Disney goes west in this 2004 post-Renaissance Walt Disney Animation Studios film, “Home on the Range.” The film is the next to last 2D animated film from Disney’s main studio. Roseanne Barr, Dame Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly star as three cows that are trying to save their farm from being sold. Randy Quaid voices Alameida Slim, an evil cattle rustler who steals cattle from farms, sells them off and then uses the money from selling the stolen cattle to buy the farms he stole them from at auction. If the cows were people, this would make a good plot for a live action film, but it’s a terrible animated film, instead.
This is without a doubt the worst film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios I’ve ever seen. Dame Judi Dench deserves so much better than this movie. Jennifer Tilly deserves so much better than this movie. For as questionable of decisions as Randy Quaid, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Roseanne Barr have made in their personal lives, given their talents, they all deserve better than this movie. I would rather have a railroad spike driven through my temple than try to sit through this film again.
If I can say one good thing about this film, it’s that the music fits the theme. There’s some solid Western music to go with its 19th century Western United States setting. None of the music stands out. There’s no “Under the Sea,” “Let It Go” or “When You Wish Upon a Star” in this film. No one is going to walk away from this movie singing the music. But the music fits the film and it’s the only good part of this film.
The Post-Renaissance Era of the Walt Disney Animation Studios is sometimes referred to as the Dark Age or the second Dark Age because of how the films struggled at the box office. The studio moved away from the tried and true musical formula of the Renaissance and went for a more story-based narrative without as much music for exposition. That led to some box office failures that are honestly hit or miss when it comes to quality. “Home on the Range” is a definitive miss when it comes to quality.
There are very few films that I will tell people to actively avoid, because I understand that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean somebody else wouldn’t. But, this is a film that I will say is objectively bad. It’s not funny. It’s not charming. It has very few redeeming qualities. While “The Black Cauldron” is remembered as the film that almost put the animation studio out of business, this one is light years worse. I understand completely why this isn’t brought up in the pantheon of great Disney films and I have no want to see it again.
Ranking: Negative 1,000 stars
I know I’m not really supposed to give negative stars, but I wanted to cancel my Disney+ subscription after sitting through this. But, this film may have its fans. What did you think of “Home on the Range?”