By most metrics, Home on the Range is one of the worst films in the Disney Animated Canon. It has a ridiculously low Metacritic score and an abysmal score on Rotten Tomatoes. Going into this I had very low expectations and thankfully that helped me out in the end – the kicking in the attention span that was Brother Bear really helped there.
Still though, I’m not entirely sure why Disney even made this film. Hell, this was given an extra year in favour of Brother Bear and this still ended up being a bit of a mess (then again, this is the same story with The Emperor’s New Groove and we all know how that turned out). They didn’t even manage to make a film that was over 80 minutes long and without any obvious theatre.
So, what’s this about? Well, in a nutshell, it’s about three cows who chase the bounty for a cattle rustler in order to stop their farm from being auctioned off. It’s a weird idea for a film, but weirder ideas have made for great animated films. This is not one of those great films. On the whole, it’s just a bit bland with the occasional trippy yodelling sequence that never reaches the heights of Dumbo‘s ‘Elephants on Parade’.
In terms of humour, this is very much one of those spaghetti thrown against the wall kind of films . Some of the lines are genuinely quite funny with Jennifer Tilly and Judi Dench doing the absolute best job that they can. Roseanne Barr, on the other hand, clearly had it in her contract that she got to improvise a bunch of her lines and… it doesn’t quite work. Not great given that she’s the lead cow.
Two more films now stand between me and Bolt. It’s a bit of a strange film to hang a landmark on, but it’s the film that signals the uptick in Disney quality. Still got Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons to go though. Who knows they may surprise me… or then again maybe not.