does not prosper in the end. Gambling is mentioned a few times, from high-stakes money to betting toothpicks between family.

Violence & Scariness

Footage of horse racing sees characters fall while riding. Horses are portrayed in mild distress, including a scene of a barn on fire, and there is talk of shooting them and grinding them up for meat. A character is shown with burns on their hands following the fire. The death of a parent is mentioned on numerous occasions.

Sexy Stuff

Mild flirting and dancing between characters. A (talking) horse attempts to chat up another horse.


The words "loser" and "butt" are used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character smokes a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ready to Run is a coming-of-age Disney TV drama about a young girl who dreams of becoming a jockey and discovers she can talk with horses. The movie references some of the negative sides of horse racing, such as scenes in which horses and jockeys are hurt, mention of horses being put down, and racetrack gambling. The focus, however, is on a young girl, Corrie Ortiz (Krystle Po), and a trainer, Hector Machado (Nestor Serrano), who both love horses and treat them well. Corrie shows great determination and kindness to others, and is surrounded by positive role models as she overcomes a predominantly male environment. Corrie's father has passed away following a horse racing accident, and there are many references to this fact. The scene of a barn on fire may be distressing to some, with horses seen in peril and a character receiving mild burns. The villain of the movie, Max Garris (Jon Brazier), smokes a cigar, and there is some mild language such as "loser" and "butt." However, the overall message is of self-belief and overcoming adversity.  

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What's the story?

In READY TO RUN, 14-year-old Corrie Ortiz (Krystle Po) works at the stable of down-on-his-luck horse trainer Hector Machado (Nestor Serrano). She's dreaming of following in her deceased father's footsteps to become a champion jockey, but both her mother (Theresa Saldana) and Hector discourage her from putting herself in danger. But Corrie knows she has talent and is determined to follow her dreams. When she overhears evil racehorse owner Max Garris (Jon Brazier) say he would trade his failing horse for peanuts, she calls his bluff and takes Thunder Jam (aka TJ) back to the stable. Discovering that she has a rare talent for communicating with horses (in English), she teams up with Hector and circus rider Moody (Jason Dohring) to turn TJ (voiced by Paul Rodriguez) into a champion. But is she destined to stay behind the scenes, or will she and TJ both get their chance to shine?

Is it any good?

Acting as a kind of underdog story for Corrie and her horse, TJ, this heartwarming tale shows the importance of working hard and sticking to your morals when it comes to pursuing your dreams. Sweet touches, such as Corrie and TJ repeating the same words of encouragement to each other, will definitely tug at the heartstrings. There are also some lighthearted moments in Ready to Run that are sure to raise a laugh. For example, bumbling jockey Moody trying on ridiculous racing outfits and engaging in general buffoonery.

Perez imbues her fairly generic character with warmth and heart, and will make a likable role model for tweens. Though the world of horse racing is closely associated with some adult themes, the distress of animals and mention of gambling are kept to a minimum, while still allowing the movie to remain relatively realistic. The story is typically predictable, but reassuringly so, and its strong positive message and uplifting ending will make it a hit with parents and kids alike.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character of Corrie in Ready to Run. Throughout the movie she shows perseverance and empathy. Why are these good character strengths to have? Can you think of any examples of when you've had to show these traits?

  • Talk about why Corrie's mother and trainer were reluctant to let her race. What were their concerns, and were they right to stop her?

  • How was the world of horse racing portrayed? What were the good and bad points?

  • The movie features talking animals. Can you think of other movies that have talking animals? What similarities do they have, and how do they differ?

  • What do you think was the message of the movie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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