Home on the Range was released in 2004 and I have to say, until this little undertaking, I had never even heard of the movie before.
The movie starts with shots of, what looks to my untrained eyes like Arizona. There are giant rock formations and we’re clearly out west. We hear music, a weird rabbit jumping around and I have no idea what this is going to be just yet.
An old guy nails a Wanted
(Dead or Alive) sign to a tree and the guy in the picture looks fierce. Then a voice over starts and it’s a cow how is narrating. She doesn’t have a home anymore because cattle thieves stole all the livestock from right under her and her owner’s eyes one night. The owner couldn’t keep the ranch without money coming in from the animals, it was sold and now they are wandering around.
The cow is going to a dairy farm where she will be staying for the remainder of her days. At said farm, two women (maybe it’s just one, speaking from hindsight) are working in dresses and looking far too posh for the farming they are doing. I know this was the proper clothing at the time but it looks silly to me. Moving on.
Three piglets are complaining because the goat stole their tin can? Something like that, it’s all a bit ridiculous. The head cow, who is also wearing a fancy hat and has a British accent (voiced by Dame Judy Dench, mind you) sends her fellow cow friend Grace to deal with the issue. The younger cow is supposed to get more accustomed to dealing with such things only she tries a somewhat alternative parenting style that doesn’t work so the Mrs. has to get involved.
Meanwhile our cow Maggie (the narrator) is being dropped off at the farm. She walks in and it’s the cow version of the Mustang Sally scene from Miss Congeniality. (I may or may not have watched that scene in Miss Congeniality an obscene amount of times when I was a teen.) Anyway, Maggie is a big cow in comparison to the other two and the Mrs. isn’t too happy though Grace looks rather smitten. I know I’m getting way ahead here but I may be shipping two animated cows because I just can’t help myself. If you know of a good support group, let me know, this shipping thing is getting out of hand.
The Sheriff comes barging in, dropping of a bank notice for the old lady. Her credit is due and if she can’t pay the $750 in a couple of days, the farm will be auctioned off. This is not good news to the old lady so Mrs. and Grace catch her when she starts falling. Sam, the Sheriff, suggests selling some of her livestock, as it is one of the finest in the country/county/area/whatever. The old lady doesn’t want to though because her animals are family and you don’t just sell family. Well…I think it would be better to sell some animals in order to keep the home for the rest of them but that’s just me. Also, this would mean we don’t have any further plot.
Maggie hears all this and thinks the animals should participate in a county fair pageant for animals to win money and save the farm. Mrs. isn’t pleased with this but as Grace would do basically anything at this point, they all end up going into town.
In town, the Sheriff’s horse is sleep fighting until he wakes up. He is rather bored and dreams of being some big shot police horse or whatever. Then we hear that Rice, whoever he may be, is about to drop by the town.
Our lovely cows are getting into town but getting spooked easily by presumable gunfire. They head into a saloon, mistaking the star on the door for the Sheriff’s place. There is some commotion because obviously!
Outside again, the cows run into the horse. Then Dementors arrive, err, I mean the sky gets mighty dark and all that stuff but it’s just Rico, dropping off the latest Wanted guy and getting his reward. The cows see this exchange if money and decide to get in on that free money. Meanwhile Rico needs a fresh horse and the Sheriff’s horse is trying really hard to get picked, dreaming of ADVENTURE and stuff.
Rico really isn’t my cup of tea, I would much rather go back to Lucky Luke but alas.
Oh, I forgot, Maggie and the Mrs. get in a fight as Maggie throws her ladyships hat into the mud. It’s ridiculous. The Sheriff, thinking the cows belong to the Asian merchant, ties them to his carriage and off the go.
Sometime later at night, the carriage crosses a field of livestock so of course the bulls all wake up as the dairy cows walk past. IDK but I may draw the line at sexualising cows (I KNOW says the woman who just admitted to shipping two dairy cows, I’ll see myself out.)
But then, attention bored readers, our cattle thief strikes again and we learn his secret trick, he sings a song that hypothesis the animals and they follow him willingly. Even Mrs. and Maggie get roped into that and almost leave with the rest but somehow don’t.
Then Rico comes and my notes are a bit hazy as I was starting to be really bored and also quite tired. Anyway, our three dairy cows are safe and bickering with the horse because of reasons I don’t know/remember.
Next, they walk up the rock formation in which the thief disappeared.
Cut to said thief who has a bunch of alike looking and really dumb minions. He is dressing up for another auction and the idiots don’t realise he is still their boss when he is in disguise. I’m sure this is supposed to show us how good his disguise is but to me it is just grating.
Back on the farm, our Sheriff Sam puts up the auction sign. And we all sad panda together with the lady and her animals.
Somewhere in the land with three cows, it’s raining cats and dogs. The cows fight and Maggie agrees to leave in the morning after the rain stopped. Maybe I should have mentioned that the Mrs. accused Maggie of only being after the thief because he is responsible for her losing her home and not wanting to save the farm. They fight some and I wish I cared.
A whole sad music montage happens with the old lady and the remaining animals.
In the morning as Maggie is about to leave, Grace has uncovered a shaman and it’s the rabbit from the beginning. Again, I don’t really understand why we need this creature but okay. They learn that the thief has gotten rid of all farms in the area and is buying them up himself. After this news, they decide to take the thief down and get their reward money.
Cut to the thief with his minions. A train arrives in this rock formation. LOL, I’m sure nobody ever wondered why there are rails leading into a rock but okay. Don’t overthink this, Willie.
The cows are on their way, they run into the horse who isn’t let into the rock because he is not a cow. Our dairy cows however can march right on through. Duh.
After some back and forth where I wasn’t paying much attention because I was playing a free Frozen game on my computer, the cows capture the thief. The whole thing is only waylaid by the stupid bulls being after the dairy cows. Yikes.
Rico is there as well but I don’t know why. The cows are supposed to go into the train but they fight their way out because Maggie is getting the Mrs. all riled up and using that anger.
Oh, right, the thief is nearly signing the treaty to buy the dairy farm when the train comes crashing in there. HOKAY! There were not tracks leading up there, how is the train still going?
Thief is caught. The Mrs. says nice things about Maggie because she thinks the cow has already left but in fact Maggie overheard everything and they become friends or something. We also see the other animals being state fair winners and such. Also the Sheriff and old lady are dancing so I guess they are an item now.
So, this movie isn’t bad but it also wasn’t really good either. It resides somewhere in meh-county for me. I can see kids liking this but for me, there wasn’t enough grabbing my attention at times. I’ve seen much worse from Disney though *cough* Teacher’s Pet *cough* so it’s okay. Not more but also not less. The pigs were really cute though.