Home on the Range (2004) Poster

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jackster1231 August 2008
I'm typing this as the movie is playing on DVD. And the kids seem to like watching it. But then, they're young and animation appeals in general.

Still, we try to watch with them... and I happen to love animation myself, having some background in cartoon-drawing. Everything Pixar? Fantastic. Old Disney? Sure, serve it up. Along with the Looney Tunes, old Tom & Jerry, etc.

This, though, is a sleepwalk of a feature in so many ways. Not in the animation, which isn't bad (though not much special, in context of what's out there). Nor in the music, which is decent enough.

The writing, however, is horrible. I can't imagine anyone characterizing this dialogue as "funny"... it's an endless stream of clichés. And the story line, while thin at the core, is unnecessarily complicated at the fringes. The twists don't feel like twists. They feel like fumbling shortcuts used to navigate a nest of tangled details.

I find myself astounded at how (a) such a venerable studio as Disney gets behind this kind of project (b) how they manage to attract so much high-profile voice talent and (c) how those actors stomach saying these lines, given that every one of them has acted in much better stuff than this pap. I guess a paycheck helps.

But still, ultimately this is a movie that shouldn't have been made.

P.S. One other thing... one can't help but feel like this is one of those animation movies meant to appeal to a demographic. Like, say, the vast swath of middle America that loves country music. It's worth noting that the other failed animated movies of recent years have all attempted to do the same kind of feel-good, blatant targeting.

Brother Bear... Fox and the Hound 2... there are others I can't think of at the moment. Why does it fail? First, because the movies by nature end up offering stereotypes of the demographic they're targeting. Second, because they end up being style over substance. The plot is just a vehicle to deliver the caricature. And last, because it's ridiculous to assume that great story lines don't transcend the cultural distinctions.

Do the studio marketers really think, for instance, that the Nascar set and Manhattan kids alike can't "get" Monsters Inc or Toy Story on a shared level? The only movie of recent years that seemed to beat that rap was "Cars." And that was because it was a good story, not stuck in being pedantic or playing to any one crowd.
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home on the range
torillaface22 January 2007
The critics were right about this movie that it wasn't worth the time or movie to see it. This movie might have been one of the reason to shut down this ink animation dept. What was the purpose of this movie? Was it based on cows or Rosanne Barr? They should have featured her in a live action movie. There was not much of a story and it didn't make sense. A yodeling outlaw riding a bison stealing cattle right from under ranchers who don't have enough sense to take care of them. There is not one cow hand, cowboy, or cow dog in sight. Thank goodness, there are no predators either. Maybe this is a reason why the cows follow this outlaw like sheep, they never heard howling before nor are they ever sang to like one of the cows was by the old lady of pleasant valley.
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Cows aren't funny
mjaxelrad6 April 2004
This is the most dispiriting Disney release since the dark days of the Black Cauldron. The laughs were strained and ill-timed. While the string of quality Disney movies carefully crafted humor aimed at adults as well as children, this one relied almost exclusively on belch jokes and inappropriate (not to mention inane) sexual innuendo. Seemingly undecided whether it was to be Emperor's-New-Groove-goes-country or South-Park-in-the-West, it miserably fails its audience both young and old.

While Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly struggle in vain to carry the film with some attention to character, it never ceases to amaze that Roseanne -- purportedly a former stand-up comic -- has such leaden delivery and a complete lack of comic timing. Obviously, unless she is bellowing at another character, there is simply no way that her talented co-stars can create any rapport. From her first words on screen, Roseanne sinks this movie like a stone.

A total waste of some talented co-stars.

Please, please, let this be the final death rattle of the Eisner era. It is bad enough that Michael Eisner has ruined practically every character through badly-thought-out and badly-realized straight-to-video sequels, but to completely destroy the bedrock of the Disney empire -- animated theatrical releases -- is unforgiveable.

This one only gets a 2 out of 10.
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Nice visuals, otherwise unexceptional
florafairy11 April 2004
While the film wasn't a total dud a la "Treasure Planet," it's certainly no "Little Mermaid," or even "Emperor's New Groove," which I consider the best of the latest crop of cartoons for its hip sensibility. "Home on the Range" suffers from an unoriginal and unfunny script, although it is not tediously poor or Saturday-morning-cartoon simple. To begin, there is an overabundance of plastic-playset ready characters (literally a whole farm full): the trio of bounty-hunting heifers played by Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Tilly; the yodeling cattle rustler Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid) and his three bumbling nephews; the wannabe-hero steed Buck (Cuba Gooding Jr-- who ok'ed that name?); two lascivious bulls; a buffalo bouncer; a peg-legged jackrabbit; and a whole farmyard of pigs, chickens, a goose, and a surly goat. Oh, and Steve Buscemi shows up too, as a caricature of himself in a purple suit and a pencil moustache. Estelle Harris and Patrick Warburton (so memorable in "Toy Story 2" and "Groove," respectively), had brief cameos as well. There's no time for any kind of character development (not even with a sacred Disney "I Want" song), and the thinnest of premises has the cows hunting for Slim in time to get the reward money to save their farm. I was surprised not by the simplicity but by the unnecessary, unfunny bawdiness of the script (the movie opens with a shot of the Barr cow's ample udders, with her voiceover dryly remarking "Yep, they're real. Quit staring." Crossdressing, pee, and fat man jokes follow.) Alan Menken wrote a few snappy but unmemorable tunes (none of which are sung by the characters, but by the likes of Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang) and a Coplandesque score. The film redeems itself in its art direction, which bursts with Disney color and retro UPA-style angularity. Especially in the opening scenes, a multiplane effect is used to further flatten, rather than deepen, this storybook world. It's an interesting and visually engaging concept that works well for the story. Backgrounds are intricately detailed with drybrush effects that call to mind "Sleeping Beauty;" if that film's art director, Eyvind Earle, had been called upon to paint the rocks and buttes of the American desert, it would have looked very much like this. It's quite stunning, actually, and the best art direction since 1996's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." I especially appreciated a background detail in the town scene: one of the buildings was actually only a facade, held up by supports like on a backlot Western set. Similarly, sooner or later, not just critics but parents too will demand the Disney animated features to show that they have something behind that venerable name. "Home on the Range" will tide us over for now, but a renaissance of Disney is getting to be overdue. The Disney animation department (what's left of it), like it or not, needs to take a cue from Pixar and strive for family-friendly originality if they hope to maintain the integrity of the brand. ***
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An absolute disgrace
Atreyu_II7 August 2007
The 44th animated Disney "classic" is just one among other good examples of how Disney went downhill during these last years.

It's sad to see how Disney (which made so many timeless classics) declined that much. What happened to the traditional hand-drawn classics? All this CGI stuff only ruined Disney! "Home On The Range" isn't the worst Disney movie ever, but it is side by side with their worst movies.

This movie has lots of irritating moments, but the worst of all is a scene in a bar - one of the most ridiculous scenes in a movie! The "humor" of this movie isn't the classic humor which is really funny. What we see here is nothing but annoying, unconventional and pointless modern humor.

This movie has some nice backgrounds of the Old West, but only a few. The characters are very ugly in general and so terribly designed that it's impossible not to feel annoyed by them.

Stupid situations, terrible designs, very low picture quality, awful animation and boring songs are more weak points of this disgrace.

The characters in general are annoying. The only characters I liked were the little yellow birds, the little pigs and Rusty the Dog. But even these characters can't be compared with the beloved and legendary Disney characters of the great classics from the past.
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Ineffective, almost humourless, and not so well written Disney fare
Electrified_Voltage7 January 2009
It has been nearly five years since the release of this recent traditionally animated Disney flick, made in a CGI-dominated time, and I definitely didn't even hear about it at the time of its release. It clearly didn't turn out to be a box office smash, which is probably why I never heard about it (unlike "The Incredibles", the hugely successful CGI-animated feature released the same year), and I don't think I knew about it until I saw it mentioned in a book about animated films a couple years ago. After seeing "Home on the Range", I can definitely see why it tanked.

In the old west, Maggie, Mrs. Calloway, and Grace are three cows, all with very different traits, who live on a dairy farm in Nebraska called Patch of Heaven, owned by an elderly widow named Pearl Gesner. Pearl owes a lot of money, which she unfortunately can't pay, so it appears she will soon lose her farm, and it will be auctioned off! So, the three cows decide to set out to try and save their home. They must track down an outlaw, a cattle rustler named Alameda Slim, who uses a false identity to claim many properties in the state, and hypnotizes cows with his yodeling! On their adventure, they meet others on the same mission, to try and stop Alameda Slim, and due to the different traits of the three cows, they don't always get along, with conflict between Maggie and Mrs. Calloway, which obviously won't make it easier!

Others have already mentioned the lacklustre plot of this film, and I'm going to have to agree wholeheartedly. The plot pretty much completely failed to interest me, since it's very simple and forgettable, and the real lack of humour doesn't help. I only rarely found amusing moments, and kept a straight face for almost the entire thing. For example, there's some weak slapstick, which may appeal to kids, but probably not many others. I found that the funniest parts involved Alameda Slim's dimwitted nephews, parts such as them not being able to recognise their uncle after they've seen him put his simple disguise on, but they are very minor characters. Not only is the plot forgettable, so are the gags and most of the characters. Basically, the film was put together fairly simply, and probably could have been more focused. I found myself indifferent to pretty much everything about it, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

It looks like this film marked the end of a very long era, the era of traditionally animated theatrical Disney movies, which began in 1937 with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and went on with the company long after Walt Disney's death in 1966. Through those decades, so many classics were made in the franchise, so it's unfortunate that they couldn't finish with a much more noteworthy picture. Instead, they finished with a dull one, one which is probably much more appealing to kids than adults, unlike probably most of them, which can be fun for all ages. "Home on the Range" reminds me a lot of "Rock-A-Doodle", a 1991 animated film from Don Bluth, and not one of his more popular efforts. Both are lacklustre animated films with anthropomorphic animals, ones which are basically for the kids, and I've personally found to be very unmemorable.
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Walt must be spinning in his grave!
artcatcms9 April 2004
Throughout my life I was raised on the beautiful animation from the 'wonderful world of Disney'. Even as an adult I continued to love the stories and wonderful animation that set Disney apart from the rest. But the recent years have seen a huge decline not only in the animation department, but in storyline as well. It now seems, with this movie in particular, to be caught in an avalanche of lousy animation, overused puns and cheap innuendo. It may amuse a 5 year old, but for anyone that ever appreciated the quality that was once a Disney trademark will be sorely disappointed! I had hopes with the beauty and quality of movies such as 'The Little Mermaid', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Aladdin', but those apparently were the last gasps of any beauty in artistic and story quality! This one must surely have sent Walt Disney spinning in his grave to see how the current regime has cheapened everything he worked so hard to build! The likes of 'Snow White', 'Pinnochio, 'Bambi' and those like it are apparently gone for good! How sad to see such a grand art form bite the dust! Shame on the animators of this one!
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It's not a step down for Disney, its a tumble down the stairs
Lisa Muñoz2 November 2012
From the moment the film starts, we know it's not going to be good, but the more I watch it now, the more cringe-worthy and unwatchable it gets.

Everything from the animation style to the characters and to the plot, is just an absolute train wreck. There is nothing redeemable about this picture. Pending loss of property, kidnapping of the cattle and Pearl's and the dairy cows' relationship as "family" makes me want to retch out of pity for how much fuss they're kicking up over nothing.

Even as a child when I watched it the first time, I had to skip some parts because they were just too silly for me. When you compare it to Finding Nemo for example, a much more dramatic picture with depth, lovable characters and outstanding dialog, you'll see what I mean.

It's not even one of those "so bad it's good" movies. Just plain unbearable.
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piece of crap
americandragonfreak19 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
this movie has got to be the worst ever! it's annoying, stupid and pathetic. the STUPID story is this: a farm called "little patch of heaven" (give me a break) is going to be closed down if they can't pay for it, so 3 cows look for a bandit who who yodels and steals bulls (it's been a while since I've seen it) which is beyond stupid. In the end, the capture him and get to keep the farm. Tipical Disney. The characters are bad, the only character I like is Buck. It is PG, 76 minutes and has the voice of Cuba Gooding Jr.

STUPID piece of crap. Avoid at all costs! I'd give it a 1/10. Only see it if you like westerns and bad singing cows, otherwise don't buy even if it's $5.00!
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IMDb says the budget was over 100 million...
MLDinTN5 April 2005
where did it all go because it certainly wasn't spent on the animation. It was just your regular Saturday morning cartoon animation. I guess most of the money must have been spent on the stars who played the voices. Since Rosanne's been out of work lately, she probably asked for a pretty penny to do this.

It didn't have any fun songs that stand out in my mind. Plus, the plot was very generic. And it needed more animals. The main animals were cows, a rabbit, and a horse. There's also a goat, pigs, buffalo, and chickens, but they weren't shown a lot. One of the reasons people liked the story of Finding Nemo so much was all the different animals used to tell the story.

FINAL VERDICT: I guess 5 year olds will like it, but I didn't think it was too great.
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An enjoyable Disney movie
George Mussman (GEM-20)11 January 2005
I really took a chance when I bought the DVD of "Home On The Range" because I had not seen it. It is not my normal practice to buy something that I am totally unfamiliar with. However, I was happily surprised. This movie was wonderful! My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Roseanne provided a funny voice to one of the cows. Love her or hate her, the casting was perfect, like Ellen DeGeneres was for "Finding Nemo".

I read here on IMDb that "Home On The Range" is the last Disney film to be done with traditional animation. Maybe there are faster or cheaper ways of making these movies, but a great history is coming to an end. Kind of sad… I recommend this movie. While it may not be a masterpiece, it is a delight that is better than most Don Bluth or Dreamworks films.

I would give it *** out of four. Fun and funny stuff!
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Disney disappointment.
Hawk Wing16 April 2008
The story line is too thin, the dialog is boring and there are no jokes or great moments in it. I never laughed once. The target audience must be lower than 8 years old, this is a baby-sitter with no character. It's even worse than Chicken Little, and it doesn't even try to be funny. Normally, it would be an enjoyable animation, but coming from Disney Studios, I'd say this is very disappointing.

If I have to be positive, I can say that my eyes didn't start bleeding. Judy Dench saved the day. She earns this movie 2 points / 10. It's difficult to find 10 lines to say about this movie even if they're all negative.
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Worst. Disney. Animated. Feature. EVER.
JTurner8214 June 2007
HOME ON THE RANGE is rock-bottom Disney animation. It's amazing to believe the studio that produced memorable classics could turn out a movie as bad as this (yes, it's worse than HERCULES and TREASURE PLANET). The wire-thin storyline, which involves barnyard animals on the trail of an outlaw who can hypnotize animals by singing (huh?) is needlessly stretched out for 76 minutes (which is 70 minutes too long) with forced, unfunny gags, frantic but lifeless sequences and lame characterizations. The animation, usually a high point in a Disney feature, is both pedestrian and unappealing to look at. Alan Menken supplies the music, but like the movie, his tunes are banal, insipid, and unappealing, even weaker than his work for HERCULES. Failed Disney cartoons don't have to be this horrific; case in point: THE BLACK CAULDRON and ATLANTIS-THE LOST EMPIRE fell short financially and were flawed, but both movies made an attempt to be something more complex and adult-oriented than typical Disney fare (I actually liked both of those films). This film, on the other hand, is a big step backward, and the hectic, pedestrian execution ultimately cripples it. It's disheartening that this may be the last traditionally animated feature we may see from Disney, and even more unfortunate that they chose to go out with a flop as insidious as this. Uncle Walt would surely turn over in his grave if he found out his studio ever produced this film.
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A steaming pile of bovine excrement that is the flawed product of the deranged mind of Michel Eisner.
Mitchell McRae9 February 2013
This moooooooooooooovie sucks! It's just as Seth Nelson, JTurner82, and Avwillfan89/Lisa Muñoz said. What's the worst part of this moooooovie? The part where the cows are at the fair, thinking they're being attacked, and run for shelter in...wait for it...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT! OK, I'll tell you! They take shelter, in, a, SALOON BAR! Can you guess what happens next? Chaos ensues! And guess what else? One of the saloon GIRLS in the bar, is revealed to be a TRANSVESTITE! IN A KID'S CARTOON! And you know what else they do in this mooooooovie? They make remarks like "Yeah, they're real. Quit starring!" IN REFERENCE TO A COW'S UDDERS! And then, later on in the moooooovie, the cows are stalked by a pair of steers, both of which make the following remark: "Well maybe we can help you! Maybe we can help EACH OTHER!" How suggestive is that? And did you know, that Disney ALMOST QUIT making 2D animation COMPLETELY because of this moooooovie? So yeah, if you're lookin' for a great, lovable story with a farm setting, THIS AIN'T IT! Watch Charlotte's Web, Babe, or Gordy instead! They are all much better! Also, you know what I think about Alameda Slim (it's ironic because he's fat!)? I think he represents Michel Eisner, the way he stole all these cows for a quick buck? Just like how Eisner made this crappy cow moooooooovie and was also responsible for the equally bad flops Atlantis and Treasure Planet! Brother Bear, Bolt, and Lilo & Stitch were the only GOOD movies from this era! And it wasn't until they released Bolt that they finally got it right again, by making The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, and Wreck-it Ralph! But this is to 2004 what The Black Cauldron was to 1985! Just like how I think Bolt represents the pre-renaissance that was Oliver & Company! And The Princess and the Frog = The Little Mermaid, Tangled = Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh = Aladdin, and Wreck-it Ralph = The Rescuers Down Under! I'm a-hopin' that The Snow Queen will be The Lion King! But this is the dumbest Disney mooooooooovie in their official animated classics canon ever made! I mean, The Black Cauldron was also horrible, Atlantis boring, and Treasure Planet the same as Atlantis, but this is the worst! The ONLY way this could EVER compete with the likes of Bambi or The Rescuers is if it was compared first with something as bad as Epic Movie or Jack and Jill! But bottom line, do NOT watch this mooooooovie, watch Bambi, Dumbo, The Lion King, The Rescuers, or The Fox and the Hound instead! I rate this mooooooooovie as a 2/20! And that's because I like the chickens and the pigs!
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Flat animation (it looks like Picasso's drawings), forgettable songs, flat humor, and thoroughly boring story.
James Sims28 July 2010
The jokes suck, the animation's flat, and the plot is stupid. Compared to the famous Disney movies of the Disney Renaissance, Home on the Range has forgettable songs and a pointless plot. Even the children will dislike this movie, because the "Yodel Adle Eedle Idle OO" song would give them nightmares. No wonder it wasn't nominated for any Oscars or Golden Globes or Kid's Choice Awards! Alan Menken has done a better job at writing songs like "Beauty and the Beast", "A Whole New World" and many more songs that are way more memorable than the songs in Home on the Range. What was Disney thinking?! How could a Disney film this dull have a high budget of $110 million?! If Disney had the time to improve the music and plot, this film wouldn't have been such a box-office bomb! Disney announced that this would be their last hand-drawn animated film, because of the failure of this film. In 2009 however, Disney released their next hand drawn animated film called The Princess and the Frog. This film was way better than Home on the Range. The Princess and Frog had a well developed plot, well developed music, beautiful animation, and cool characters. The film was way more successful than Home on the Range. The Princess and the Frog earned $270 million worldwide at the box-office while Home on the Range only grossed $103 million. Disney never should have released Home on the Range in theaters. It should have been released directly to DVD and video.
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Well, if it isn't the Phony Express.
Andy (film-critic)9 October 2004
Home on the Range was an embarrassing mess for Disney. They need to do something fresh and new to bring them out of this depression. This film was sheer garbage. Imagine, if you were a family of seven going to see this film, dishing out quite a large chunk of change only to enjoy no laughs, a pre-structured overused Disney plot, and just a hair under 70 minutes. Where is the value in this? Imagine spending nearly $25.00 for this type of rubbish. Well, there are those that are and it will forever perplex me. This film was a disaster from the beginning, and it never seemed to stop. There was only one point in this film that I enjoyed watching and it was the scene where the train jumps the tracks and heads into 'Patch of Heaven'. This was hysterical because I thought Disney was making a reference (perhaps some symbolism) of this film and the direction it was headed. Maybe they weren't, but that was the way that I understood it.

I can successfully say that after watching this film, Disney is one of the most uncreative, predictable, unimaginable studios out there. Their ability to think outside of the box has disappeared and will be forever lost on a new generation of children. They have lost their grasp on their 'bread and butter' formula, and need to stop drawing films by hand. I think this was a perfect example of why. Home on the Range was stale. It was stale from the moment you opened the packaging to the moment the final credits rolled. The formula, characters, and even the songs were extremely stale. What has happened to their creative team? What has happened to the magic? None of it was used to make the film Home on the Range.

First, where were the big name actors lending their voices to make this film spectacular? If you are not going to use the modern computer animation, than at least make the voices somewhat spectacular. This was not the case here, instead we are forced to endure 70 minutes of C-grade actors forcing themselves through the words. Jennifer Tilly did not seem to match her character at all, while Roseanne was horribly cast as the independent bovine. It almost felt as if this film was made for the actors instead of for the mass audiences. The only redeeming voice was Steve Buscemi, and it seemed like they wrote the part for him directly. Apparently he is their A-grade star. Pathetic, while I love Buscemi's work, he deserved better and the rest of this cast only made him sound cheap.

Second, where was the meat to this story? Sorry about the pun, but there was nothing of value in this film. Even the patented Disney songs didn't seem to have the luster they once did. Everything from the background effects to the secondary characters seemed to be just, for lack of a better word, 'half-assed'. I felt that there was no heart in this story. Disney, trying to counter those audiences that were dishing out money to see Shrek and other better-animated films, just jumbled anything they could in a quick moment. There was no force or brilliance to this story. Even the jokes, which I was hoping would at least keep some of my attention, were short lived and dull. Nothing was funny. Leading me to watch the story, which went by in a whirlwind and left only devastation behind. It took Maggie all of three seconds to fit into the farm, there was no animosity or hesitation to these other animals meeting and accepting her. It took us all of five seconds to get to the Disney song, and finally, it took only ten seconds to get to the Disney break-up (where the characters leave on their own only to discover that they need each other). This was no time for us to feel anything for these characters. I knew nothing about any of them, so whenever they did anything (sorry to be vague) I didn't understand why. I needed more, and this gave me nothing.

Finally, I would like to end with this comment. I am not against hand drawn animation, when it is done creatively and with passion behind the story and characters. This was not the case with this film. Disney is going to continue to plummet unless they try to find a new way to bring these films out. They need a fresh edge, something for our new generation to enjoy. This cookie-cutter style is not going to work, and it is obvious with this film that it is a dying formula. I guess I am trying to plead with Disney, I am a child of your films. I have seen nearly all of them, and still watch some of them today, but with these new releases it is becoming obvious that you have moved from children to greed. The originality and honesty is gone.

You have gone to mass marketing to whoever is willing to pay, and that is what is causing you to fail, both in film and in the box office. Revamp and return, and I will give you a second chance. If I see anything like Home on the Range again, I may just have to give up on you forever. The magic is gone.

Grade: * out of *****
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Surprisingly good...
Theshapeshifter20 January 2006
I don't see just why it is that people don't like this film. It has good music, good animation, and funny dialogue, but it is fairly sappy. I thought that it was fairly good, even though the plot is just a wee bit weak. Fortunately, the plot is peppered with many humorous events and turns which clear any and all flaws up. The plot is that of a small farm out in the Old West, which is set to be foreclosed. All seems lost until two cows who live there, and one who just moved in, decide to do the only thing that can be done to save their home, catch a notorious criminal, who is known for stealing cows. With some massively amusing high-jinks and many plot twists, this film, while redundant at times, is not to be missed. Take it from someone who knows animation, this movie, while having received a multitude of bad comments and scorns is good, but watch it yourself and YOU be the judge. YOU must decide whether or not it is good, but I found it enjoyable.
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What the.....
Seth Nelson13 September 2006
This was an awful DISSED KNEE animated film that is just about as bad as the holiday 03 nightmare "THESE HUNTED MOOSEMEN."

It's about a bunch of evil cowboys who want a bunch of cattle gone and slaughtered and destroying their home while at it!!!!! This should've never been the movie for last 2D entertainment!!!!! As usual the DEADNECK company filled this movie with their current motifs: bad humor, bad story, dull moments, violence, disrespect, high school, cheerleaders, dating, relationships, kissing, more dates, more cheerleaders, more violence, more badness, etc.

I wanna give this movie that tries to be cute, "CONDO IN MY FRIDGE," a 1 out of 10. It was boring and sull and not good for my tastes; whoever decided to turn this company upside down should be banned from all Disney parks within 1000 feet!!!!! Give me a break about constant Disney PG movies; that's old news!!!!!
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The animation is flawless. The story sucked.
Straph23 July 2011
Which made the animation look worse than it really is. I'm an animation student and when I watched it I was AMAZED. Fluid, organic, and full of life! So when I read in the reviews that, oh, "the animation sucked, it's like one of those Saturday morning cartoons", I'm like, oh my god were we watching the same movie?

But the story SUCKED. Big time. The characters were 2 dimensional. Maggie was annoying. The farm animals were annoying. The plot is really unbelievably stupid... I mean, what the hell, the villain is an idiot with an idiotic motive with 3 idiot henchmen. The horse is annoying and stupid. The script is stupid. Everything that happened was so absurd I threw up a little in my mouth.

It's sad that Disney decided that it was 2d animation's fault and not that of the story. Otherwise I'm sure they'd have made more masterpieces.

The only reason why I watched to the end was because the animation and art was so amazing. Everything else was bad.
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Not prime grade beef, but still a nice selection of ground chuck
filmbuff-3624 April 2004
With Disney fazing out their hand-drawn animation studios in favor of the computer animation brand, one must accept the quiet passing of their traditional style with a mix of both admiration and frustration. A nod of respect for 44 motion pictures of varying degrees of quality followed by a note of sadness at the demand for bottom-line economics over artistic dedication.

As a swan song, "Home on the Range" is not the best send-off from the Mouse House. If "Lilo and Stitch" or "Brother Bear" had ended up as the final 2-D animated piece from the studio, it might have finished the tradition on a slightly higher note. Not that this latest one isn't entertaining, but it lacks the drama to bring about the end of an era on a high note.

The time is the 1800s. The place -- the Old West. Cattle drovers roam the land with their livestock, thieves and other miscreants terrorize the countryside and homesteaders try to eek out an existence in the middle of the wilderness. It is here that local farmer Pearl has set up her own his little paradise appropriately titled "Patch of Heaven."

Among the animals on the farm, the cows clearly command the most respect. They include prim and proper Ms. Caloway (voice of Judi Dench) who does not tolerate recklessness, the air-headed Grace (voice of Jennifer Tilly) who spouts kooky Zen tidbits at inappropriate moments, and cocky Maggie (voice of Roseanne Barr), a headstrong show cow and the latest addition to the farm following misfortune at her old home.

Times are not good for Pearl, with the bank threatening to foreclose on her farm if she doesn't come up with $750 within three days. Not wishing to lose another home, Maggie convinces Ms. Caloway and Grace to aid her in hunting down cattle thief Alameda Slim (voice of Randy Quaid). The three heifers find competition in a conceited and ambitious stallion named Buck (voice of Cuba Gooding Jr.) who is anxious to make a name for himself by being the mount of legendary bounty hunter Rico (voice of Charles Dennis).

The various parties continually cross paths in energetic vignettes, with Western clichés both adhered to and skewered as only a cartoon could do. The cows want Slim to collect the reward, Slim wants the cows to raise money to buy land cheap at auction, and Buck wants to impress Rico with his abilities to track and fight crime. Traps are set, alliances are forged and action ensues.

"Home on the Range" is certainly lively, and is often times quite humorous, but it suffers from a lack of creativity given the potential of the premise. For a cartoon about cows hunting down cattle rustlers, everything seems so formulaic. There are very few surprises and the characters seem to just go through the motions of the typical Disney animated fare.

Where it does succeed though is in the performances. Barr is delightfully acid-tongued as a cow with a tendency for showing off. Her timing is great and comments pointed, which only makes one wonder where she has been for the last few years.

Dench brings Mrs. Caloway a Victorian-era sense of composure and sophistication that is amusingly out of place in the Old West. Never mind how she got that British accent out there in the first place, Dench's ability to bring dignity to the role is a welcome plus.

Tilly is a strange choice for Grace but acquits herself admirably. She's both empty-headed and idiot savant, often at the same times, though her character is typically pushed to the background in favor of Maggie and Caloway's bickering.

The rest of the cast is likable as well, with Gooding Jr. lively as the horse full of himself but with his heart more or less in the right place. Quaid can be amusing at times as the yodeling villain, and even Steve Buscemi shows up in a small but memorable role as a slimy fence for Alameda Slim's stolen property named Wesley, whom Slim appropriately mispronounces as "weasely."

But despite the good performances and lively action, there's not much else at which the movie excels. The characters are all generic and based on archetypes. Who is Pearl and why should we care about her? Just because she dances around with her animals and they live in peaceful harmony with each other, we're supposed to just automatically sympathize with her plight?

Also, what does Alameda plan to do with the land when he gets it? The answer to these and other questions -- we don't know. The filmmakers just want us to accept the plot as is, which may present a problem to the older members of the audience.

But the kids will probably love it. It's simple and fun, and loaded with some lively country music performed by the likes of k.d. lang and Tim McGraw that is sure to bring a smile.

Compared to some of the lesser Disney offerings, "Home on the Range" is certainly a step up due to it's glib approach to Western convention, but as the coda to an animated legacy dating back to "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," one wishes that the studio had chosen a beefier prize before putting their dynasty out to pasture.

Six out of ten stars. Not a bad cartoon, but as Disney's animated swan song, it's a bit of a disappointment.
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Myth have been good if they cut a lot of minutes and made it into a short film before another movie,but as a feature film....
FilmBuff199415 July 2010
I honestly think that Home On The Range is a pretty poor animated movie,I would say that it could have been good if they made it way shorter and made it as a short film before another film started but as a feature film it just isn't that good and it probably would only appeal to children under the age of six.

Three Dairy Cows hatch a plot to capture an outlaw and claim the reward money to pay off their farms debt.



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The cow says boo!
Boba_Fett113828 November 2005
"Home on the Range" is lacking almost in everything that made other Disney animated movies so charming, memorable and unique. Overall the movie also feels like it was made in a rush. The story is incredibly simple and uninteresting and has some totally uninteresting and lacking characters in it who don't exactly help to make the movie more vivid or interesting. Also the animations themselves look rushed and uses some totally pointless computer animations at times and the humor is predictable and mostly childish.

Truly the biggest problem I had with this movie were the characters. They all were so totally underdeveloped in their personality and their relations. There also are way too many characters in this movie. The movie is only 76 minutes long but yet it finds time to introduce countless character, even halve way through the movie when the movie is already heading toward its ending. Also the main 'villain' is introduced too late into the movie and also isn't much good of a character either. He us a totally uninteresting and forgettable villain that likes to yodel. There are some good characters in the movie (The Willie Brothers, Rico, Buck) but all those character are heavily underused in the movie. The movie had way more potential, if they had only spend more time on the story. It certainly is a waste of a good voice cast.

The humor is most of the time very childish and oh so predictable. Granted that there are some typical funny typical Disney moments which made me laugh out loud but unfortunately those moments were too few. Certainly not enough to save the movie anyway.

"Home on the Range" is nothing more than a childish and very forgettable movie, that lacks a good story and characters and only has a few laughs in it.


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Disney goes trashy
Mick (Sees All)18 April 2004
As far as Disney animated movies go, I'd put this one near the bottom. I don't think it's quite as bad as HERCULES. Or maybe it's just awful in a different way. The basic story was interesting, but there was a trashy sensibility behind it that was very irritating. The old Disney cartoons had a literary sensibility, the ones from the last dozen years have become increasingly show-biz/TVLand-oriented. This one starts off with a `teat-joke.' Shortly after the beginning of the film the heroine introduces herself as a cow: `Yeah, they're real. Stop starin'.' Things pretty much stay at that level. Roseanne Barr provides the cow's voice. Judi Dench and Meg Tilly are the two other principal cows. I went to see it because I am a fan of Alan Menken's music. There were only three or four songs in the film and two of them were not really integrated into the plot. The title tune isn't bad. Glen Slater's lyrics are a cut above those of most of Menken's post-Ashman lyricists. But the songs are sort of MTV-ish. For `Little Piece of Heaven,' k.d. Laing sings a song on the soundtrack while scenes of farm life are shown. The song was just background noise. It was the same for Bonnie Raitt's singing about `it's never gonna stop raining.' The early Menken musicals for Disney were good because they were like Broadway shows. This one is like TV. Some of the animation is nice, but most of it reminded me of Hannah-Barbera TV stuff in the 60s than Disney. The opening sequence had a lot of violence in it ala Tom and Jerry or Daffy Duck. I didn't stay for the credits, but it seemed as though the film was farmed out to different people to do different segments. It seems to be in a variety of styles. Some of the backgrounds are gorgeous, but the cows are highly stylized. Their noses (snouts? Muzzles?) are practically cubist. The plot has to do with some cows capturing a bad cattle rustler/crooked lawyer and getting the reward money in order to save the farm of `Pearl,' a personality-less older lady who runs her farm single-handedly. The dialogue is appalling. For example, at one point, Roseanne (as the cow) says, `We had, like, a home.' What is this `like' business doing in a film that's supposed to take place in the old west? If I had children, I don't think I'd want them to watch this. I don't see that this film would enrich their lives on any level. The sooner this one is forgotten, the better for everyone.
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Lazy and lacklustre film
bob the moo10 March 2008
Having only just moved to her new home, Maggie the cow is shocked to learn that it is to be shut down and auctioned off – more than likely meaning the chop for all the animals. With cows Mrs Caloway and Grace in tow, she sets out to try and save the farm by claiming the reward for bringing in an infamous cattle rustler. Ignoring the sheer improbability of this, they set off only to find that several other parties (animals and humans) have similar ideas.

I came to this film as one of many animated films on during the Christmas period and given the genre perhaps had reasons for looking forward to the usual star cast, kiddie friendly laughs, subversive adult humour and solid plot with a moral at the base of it. Sadly though this genre is no longer one that can be judged based on your Shrek's, Toy Story's and so on but now needs to be approached with caution given how many weak copies there now are out there. It is a shame to have to point the finger at a Disney product for this crime but I couldn't shake the feeling that the planning for this film involved watching the good Pixar films and saying "let's make one of those but without the effort or cost".

And so the film was born and it appears the effort and cost has been removed, perhaps making a more profitable film due to lower overheads and a "look kids it's another animated film" marketing strategy that writes itself, but what it doesn't produce is a good film which is what Home on the Range stands as testimony to. The story is a very simple adventure that doesn't really have much to it beyond the basic description above and I was surprised by how plodding most of it was. The laughs are few and far between and the delivery generally seemed to lack energy. The animation is pretty basic looking and seems to have been made by a rather lacklustre committee, which is ironic when you think about what the significance the film holds within the legacy of Disney.

The voice cast has names but it feels more like actors being "the voice of" rather than playing characters. As a result they tend to just play on their voice rather than develop characters. Roseanne is Roseanne but with weak material (meaning she is just loud and not funny). Dench takes her money and I doubt very much if this film will ever be mentioned when discussing her body of work, and nor should it be. Tilly at least plays up her part and has quite a "fun" voice. Quaid, Gooding Jnr and Warburton are so-so even if small turns from Buscemi and Weaver are quite fun.

Overall then a pretty lacklustre product across the board that seems to be content to just take the success that simply being in a genre that we had gotten used to being good. It might amuse young children with its big bright shapes and loud noises but older children and certainly adults will find little to entertain.
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Borrowing from Others
tedg2 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

You can build a very good movie from parts borrowed from others. There are even solid templates for doing this in a way that is half exploitation with the other half in contradictory spoof. The recent 'Van Helsing' impressed in this regard.

The story even addressed this directly.

But to do this successfully, you have to have the assembly have its own soul, not be just a review for the various parts. And though there are other faults here, the lack of coherence that typifies Pixar projects is what is missing and dooms the project.

And though I cringe at the required Disney core: the mawkish reliance on 'family' and belonging, even that was done clumsily here.

There were two shots (only two) whose intelligent borrowing I appreciated. The first was when the widow is reviewing old photos in glass frames before she loses her farm. The reflected raindrops (rain, window, picture frame glass, 'camera lens) was a worthy homage to the famous Conrad Hall effect in 'In Cold Blood.'

The other shot was the pounding in of the 'to be auctioned' sign, where you saw first one line, then another. (I cannot recall the original and would appreciate being reminded.)

The reference to the 'Lawrence of Arabia' train wreck failed. Now that could have been great. For some reason, the director decided that no shot in the entire thing would be close. That's what killed this one reference, and I wonder why they avoided the obvious 'coming into the audience' deal even here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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