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Trivia / Home on the Range

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  • Box Office Bomb: Believe it or not, the film actually cost over $110 million to produce and promote; they came up woefully short, and ultimately bought the farm.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Zigzagged with co-director Will Finn, who doesn't think much of the movie itself, but doesn't think it really deserves the heat it gets either, and claims its production was nowhere near as bad as his experience directing on films like The Road to El Dorado.
      "I think it's not a great movie but I do think the hate it's been served up is a little undeserved. It's very lightweight and jokey. More like an extended short than a feature. I had hoped that would work in its favor but it didn't."
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    • Co-director John Sanford likewise has reservations about the movie. While he enjoyed working on the film sometimes, he doesn't particularly like the final product, to say the least.
    • Animator Chris Buck (co-director of Tarzan and Frozen) doesn't look back on the movie with fondness either. When asked about it at a Q&A session, he expressed strong disappointment at the change from the original "Sweating Bullets" concept during development and recalling the experience of animating on the film (which he summed up as spending two years listening to Jennifer Tilly's voice and animating her as a cow) as the low point in his career.
    • Animator Lee Crowe recalls that many of the other crew members outright hated the film, with many of them disparagingly nicknaming it "The Shitty Cow Movie".
  • Creator Killer:
    • This movie was one of several 2004 bombs that mixed together with Roy E. Disney's second Save Disney campaign and general turmoil at the Walt Disney Company to bring CEO Michael Eisner's 21-year long reign to an end. Eisner was forced out the year after this film's release to allow president Bob Iger to keep Pixar in their family, whose staff and films would indeed help Disney recover from this flop.
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    • It also put iron halters on Will Finn and John Sanford's (the two men who directed this movie) careers; Finn wasn't able to direct another movie until 2013, and Sanford wasn't even heard from again until 2015, when he got attached to DreamWorks Animation's Dragons: Race to the Edge.
  • Cut Song: "Heroes and Villains (and Cows!)"
  • Dear Negative Reader: Despite his mixed feelings about the film, co-director John Sanford did not like Doug Walker's Disneycember review of the film, seeing it as obnoxious and taking umbrage at the review calling the film a half-assed, uncreative effort. Co-director Will Finn, while nowhere as vocal about it as John, likewise disliked the review.
    John Sanford: "Yes, I love it when people live stream Home on the Range and tweet comments. Good or bad, it’s fun. Except you, Nostalgia Critic. You can go fuck yourself, you unfunny douche nozzle. My issue was the incredibly abrasive tone of his reviews, and in particular, when he accused the crew of HoTR of “laziness”. You can say what you want about the movie, it’s deeply flawed, but our crew was anything but lazy. I won’t stand for that."
  • Executive Meddling: As co-director John Sanford will gladly tell you, the artists were not slacking off on this movie, pointing out that executive interference was all over the project from start to finish.
    • The Working Title for this film was Sweatin' Bullets. Despite being much less conventional than a title taken from an already-famous song, Disney reportedly changed it because they did not "want children seeing a film with the word 'bullets' in the title!"
    • Originally, the film involved literal Ghost Riders in the Sky stealing cattle with a young calf as the protagonist.
    • A Deleted Scene features Slim's ultimate plan: to use the captured cattle to march on Washington, DC and take over the White House. Sadly, they decided the idea was too strange.
    • When the White House plan was scuttled, Slim's plan was changed to having the cows sold for slaughter. Disney had an eye on a McDonald's promotion, and didn't want kids making the connection, so the fate of the cows is left ambiguous: the only reference left in the film is the line "Don't wanna be late for that big round-up in the sky!"
  • Genre-Killer: As far as 2D Disney animation goes it almost killed the franchise, until The Princess and the Frog redeemed it somewhat.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: This one hardly ever gets re-released on home media, let alone broadcast on television, due to how badly it performed at the box office, and Disney's blacklisting of Roseanne Barr for racism as of June 2018, as well as the separate controversies surrounding Randy Quaid, is only going to make it even harder to find. It's available on Disney+ though.
  • Old Shame: Widely considered one of Disney's weakest and most forgettable films to date, and as such is rarely seen these days among Disney's vast merchandising.
  • Star-Derailing Role: In addition to being a Creator Killer it also killed off Roseanne Barr's career outside of TV guest appearances prior to the 2018 revival of Roseanne (and even that got cancelled a few months later due to her controversial views).
  • Vindicated by Cable: Home on the Range was overpowered by Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Walking Tall (2004), and Hellboy (2004) but it finally found its audience on cable.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Originally Slim and his trio of henchmen were going to be ghost rustlers after being killed in a stampede. The one legged rabbit whose leg Slim stole was going to be a protagonist.
    • The deleted scenes revealed an alternate opening with three singing/narrating fly creatures, an alternate meeting with Lucky Jack, a coyote chase scene, and a different goal by Slim to use his hypnotized cows to storm the White House and be president. The producers realized all these scenes worked well on their own, but not in the context of the overall film, so they cut them all out.
    • The main character was a human boy at first, then a male calf, then the three cows.
  • Working Title: Originally titled Sweating Bullets, the higher-ups at Disney decided against releasing a children's film with the word "bullets" in the title.


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