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Range is good – and that’s no bull

Home on the Range

Starring Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Cuba…

Home on the Range

Starring Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Cuba Gooding Jr., Randy Quaid, Steve Buscemi

Directed by Will Finn and John Sanford

The last few weeks of classes got you stressed to the max? Take a timeout and catch “Home on the Range,” the newest effort from the animators at Disney.

“Home on the Range” follows the adventures of three cows as outlaw Alameda Slim schemes to take possession of “Patch of Heaven,” their farm. Racing against karate-kicking stallion Buck and bounty hunter Rico, the cows venture across the West to capture Slim and collect the reward money needed to save the farm. With eccentric characters and cute — if somewhat predictable — punch lines, the journey is a fun one.

For the first time in what feels like forever, Disney gives some really likeable main characters. Prize-winning bovine Maggie is voiced by Roseanne Barr, who gives a stunning performance and captures Maggie’s complete lack of finesse and manners (my, how appropriate); Judi Dench voices the somewhat anal-retentive Mrs. Coloway; and Jennifer Tilly rounds out the trio as the voice of new-age thinking Grace. Tilly’s performance steals the show, as she provides the off-key singing that proves to be the film’s funniest running punch line.

The supporting cast excels as well. Randy Quaid is phenomenal as Slim — his rendition of Slim’s evil yodel (yes, I said evil yodel) is the best musical moment of the film. The animation of the scene is a return to Dumbo’s “Elephants on Parade,” and will make you pine for the good old days when Disney was still top-notch. Lucky Jack, a peg-legged jack rabbit, and Jeb, an ornery goat, get most of the punch lines and save the film from falling into sappiness.

The animation and background visuals of “Home” are traditional Disney. In an age where hand-drawn animation is being cast aside for the realism of technology, the animators make a surprise move in “Home,” going back to more simplistic drawings. The characters are boxy, and at times appear almost two-dimensional, racing across a Looney Tunes-esque background. Though not all that visually stimulating, with this style of storytelling, it works.

“Home on the Range,” admittedly, is no “Finding Nemo.” But it’s not “Treasure Planet” either, and that’s reason enough to see it. This is the last hand-drawn Disney film — go out and see it while you have the chance.

Pitt News Staff

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