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Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range (2004)


Starring the voices of

Roseanne Barr

Judi Dench

Jennifer Tilly

Cuba Gooding Jr. 

Directed by Will Finn and John Sanford


Home on the Range is not a bad film, but it is far from superb and its tale is easily forgettable with characters that make little to no impact on the mind. It comes across as an animation made directly for children who will not bother to think too much of what is going on the screen, but be amazed by the colors and the numerous jumping around.

The animation’s intended reach surprises me, I do not understand how Disney expected this to be a box-office hit. I feel the story and animation is fair enough for a direct-to-DVD release, but leave it to Disney to go overboard. Here is something I don’t get, they made Brother Bear (2003) with $46 million which was a huge box office success, then decided to make this with over a $100 million, I don’t get it.

Why invest so much in an animation whose story is very basic with no emotional tie like Brother Bear (2003). There is no deep comedy like Tarzan and The Emperor’s New Groove or even action adventure like Atlantis: The Lost Empire or Treasure Planet. Then forget taking about soundtrack, because that too does not exist when you equate the songs here to that of the animations before it.

The animation drops us flat in a western setting where we meet Maggie who is the only cow left on her ranch after an outlaw known as Alameda Slim, stole all the cows on the ranch.

This outlaw cow wrangler is capable of stealing all the cows from numerous ranches in one night, without much noise made, when the owners wake-up they see that all their cows are gone.

Maggie’s owner is left distressed and financially downtrodden, and sold Maggie off to Pearl Gesner, a kind old woman who runs a small farm called Patch of Heaven. The sheriff informs Pearl that her farm will be taken over by the bank, if she fails to pay the $750 loan she took.

Well, Maggie got an idea and she was able to get the two other cows on the farm to go along with her. There is Grace the ever-happy resident and then Mrs Calloway, the cow who seems to be running things on the farm.

The plan was to first get the sheriff’s horse a show off wannabe who wants to be ridden by a famous bounty hunter, that plan did not go well as the horse was obnoxious and proud. The second plan was to capture the notorious cow wrangler and get the reward money.

They went for the second plan and we get to watch how these three cows battle with a cow wrangler who has special skills he uses to get cows to do what he wants.

In the end, I can see why many may forget that such an animation was made.


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