Home on the Range

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring A bunch of cows, a horse and a fat yodeling cow stealer
Written By: Will Finn, John Sanford
Directed By: Will Finn, John Sanford
Studio: Disney
Buy on Amazon.com

From the commercials, Home on the Range looked like a decent movie but I don’t normally see too many animated movies in the theaters. I think Home on the Range is one of the better animated films (non-Pixar) that Disney has released in recent years.

I think this is the last 2D animation movie from Disney since they closed down the animation studio in Orlando. Computer Animation is the future, but I wish they would still have 2D animation around, just pick better films to make. I was down in Orlando when Home on the Range was being released and saw some artwork at studios on that tour thing. It’s kind of sad that so many designers and animators got laid off. From what I read in the news, those animators and artists have started their own animation studio, so that’s cool!

But anyway, Home on the Range is about a prized fat cow named Maggie (Roseanne Barr) getting sold to a dairy farm called “A Patch of Heaven.” There’s all kinds of animals at the farm including a sophisticated cow (Judi Dench) and a dimwitted one (Jennifer Tilly). At first, Maggie doesn’t exactly get a warm welcome but eventually the rest of the farm comes around. A yodeling cow- stealing outlaw named Uncle Slim (Randy Quaid) decides he wants every piece of land and Patch of Heaven is the next on the list. So the farm is up for sale and the three cows set out on the frontier to capture Slim so they can get the reward money for his capturing. Along the way, they encounter a stern bounty hunter and a horse named Buck (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) who wants to see some action and get into fights. Buck gets picked to be the bounty hunter’s horse and also goes out to capture Slim. At first, the horse and the cows compete to get Slim but end up working together and kicking the bad guy’s ass.

I think the film was animated really well. The style for Disney cartoons has certainly changed over the years, some ascepts good, and then some bad. I’m not really a fan of some of the way the characters are drawn. Like the sharp edged faces. I think the coloring and the overall animation has improved tremendously and you can thank computers for that. From what I can remember from the movie, there wasn’t too much computer generated imagery but when it’s there, it’s used very effectively. For instance, I’m not sure if this was done with computers or not but I loved the mine car chase sequence. It looked excellent and was a lot fun. I bet that took a long ass time to animate. Another scene that seemed to use effective computer animation ws just this one rain scene. The water in it looks really awesome.

The characters for the movie were ok. I like Jennifer Tilly’s character, plus her voice is always sexy. Well i’m not saying the cow is supposed to be sexy but Jennifer Tilly herself. Ahh, I’ll just stop defending myself and just continue. Roseanne Barr is always obknoxious in everything she does, so you can imagine how annoying she was in this film. But it fits the character I suppose. Judi Dench seemed kinda of out of place. Everyone else isn’t british and she is. I guess this isn’t supposed to make sense since there is talking animals and horses doing karate. I actually liked Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character, Buck. I liked the scene with him when he was dreaming of doing a spaghetti western shootout. That scene was an obvious homage to The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and it was even in widescreen. The movie I watched was in widescreen and it got even more wider in screen ratio when that scene happened. I thought that was funny. I also actually like the singing theme song to Home on the Range composed by Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken. The score was really good too, I love the western style scores. Another homage to old western films, and the song was really catchy. I didn’t really care for the slower, country songs though.

The extras on this DVD had some deleted scenes that were taken from the storyboards and also has the filmmaker intros. Also, the DVD has a decent feature on the making of Home on the Range. The feature shows some footage of the actors voicing their characters, the filmmakers talking about the story, and even shows all the filmmakers out on a ranch playing a guitar. Kumba-yaaa, kumba-yaaa. There’s also some games on here like Yodel memory game, the joke corral which is a bunch of deleted jokes. I listened to the audio commentary when there was some sissy music songs playing in the film. They had some cool stuff to say but overall it seemed like the usual stuff in a commentary. The extras conclude with an animated short and a music video from The Beau Sisters’ “Anytime You Need a Friend” and they were pretty smokin’! Not bad, but not great.

Home on the Range isn’t the best Disney movie but it’s one of the better ones to come out in awhile. If you have children or like animated movies, Home on the Range is a decent flick to watch.

– Bonus Short All-New Animated Short “A Dairy Tale: Three Little Pigs
– Deleted Scenes 4 Deleted Scenes With Filmmaker Intros
– Games & Activities
Yodel Memory Game
Yodel Maker DVD-ROM
The Joke Corral (Deleted Jokes)
– Music & More
Music Video – “Anytime You Need A Friend” Performed by The Beu Sisters
– Backstage Disney Trailblazers: The Making Of Home On The Range

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 1.66:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: the opening title song, mine car chase scene, Buck the horse trying to get the cows off his tail by running all around the desert, and buck dreaming of a western shootout.
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 76 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: