For those of you who have read and looked at my blog, you’ve learned a few things about me. I’m a bit of a Disney fanatic and I love just about everything Disney.
Well, I thought I did. As I’ve moved along and started to watch some of the more modern Disney animated features, I have found the occasional movie that just didn’t sit right with me. Last week, I watched Home on the Range for the first time, and let’s just say it’s not my favorite Disney movie.
Before I get into the reasons that I thought made it weak, let me give it some props. The movie was very colorful, the animation was crisp, and it had it’s fun moments in it. It definitely was entertaining enough for a younger audience, which at the end of the day, is the main audience.
But now for the things that I thought were problematic about the film. The first thing that was blatantly apparent was just how fast paced the movie moved, but it wasn’t in a good way. It felt like everything was being rushed, and for the first hour or so of the movie, I was just dying for the plot to slow down and bit.
The problem with this quick pace of the movie was that it didn’t allow anything to really develop. There was about 30 seconds of exposition, and within it felt like 10 minutes we were into the heart of the plot. The problem didn’t have enough of a chance to sink in to the viewer as to why it was important, and by barely meeting the characters, it’s hard for me to care that their farm is being repossessed.
Speaking of the characters, they were very bland and forgettable. Part of that was because the pacing was so fast that we never really got to meet them, but part of that was because how simple they were. With the cows, you had the fat one, the British one with the hat, and the dumb one. That’s about as far as their characters go.
The only character who had any memorability factor was the horse, Buck, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. I think I liked him so much because his cocky character was fun, but because he also had a legitimate character change over the course of the movie and had reasoning for everything that he did. The same couldn’t always be said for our main characters, and again, I just found myself not caring about them as much as I should have.
The music was also surprisingly dull and forgettable for a Disney movie. Obviously anything compared to the classic Disney songs of the 90’s is going to fall short, but these songs were just bland, and didn’t really add any life or personality to the film.
Part of the issues I think lied in the run time. The movie ran only 76 minutes, as opposed to say the 84 minutes that Beauty and the Beast ran. Eight minutes doesn’t sound like much, bit I truly think that had the movie used eight more minutes in the beginning to introduce plot and characters more fully, the movie would have been overall better. Not great, mind you, but better.
You’ll notice that I really haven’t talked much about character names or the plot, and that’s because overall, this movie was just forgettable to me. Originally, this was supposed to be Disney’s last traditionally animated movie, and I’m really glad that didn’t end up being the case, because it would have been an extremely lackluster way for traditional animation to go.
In the end, I wouldn’t exactly recommend this movie, but if you want to see how a Disney movie can miss the mark and maybe see a movie that makes you appreciate the classics that much more, then why not, go give it a watch.