Home on the Range (2004)

Animation, Comedy, Family
G.W. Bailey, Roseanne Barr, Bobby Block, Steve Buscemi
To save their farm, the resident animals go bounty hunting for a notorious outlaw.
Though Home on the Range is likeable and may keep young children diverted, it's one of Disney's more middling titles, with garish visuals and a dull plot.
  • Walt Disney Pictures Company:
  • PG Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Apr 2004 Released:
  • 14 Sep 2004 DVD Release:
  • $49.9M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Walt must be spinning in his grave!1/10

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!
An absolute disgrace3/10
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.
Nice visuals, otherwise unexceptional5/10

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. ***

well...2/10
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 cliches. 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.
IMDb says the budget was over 100 million...5/10
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.