Making the Grades
Piglets, chicks and three bodacious bovine are at the heart of this animated film. In true Western style, there's also an evil land-grabber who wants to wrestle the little ?Patch of Heaven? dairy farm away from the homestead's hardworking owner, Pearl (Ja'net DuBois).
With only three days left until the bank calls in her loan, Pearl has to come up with $750 to pay off her debt and save her farm from going to the auction block.
Unwilling to stand by and watch their home handed over to the highest bidder, the dairy cows, Maggie (Roseanne Barr), Mrs. Calloway (Judi Dench) and Grace (Jennifer Tilly) head out to capture a nasty cattle rustler named Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid) and turn him in for a hefty reward.
Sneaking into town, they try and talk the local sheriff's horse, Buck (Cuba Gooding Jr.) into helping them out. But the self-obsessed bay is far too busy being a legend in his own mind to give the ?ladies? much help, especially when the territory's celebrated bounty hunter shows up and needs a fresh mount. Riding off into the sunset with Rico (Charles Dennis) on his back, Buck merely scoffs at their request.
Unfazed, the cows follow a lead to find a large herd of cattle grazing outside of town. Right before their very eyes, they discover that Slim has a mesmerizing ability to draw the longhorns away.
But finding the hideout seems almost impossible until the three milk cows meets Lucky Jack (Charles Haid), a peg-legged hare that's been kicked out of his home by the arrogant Slim. Using his shrewd knowledge of the desert, Jack helps Maggie, Mrs. Calloway and Grace sneak up on the ornery varmint and interrupt his despicable scheme.
Filled with rollicking songs by Tim McGraw, Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang, Home on the Range doesn't stray far from the predictable plot we've come to expect in the musical Western. While some moments of rude humor push this film into a PG rating, the barnyard babies and other livestock will still likely appeal to younger audiences.
Plugged as Disney's final traditionally animated feature film (according to imdb.com), the movie symbolizes an end to the studio's original form of drawing that began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. While these cows are a far cry from those little miners, they prove to be "utterly" unstoppable when it comes to bringing justice to the old West.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Home on the Range.
Although Lucky Jack seemed to be an unlikely source of help, what assistance did he give the cows? Why is it important not to dismiss others and their abilities?