The animators at Disney probably weren’t betting on making a classic when they thought up Home on the Range. But, the movie has a sprinkle of the magic the corporation is known for and, although the film isn’t on par with past animated hits, such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, it’s slapstick silliness is undeniably amusing.
In Home on the Range, three cows (voiced by Rosanne, Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly) venture from their farm in an attempt to save the ranch from foreclosure. The answer to their money troubles involves capturing notorious cattle-thief, Alameda Slim (voiced by Randy Quaid).
The plot takes several different directions throughout the course of the film. At times, the film feels like an overload of cartoon action, but by the movie’s end, everything becomes balanced.
The film takes advantage of practically every animal pun in existence, even though some are slightly over-the-top for the film’s target audience: One of the opening scenes shows a close-up of a cow’s udders while the narrator explains, “Yeah, they’re real.”
In addition to the above-PG humor, the movie is filled with animated fight scenes. The animations don’t show blood, but some of the characters in Home take quite a beating. One of the scenes shows two cows beating each other up in a fistfight, while in another a character gets hit directly in the face with a pan. The scenes are funny, but are not entirely appropriate for some of the movie’s younger viewers.
Home doesn’t have the musical charisma Disney films are famous for. In the past, the company’s cartoon features have contained elaborate scores with catchy lyrics. But this venture shows a lack of creativity in the musical department. Instead of tunes kids can sing along to, the movie contains various yodeling numbers. The only reason why such annoyances are excused is because they are a vital part of the plot and help set the movie into action.
It is strange yet comfortably reassuring that the animators of this film chose to include a range of ethnic diversity. Several instances of this diversity occur throughout the movie, and one particular scene seems as though the scriptwriters were simply trying to overcompensate for previous racist accusations.
Children will enjoy Home‘s quirky humor and adults will find themselves smiling, too. The movie is entertaining to watch but it isn’t outstanding when compared to Disney’s cartoon flicks of the past.