Home on the Range (2004)
User ReviewsReview this title
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Three Dairy Cows hatch a plot to capture an outlaw and claim the reward money to pay off their farms debt.
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 *****
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!!!!!
When the movie was released in Canada, kids saw it and stopped going on about it. They were all really disappointed, to say the least.
I recently saw this movie and found it to be really overrated. The animation was cheap, the voice cast was incredibly annoying, the soundtrack was hokey and lame and there was nothing funny about the movie at all. It was also unnecessarily weird; one scene has an obese man singing about how he yodels to hypnotize cattle, and he starts talking about how his pants are sized XXXXL. What the hell? If this type of movie is what passes for entertainment these days, then it makes me proud to have cancelled my cable TV service.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, there's no dramatic heft to the hectic and generic storyline and the characters aren't fleshed out at all. The musical interludes are average, too. Where's the emotional resonance we found in movies such as "Beauty and the Beast"?
At least, the voice-work is excellent.
A minor diversion, that's all.
5 out of 10 yodeling villains
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.