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Home on the Range


Stars: Voices: Judi Dench, Roseanne Barr, Jennifer Tilly, Steve Buscemi, Cuba Gooding Jr, Randy Quaid, Dennis Weaver, G W Bailey

Director: Will Finn, John Sanford

It's cows week! This minor, but often fun 2D Disney cartoon is set in the West - where cattle are being rustled from ranches whose owners are forced to sell up as a result. The culprit is a pesky varmint called Alameda Slim (Quaid) who, under an alias, is buying up land and taking over the territory.

Patch of Heaven, a dairy farm, is also under threat. But its three prize (middle-aged) cows, Maggie, a hefty, vulgar newcomer (Barr), flighty, tone-deaf Grace (Tilly) and the refined Mrs Calloway (Dench) set out to save the farm by capturing Slim and claiming the reward - unaware that his successful rustling is based on a yodel that hypnotises cattle.

Lots of animal characters, including a conceited horse and a jackrabbit with a wooden leg, help the frolic along, although the songs slow the action and there's too little fun in the film's middle section. But the writers throw everything - chases on horseback, on trains and in mining buckets, saloon fights and more - into a neatly-constructed and well rounded-off story.

Films buffs will appreciate the last line of one the bad guys. And it's all just about the length a feature cartoon should be.

David Quinlan

USA 2004. UK Distributor: Buena Vista (Walt Disney). Technicolor.
76 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Dec 2006