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</script></div>{/googleAds}Home on the Range opens with a catchy little ditty called Little Patch of Heaven, written by Alan Menken and performed by k.d. lang. While worthy of finding its place among the all-time great original Disney movie songs, it's unfortunate for Mouse-house fans that this high-water mark comes within the film's first 10 minutes. It's never a good thing when a film's most memorable moment is one of its songs. It's not so much that Home on the Range is a bad movie, but if the rumors of this being Disney's final cell-animation feature are true, it's a shame that they would bow out with such a benign representative of a craft that we have loved for over sixty-five years. It would be like NASA ending the exploration of space with a single orbit around the Earth. So much for Disney ending an era on a high note.

After her herd was stolen by the dastardly land baron Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid), Maggie (Roseanne Barr) the dairy cow finds herself living on a small farm called Little Patch of Heaven, "where the animals aren't just animals, they're family." At Little Patch of Heaven, Maggie meets her fellow bovine bounty hunters, the prim and proper Mrs. Caloway (Dame Judi Dench) who's offended by Maggie's foul manners, and the flighty Grace (Jennifer Tilly) who feels that every sticky situation can be settled if everyone would just talk through it.

Despite its delightful appearances, Little Patch of Heaven is darkened by a black cloud of impending doom. We learn that the farm's owner, Pearl (Carole Cook) must come up with $750 or face eviction and forfeiture of the farm along with all its quirky little inhabitants. It just so happens that there is a $750 bounty on the head of Alameda Slim who is wanted for cattle rustling. Maggie sees this as not only an opportunity to save the farm, but a chance to gain the respect of her newly adopted farmyard playmates.

Off to town go Maggie, Grace and Mrs. Caloway only to discover that they must compete against the sheriff's overly ambitious horse, Buck (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Rico (Charles Dennis), the rootinest tootinest bounty hunter in the West. When Rico and Buck prove to be less than advertised, our bovine heroines find themselves alone in their quest to bring Alameda Slim to justice.

Will Finn and John Sanford's script is only slightly funny and never approaches typical Disney levels of sophistication. The film's funniest lines are actually found within the song lyrics and the ones within the spoken dialogue have already been revealed in the trailers. Although the writers do include a few references for the adults an out-of-place Carl from Slingblade, for instance most are way too off-the-wall or are so far out of context that rather than laughing, you find yourself wondering why they were included in the first place. The entire movie has the feel of a B production. The animation is overall a bit faded and lifeless, the story is less than compelling, and most of the humor comes from bodily function noises.

Home on the Range will soon fade from memory only to occasionally resurrect itself with Snow White as the answer to a two-part trivia question that goes something like this: what were Disney's first and last animated feature film?


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer. No special features.

Number of discs: 1


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