Of all the Disney films I haven’t watched, I’d guess, from this post at tor.com by Mari Ness, that “Home on the Range” might be the worst.
I’m not even sure how many Disney movies might exist that have never pinged my radar. Ness mentions several others by name that don’t sound familiar.
All right, having googled around for a minute or so, I see that according to Wikipedia, Disney’s made quite a lot of animated movies. But few that I haven’t heard of, though many, like “Cars,” that I never saw. (I mean, cars?)
Note “Home on the Range” though. Cows appeal to me more than cars, but Mari Ness does not make me want to rush out and see this film.
… oh yes, the yodeling.
To be fair, the yodeling is actually a plot point: it’s how Alameda Slim rustles cattle. His yodeling mesmerizes all nearby cows with perfect pitch—that is, all of the cows in the film except Maggie—turning him into a Pied Yodeller of sorts. It’s also just awful, especially when Randy Quaid—that is, Alameda Slim—starts yodeling various pieces of classical music, starting off a weird animation bit complete with dancing, eyes glazed over cows. The entire sequence is meant, I think, both to be a centerpiece of the film, and a throwback to Disney’s glory days, and in particular the pink elephant sequence in Dumbo. But love or hate Dumbo, at least no one in it tried to yodel any parts of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Randy Quaid, alas, does.
It’s topped by a later moment when crooked cattle dealer Wesley, voiced by Steve Buscemi, watches Alameda Slim and a rabbit roll down an old abandoned mine track, chased by a horse, chased by a buffalo, chased by some cows, chased by some goons yelling “UNCLE SLIM, UNCLE SLIM!” as Wagner’s Die Walkürie plays in the background, and Wesley says, “I gave up Clown College for this?” and I don’t think I have ever identified with Steve Buscemi as much before or since.
So, well, although I don’t know that I feel much need to see the movie, I do recommend the review. There’s lots more — click over and enjoy, if you’re not afraid of getting a yodeling cattle-rustling Randy Quaid stuck in your head.