Home on the Range (2004)

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6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some of the animation and designs are nice

Uninspired story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Home on the Range

Studio:  Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comedy/Western/Family

Release Date(s):  April 2, 2004

MPAA Rating:  PG

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Don’t mess with these cows…

Maggie has just lost her farm and is about to lose another one.  Being sold to Pearl of the Patch of Heaven farm, Maggie learns that Pearl’s farm is in foreclosure.  Teaming with two other cows named Mrs. Calloway and Grace, Maggie sets out to capture the infamous cattle rustler Alameda Slim for the reward money.  They are competing against a bounty hunter named Rico and a horse named Buck who is trying to impress Rico.   With Patch of Heaven in danger, Mrs. Calloway, Grace, and Maggie are about to uncover that there is more to Alameda Slim that anyone ever knew.

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Show me the money!

Directed by Will Finn and John Sanford, Home on the Range is the forty-fifth animated film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series and followed Brother Bear from 2003.  The family film is rated PG due to a few innuendos and the film was rather poorly received by critics and a flop at the box-office.

Home on the Range falls in that very forgettable period of Disney.  After the hits of the ’90s including Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast, Disney hit some stumbles…Home on the Range is included in those stumbles and is a very forgettable movie.

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The best part of this movie…Yodeling!!!

The movie feels like a bit of a throwback Disney film.  Originally it was perceived as Pied Piper story, but it was felt too violent.  Instead, Disney wen the other way and went for a light hearted comedy.  The result was a very bland comedy similar to something like Disney’s Robin Hood or The Aristocats…which at least had the distinction of being a period when Disney films were an event.  Home on the Range doesn’t have that luxury.

The movie has a pretty strong cast but a very ’90s cast.  Roseanne holds the lead as Maggie, but has nice support from Judi Dench as Mrs. Calloway and the distinctive voice of Jennifer Tilly is great for the tone deaf Grace.  Randy Quaid plays the yodeling Almeda Slim and Cuba Gooding, Jr. is the horse out to capture him.  Steve Buscemi has a small role as Wesley and is joined by Joe Flaherty, Richard Riehle, G.W. Bailey, Patrick Warburton, and Estelle Harris in other small roles.

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Riding the rails…

The art for the movie is traditional animation, but when compared to other Disney animated films, it is a step down.  I do like the yodeling song animation which provides some fun and feels like a combination of Dumbo’s “Pink Elephants on Parade” and The Aristocats “Everybody Wants to be a Cat”.  The movie feels like it is illustrated just a bit better than a cartoon series and with classic animation in a losing battle against computer animation, you would think that Disney would have made a bigger effort impress with the visuals.

Home on the Range is a movie that if you bring up, people rarely remember.  That is astounding when you think of the weight and memories that other movies in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series evoke.  With the rise of home video in the ’90s and the challenge of Pixar, Disney lost a bit of its luster in the early ’00s and it is just recovering.  Home on the Range was followed by Disney’s first attempt at a fully computer animated film in Chicken Little in 2005…also forgettable.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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