Home on the Range (5/10)
2004 by Tony Medley
OK, this is a cartoon and I saw it. I can’t stand cartoons. When I was
growing up, cartoons were only a few minutes long and they were funny.
There were generally one or two and there were also news and two
features and coming attractions. But the coming attractions were only
two in number and they were limited to what was going to appear next
there are no cartoons. There is no news. But, boy are there coming
attractions. There’s one after another, almost unending. And people
think we’ve progressed?
I saw a cartoon. I didn’t go for the cartoon. I went because the
screening was at the El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. When I
was young I went to all the great theaters. I went to the Grauman’s
Chinese, the Egyptian (where I saw The High and the Mighty
(1954), Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), including a replica
of Rome’s Trevi Fountain in the lobby, and Oklahoma!
(1955), that I remember), the Pantages, and the Wiltern. Classic
theaters, all. But I never went to the El Capitan. So when the screening
for Home on the Range was at the El Capitan, I decided to go. The
film was only around 70 minutes long and I’d get to see a classic
was worth it. When I entered, 30 minutes before screen time, there was
an organist onstage playing a pipe organ with 2,500 pipes, a la New
York’s Radio City Music Hall. The El Capitan has boxes! I sat in one
in the back. There were two others, one on either side of the stage, up
high. And there was also one on the other side of the theater from where
I sat. It’s a beautiful theater with a spectacular ceiling. The lady
who sat next to me in the box told me that sometimes they have
vaudeville acts before the movies, but I can’t confirm that.
Regardless, I felt transported to an early time, enveloped in nostalgia.
But this is a movie
review. Home on the Range is about three cows, the arrogant Maggie (voice of Roseanne Barr),
three-time winner of the Golden Udder Award, prim and proper Mrs.
Caloway (Judi Dench) and the naïve Grace (Jennifer Tilly). All the
cattle of Maggie’s original owner have been stolen by Alameda Slim
(Randy Quaid) so she is sold to Pearl (Carole Cook), who owns the Patch
of Heaven ranch that’s paradise for all her animals. But Pearl is in
dire financial straits and has been served with a notice to pay her loan
or the ranch will be sold. So the three cows go to town to try to catch
Alameda Slim and save the day. They’re in competition with the
sheriff’s horse, Buck (Cuba Gooding), who wants to become the horse of
Rico (Charles Dennis), who appears to be a heroic bounty hunter. Hey,
this is a cartoon!
The music (Alan
Menken, composer, and Glen Slater, lyricist) is pretty good. I thought
one song, Will the Sun Ever Shine Again (sung by Bonnie Raitt),
was good enough for an Oscar nomination. Roseanne has a terrific voice
and wonderful timing and it’s evident here.
you have children, I think they would like it. If you like cartoons, you
should enjoy it, too. If not, you still shouldn’t die of boredom. I
March 27, 2004