Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #45: The Chinese Man

chinese man home on the range

I apologize for the lateness of this post; it took me a while to obtain a copy of today’s film, “Home on the Range”.

Released in 2004, the 45th film in the Disney Canon frightened many of us because it was meant to be the last traditionally animated film in the Disney Canon!

And thank God that it wasn't!
And thank God that it wasn’t!

So, without further ado, let’s get right to talking about the film!

The film is about a cow voiced by Roseanne,

One of the weirdest voice casting decisions ever made!
One of the weirdest voice casting decisions ever made!

who joins a new farm called “Patch of Heaven” after her original farm was attacked and all the other cows stolen. Only a nefarious, twisted, evil villain can commit such a horrendous act, right?

"The World's Greatest Criminal Mind!"
“The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind!”

No, it’s actually been committed by a quite overweight, Western, yodeling, cattle-thief and land-grabber!

Not as threatening!
Not as threatening!

Anyway, before the Roseanne cow can settle into her new home, another problem arises. Apparently the owner of “Patch of Heaven” owes some money to the bank and if she doesn’t pay it in time, the farm and all its animals will be sold! Ah, the horror! But our heroine Roseanne cow has an idea: why not capture the nefarious Alameda Slim themselves and use the reward money to save the farm? Brilliant!

This one's got brains! That's an extra delicacy!
This one’s got brains! That’s an extra delicacy!

And the rest of the movie is about her trying to capture Slim with the help of two other cows voiced by Dame Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly.

"I'm sorry that Roseanne is the leader, dear Dame Judi Dench! Truly, I am!"
“I’m sorry that Roseanne is the leader, dear Dame Judi Dench! Truly, I am!”

Yeah, this movie isn’t all that interesting. But to be fair, it’s not all that bad either. The songs and music are decent as is the animation. Had this film been made by an independent animation studio, this would actually be a quite enjoyable flick. But because Disney has set the bar for themselves extremely high, this film ends up being quite disappointing and is often considered to be one of the weakest films that the Disney Canon has ever released!

But, let’s get to the focus of the post: our forgotten/minor character. This was a hard choice to make, because there are actually quite a lot of minor characters in this movie who are quite forgettable. You have Roseanne’s original owner, Mr. Abner Dixon,

Related to the Mason-Dixon line?
Related to the Mason-Dixon line?

a one-legged rabbit named Lucky Jack,

You'd think that a character like this would be more memorable!
You’d think that a character like this would be more memorable!

and even a Steve Buscemi caricature semi-villain/negative character/bad person/capitalist cattle entrepreneur voiced by Steve Buscemi himself!

He'd make a good addition to the "The Haunted Mansion" ride!
He’d make a good addition to the “The Haunted Mansion” ride!

But in the end, I decided to dedicate this post to the Chinese man! Who’s he? Well, when Roseanne and the other cows are trying to find Alameda Slim, Roseanne comes up with the idea that they should join a cattle drive. This way, they’ll be taken to another ranch filled with cattle and where there’s cattle, Slim can’t be far behind!

And whose cattle drive do they end up being attached to: the Chinese man’s!

So what do we know about this man? Well, he doesn’t really do much except travel, love the fact that Americans give away cows for free, and hate the fact that some cows sing off-key!

chinese man home on the range 2

And when he finally arrives at a cattle ranch, Slim arrives too and kidnaps all the cattle after taking care of the Chinese man and the other human caretakers around the area.

Knocked out by a blunt instrument!
Knocked out by a blunt instrument!

Now my question is, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHINESE MAN?!

We never see him again after he’s been captured and tied up! Did he escape? If so, how? And if so, did he stay in the country? Did he flee to a different part of the country?

And if he didn’t escape, what happened to him? Slim doesn’t seem to have a desire for human captives, so did the Chinese man just die and get eaten by vultures?

"What an accusation! We should have joined the cast of 'The Jungle Book'!"
“What an accusation! We should have joined the cast of ‘The Jungle Book’!”

Whatever the case, I’m still wondering about him and that’s why I’m dedicating this post to our friend (who may or may not be alive), the Chinese man (who may or may not have another name)!

"What a way to disrespect me! I should have joined the cast of 'Mulan'!"
“What a way to disrespect me! I should have joined the cast of ‘Mulan’!”

16 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #45: The Chinese Man”

  1. Good one, because I totally forgot about him. And I only saw this movie once. I can’t say I disliked it. It just wasn’t as memorable as others.

      1. I don’t know why people hate this so much. I brought the movie over to watch with my sisters a lot when I was younger and we always enjoyed it. I liked the characters and I think it is at least as much of a classic as something like The Sword in the Stone. The ending was exciting and fun and I remember the twist with Rico shocked me the first time around.

        Maybe it has to do with the fact I watched it so much when I was younger, but it did sort of become a classic for me, and my sisters. A lot of the scenes are rather classic in my mind due to those memories of watching it and me and my sisters’ comments during it.

      2. That’s interesting; maybe the nostalgia as well as the memories of enjoying the film with your sisters have made it seem like a classic in your mind.

        I too enjoy this film to some extent and don’t hate it.

      3. One thing that always stuck out and bothered me about the movie was how shockingly violent it is. Seriously, if you made a list of all the violent acts in the film it would have to be unbelievable. My sisters never seemed to notice, though.

      4. You’re probably right, but I will reiterate I said it was as much of a classic as something like The Sword in the Stone. I do not think it is up there with the true classics: Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Pinocchio, etc.

      5. I’m sorry, I don’t know where that come from. That was completely unjustified, especially the swearing. Please just remove it from the site and forget it.

      6. No problem.

        I apologize if I offended you; I was just making friendly suggestions, not criticizing you in any way.

        Hey, I LOVE movies like ‘The Return of Jafar’, ‘We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story’, and ‘The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars’. So, who am I to talk and say that it’s wrong for someone to like a particular movie?

  2. This too. Was just foolish and boring to me. Like Chicken Little, I forgot about most of the characters in here but I do not remember Chinese Man at all.

      1. I agree, though Chicken Little did have more surprisingly funny bits in it.

        It’s amazing the two were made only a year apart. You wouldn’t get that feeling watching them side-by-side.

  3. In a historical context, it seems rather odd to me that he doesn’t face any sort of discrimination (at least, not onscreen), since the film takes places in 1885, three years after the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act- an act which prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. (Thankfully, it was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943.)

    Continuing on the subject of historical context, I’ve often wondered where exactly in the American West this is supposed to be. However, given the year in which it takes place, and the fact that the Sheriff has a map of the “Southwest Territory” in his office, I’ve deduced that it takes place in Arizona (since “Southwest Territory” was its name prior to it gaining statehood.)

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