Home on the Range on DVD
by Johnny Bray
At a place in which the deer and antelope play, things are going awry.
The Patch of Heaven dairy farm is at risk of being taken over by a ruthless
outlaw. The animals are sure to be eaten, and the whole place will become a
run down piece of open space perfect for tumbleweeds to roam free. But not if
the cows have anything to say about it
Maggie is from a farm down the way, which has just recently been bought out
and overrun by Alameda Slim. Now, as the newest member of the Patch of Heaven,
she doesnt want to see the same thing happen again. So she does her darndest
to get the rest of the farm to help her kick Slims bum. Reluctantly, Grace
and Mrs. Caloway agree, not because they believe in Maggie, but because they
dont want to become cow pies.
Can the bevy of bovine babes thwart the evil plot of Slim and his gang? Of
course they can, and itll only take them 76 minutes.
Home on the Range is a fun little Disney adventure, with everything you love
about their classic animated fare and, surprisingly, few of the hindrances of
their less popular films. It features the typical kid-and-adult-friendly humor,
a fairly standard story, fun characters, and some song-and-dance routines written
by Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast).
Lately, Disney has been heading into dreaded PC territory, and Home on the
Range certainly could have gone that way. But Alameda Slim is not an evil capitalist,
hes just evil. The movie never does the whole money is bad and anybody
with money is bad thing; in fact, even the heroes are trying to raise
enough money to buy their farm back.
Its pretty forgettable, but the latest animated Disney movie is still
fun enough to be worth watching at least once. It also shows that traditional
animation hasnt yet run completely out of steam. Its no Aladdin,
Lion King, or any of the other greats, but its
Disney has provided a pretty decent DVD for the home video release. Presented
in family-friendly 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, the picture quality
is great. There are plenty of bright colors that shine nicely, and detail is
very good as well. There are no traces of dust or grain, and while the animation
isnt on par with some higher profile cartoons, its still pretty
We also get the typical Dolby Digital 5.1, which is pretty good, too. As usual,
most of the dialogue primarily uses the center speaker, but the musical numbers
fill the room from all the channels, and theres plenty of action that
uses the surrounds very nicely. The subwoofer is pretty tame, but theres
enough going on that you probably wont notice.
Included on the disc is Disneys usual dose of extras. Trailblazers:
The Making of Home on the Range is a pretty standard featurette. It doesnt
really have a lot to say about the actual production, but it lets us know the
movie exists. And we guess thats important, especially after weve
already seen it. Four deleted scenes run for almost 15 minutes, and even though
they could have made the film a decent length, we can understand why they were
cut. Theres also an audio commentary by the filmmakers, a cute but not
great animated short, plenty of interactive games, an art review, and a music
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