Released in 2004, Home on the Range is a bit of a low point for Disney in my opinion. In the early 00s, they had a bit of a hard time staying at the top of the animation game and movies like this are why. Home of the Range is not a terrible movie, but it is also one of the most forgettable movies that Disney has ever made.
How to Download Home on the Range
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like Disney animated films, check out also The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh.
The Movie Review
The movie is written and directed by Will Finn who has a great track record with Disney. Finn has been associated with such greats as The Little Mermaid, the Rescuers Down Under, and beauty and the Beast with his work as an animator. Home of the Range is the first time he was the lead on a project by Disney and it is such a shame the way it turned out.
I do want to address that this was also the last traditionally animated movie Disney did for five years until, The Princess and the Frog. Anyway, the premise is something I think is really cool, this is a Disney movie set in the old West and that is something that appeals to me a great deal.
The plot of the movie is really where this thing falls flat. We have this old-timey farm called, Patch of Heaven which is run by a lovely old lady called, Pearl. Pearl is just all about living a good life with her animals and is not concerned about making a profit. This though is her downfall as she owes the bank a lot of money and if she cannot pay, her farm will be sold to the highest bidder.
Thankfully, this farm has three feisty cows Maggie, Grace, and Mrs. Calloway who are willing to try and save the farm. I like the dynamic the three cows have and these three characters (along with their little buddy) are the highlight of Home of the Range in my humble opinion.
How are these cows going to save the farm? Well, this is the old West and there is a bandit by the name of Alameda Slim. They team up with Buck, the horse of the Sherriff to bring this bandit to justice, get the reward money and save the farm. On paper, I think that Home of the Range sounds like a super fun time.
However, the execution of this movie is average in every way you could imagine. To start with, the humor is more slapstick and it is not that great at all. There is more talking and explaining things than jokes and action and that can make the 70 plus minutes run time drag. To be fair, they have a great cast and with Rosanne Barr (before everyone hated her), Judi Dench, and Jennifer Tilly being the three cows, and Cuba Gooding Jr as Buck.
I really wish that I could talk about how Disney stopped traditional animation for five years and went out with a bang, but that is not the case. Despite this movie being made by a fantastic animator, Home on the Range is not a visual spectacle and it is easy to see why so many people overlooked this when it was released as it just does not grab your attention in any way.
It is pretty hard for me to say that out of all the classics on Disney Plus, you should take the time to watch this. It is not the worst Disney movie I have ever seen, but if I am being honest, it would be pretty close to the bottom of my list. I sometimes get mad when Disney pretty much ignore some of their classics, but with this one, I get it.
- It is cool that Will Finn got the chance to make his own movie
- I liked the old West setting
- The voice cast here is great and tries hard to make this entertaining
- This is an interesting footnote in Disney's history
- It has one of the most lackluster and boring plots of a Disney classic
- The animation is not the best!