"Home on the Range. I once had a home, but not anymore."
With these words, Disney's Home on the Range begins the tale of 3 cows, a rabbit and a horse in their fight against a yodeling cattle rustler. Much has been said about this movie, and in my humble view, the movie is less So Bad Its Horrible
, and more So Okay Its Average
. There has of course been many complaints about the characters, the villains, and the tone, but as an overly forgiving patron of Disney, I declare this a decent movie.
The main character is a show cow named Maggie, who moves into the dirt farm Patch of Heaven, only to find out that the farm has fallen behind in payments, and is $750 in debt. (which considering this was the old west is a lot of money) To pay off this debt, Maggie convinces the two other cows on the farm: the uptight Mrs. Calloway
and the ditzy Grace
to help them capture the worst cattle rustler ever: Alameda Slim.
Slim certainly has a degree of menace in his being, but due to his, shall we say, unique method of control (yodeling), a lot of people can find him hard to take seriously. Personally, despite his absurdity, I find him at the very least effective in his capture of cattle. He's accompanied by his posse, the goofy willy brothers and by another character, Rico who I wont go into detail about now.
Despite the wide range of emotions conveyed by the leading lady cows, my favorite characters have to be Buck and Lucky Jack. Buck is a horse who longs to be a hero and will do almost anything to get there. He perhaps develops the most of anyone in his quest against Slim, and his ultimate change and battle is awesome to witness. Lucky Jack is a jackrabbit with a pegleg. Perhaps the most obvious Butt Monkey
of the cast, and watching his antics is perhaps the funniest part of the movie.
Of the songs, they definitely try to get a western vibe across, and it has perhaps one of the most beautiful "heroic pain" songs in the canon with "Will the Sun ever shine again?" Overall though, despite their good mood setting vibe, I'm afraid most of them are pretty forgettable.
I suppose with this different tone but still trying to be dramatic in places was what ultimately made this movie so despised. Yet I still say that it isn't a bad movie, just a poorly timed one after a string of mediocre films before it. I give it at least 3 of 5 stars.