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Home on the Range

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Home on the Range
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Disney's disappointing end of the 2D animation film era...which was only saved by The Princess and the Frog, thankfully.
Genre: Animated
Comedy
Drama
Musical
Directed By: Will Finn
John Sanford
Written By: Will Finn
John Sanford
Starring: Roseanne Barr
Judi Dench
Jennifer Tilly
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Randy Quaid
Steve Buscemi
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: April 2, 2004
Runtime: 76 minutes
Country: United States


Home on the Range is a 2004 American animated western musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 45th Disney animated feature film was the last 2D animated Disney film released until The Princess and the Frog in 2009. Named after the popular country song of the same name, Home on the Range features the voices of Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Randy Quaid, and Steve Buscemi.

Plot

When an eviction notice shows up at the gates of the Patch of Heaven dairy farm, three cows, Maggie, Grace, and Mrs. Calloway, take it upon themselves to prevent their home from being taken away. To do so, they set out on a quest, along with the Sheriff's horse, to collect the ransom on outlaw Alameda Slim, an infamous wanted cattle rustler.

Bad Qualities

  1. The main protagonists are pretty weak and clichés, such as Maggie, Grace, and Mrs. Calloway.
  2. Alameda Slim is a dull antagonist who comes across as more unfunny than evil. His motives are very stupid and lame, as he wants to take over the United States of America by purchasing every single land...just to take over the country.
  3. Kitsch and weak voice acting especially for Disney standards, with overused hillbilly accents, like Roseanne Barr.
  4. Many jokes are very weak, stale, repetitive, and unfunny, with bad puns and one-liners (e.g. "What's her specialty? Sour cream?") and western stereotypes.
  5. While the animation is rather decent for Disney standards, the CGI backdrops are very artificial and fake, and many character models are recycled, such as Slim's henchmen.
  6. Laughable and poor dialogue, such as Maggie's "What is this, the frozen food section?" and "Well, if isn't the three maids of milking."
  7. Pitifully standard and unoriginal story with overuse of every western cliché in the book that gets boring pretty quickly.
  8. The film often rips off many elements from other better-animated films such as An American Tail: Fievel Goes West and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
  9. Parts of the film outright stop talking down to its audience.
  10. Despite the film being set in western times, there are various anachronisms, such as Wesley mentioning "ASAP", slang that was not around during that time.
  11. While "Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo" is good and catchy, Slim hypnotizing the cattle is implied to be a reference to drugs.
  12. Unfitting dark comedy aspects in a PG-rated Disney movie, such as a fly staring at Maggie's backside, a couple of steers sexually harassing the protagonists, and a bandit carrying a knife to deal with enemies.
  13. Many of the characters start off as often annoying and unlikable, such as Buck, who often becomes grating, and the tone-deaf Grace.
  14. The writing is a mixed bag and could be only appreciated by those who can't count past two on their fingers.

Good Qualities

  1. There is at least good animation.
  2. There are some good songs such as Little Patch of Heaven, Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo, Anytime You Need A Friend, and Will the Sun Ever Shine Again?
  3. Passable voices like Jennifer Tilly as Grace, Steve Buscemi as Wesley, Judi Dench as Mrs. Calloway, and a few others.
  4. While some jokes are weak, others are good like "Big Mike Donald had a farm? E-I-E-I (SMACK!) Oh..."
  5. The action scenes are enjoyable and exciting.
  6. Lucky Jack is a likable and funny character.
  7. The plot twist of Rico being a minion of Alameda Slim is played out perfectly and helps Buck to realize the error of his ways and aid the cows near the end.
  8. Steve Buscemi's line: "I gave up clown college for this?"
  9. There was a deleted scene where Slim's intentions were to take over the White House, which would have made a much better film.
  10. One scene does have Grace singing the film's namesake song (though off key)
  11. They managed to end the film on a high note where most of the animals have won prizes at the county fair.

Reception

Home on the Range received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences, with criticism towards its songs, humor, characters, and story, although voice acting, Alan Menken's score, and action scenes are praised. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 53% of critics gave positive reviews based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 5.72/10. The site's consensus is: "Though Home on the Range is likable and may keep young children diverted, it's one of Disney's more middling titles, with garish visuals and a dull plot." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews. It is often (to this day) coincided with the low point of the animated Disney canon next to Chicken Little a year later.

Videos

Trivia

  • This was originally going to be the last 2D animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios (known at the time as Walt Disney Feature Animation), but Walt Disney Animation Studios later released another 2D animated film, The Princess and the Frog, in 2009, five years after Home on the Range. The last 2D animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios ended up being Winnie the Pooh in 2011.
  • The original pitch for the film was titled Sweating Bullets and was a supernatural western about a timid cowboy who visits a ghost town and confronts an undead cattle hustler named Slim. The character was later changed to a bull named Bullets.
  • Originally Alameda Slim and his trio of henchmen were going to be ghost rustlers after being killed in a stampede. The one-legged rabbit whose leg Slim stole was going to be a protagonist.
  • The deleted scenes on the DVD revealed an alternate opening with three singing/narrating fly creatures, an alternate meeting with Lucky Jack, a coyote chase scene, and a different goal by Slim to use his hypnotized cows to storm the White House and be president. The producers realized all these scenes worked well on their own, but not in the context of the overall film, so they cut them all out.
  • The main character was supposed to be a human boy at first, then a male calf, then Maggie, Mrs. Calloway, and Grace.


Walt Disney Feature Animation (currently known as Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Movies:

The Golden Age

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs - Pinocchio - Fantasia - Dumbo - Bambi

The War-Time Era

Saludos Amigos - The Three Caballeros - Make Mine Music - Fun and Fancy Free - Melody Time - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

The Silver Age

Cinderella - Alice in Wonderland - Peter Pan - Lady and the Tramp - Sleeping Beauty - 101 Dalmatians - The Sword in the Stone

The Bronze Age

The Jungle Book - The Aristocats - Robin Hood - The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - The Rescuers - The Fox and the Hound - The Black Cauldron - The Great Mouse Detective - Oliver & Company

Disney Renaissance

The Little Mermaid - The Rescuers Down Under - Beauty and the Beast - Aladdin - The Lion King - Pocahontas - The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Hercules - Mulan - Tarzan

Post-Renaissance

Fantasia 2000 - Dinosaur - The Emperor's New Groove - Atlantis: The Lost Empire - Lilo & Stitch - Treasure Planet - Brother Bear - Home on the Range - Chicken Little - Meet the Robinsons - Bolt

Disney Revival

The Princess and the Frog - Tangled - Winnie the Pooh - Wreck-It Ralph - Frozen - Big Hero 6 - Zootopia - Moana - Ralph Breaks the Internet - Frozen 2 - Raya and the Last Dragon - Encanto

External links

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