Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Oedekerk|
|Written by||Steve Oedekerk|
|Music by||John Debney|
|Box office||$116.5 million|
Barnyard (marketed as Barnyard: The Original Party Animals) is a 2006 computer-animated comedy film produced by O Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The film is directed, produced, and written by Steve Oedekerk, the co-creator of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and the spin-off television series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The film features the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Andie MacDowell and David Koechner, with supporting roles done by Jeffrey Garcia, Tino Insana, Dom Irrera, Cam Clarke, Rob Paulsen, S. Scott Bullock, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Fred Tatasciore and Lloyd Sherr.
Barnyard tells the story of the Otis, a Holstein cow who learns the value of responsibility when he becomes the leader of a group of farmyard animals after his father, Ben, dies from a coyote attack. The film was released on August 4, 2006, in the United States and October 5, 2006, in Germany. It grossed $116.5 million worldwide against a $51 million production budget and received negative to mixed reviews from critics, who described it as "unimaginative and unfunny" and particularly targeted its inaccurate depiction of bulls with udders for criticism. Despite this, it later spawned a television series, titled Back at the Barnyard, which ran on Nickelodeon for two seasons from 2007 to 2011.
Otis (Kevin James) is a carefree young bull who prefers playing with his friends rather than accepting responsibility; much to the chagrin of his strict adoptive father and barnyard leader, Ben (Sam Elliott). After Otis interrupts a barnyard meeting with his wild antics, Ben warns his son that he will never be happy if he spends his life partying without acting more maturely. Otis ignores his advice and leaves to have fun with his friends Pip the Mouse (Jeffrey Garcia), Freddy the Ferret (Cam Clarke), Peck the Rooster (Rob Paulsen) and Pig the Pig (Tino Insana). That same day, Otis meets a pregnant cow named Daisy (Courteney Cox), who is accompanied by her friend, Bessy (Wanda Sykes).
That night after the farmer went to bed, the animals throw a party in the barn. All the animals at the barnyard are there except Ben, who guards the fence line. Otis is assigned a shift along with Ben, but Otis talks himself out of work. Before he leaves, Ben tells him that the night he found him as a baby calf stumbling alone in the meadow, he swore he saw the stars dance, which reminded him that his place was at the farm. Soon after, Ben takes on a pack of coyotes led by Dag (David Koechner), who raid the chicken coop during a thunderstorm. He manages to fight off the pack until he is bitten on the leg by Dag, making him fall. The Coyotes pile on Ben, but he manages to grab Dag's leg and escape the pile; using Dag to overpower the coyotes. He threatens to choke Dag but lets him go, scaring him and the coyotes away in defeat. Ben falls to the ground, exhausted. Otis is alerted and he runs outside to his father, who dies from his injuries. The next morning, Ben is buried on a hill by the farmer (Fred Tatasciore), and the other animals mourn Ben once the farmer leaves except for Otis.
Following Ben's death, all the animals elect Otis as the new leader of the barnyard. Otis shirks his duties by leaving Freddy and Peck in charge of the coop, then helps the trouble-making "Jersey Cows"; Eddy, Igg, and Bud (S. Scott Bullock, John DiMaggio, and Maurice LaMarche respectively) teach a lesson to a mean, fat youngster called Eugene “Snotty Boy” Beady (Steve Oedekerk) for cow-tipping, eluding the police along the way. Later that night, while Otis is holding Daisy's hoof under the starlight, he overhears the coyotes chasing a rabbit and leaves her to pursue the coyotes and avenge his father's death. Otis tries to attack Dag and his pack, but is outnumbered. Since Otis is weaker, Dag proposes a deal: he and his pack will take various barnyard animals at random times and that, if Otis tries to do anything about it, they will slaughter everyone at the barnyard. Otis decides to leave the barnyard, realizing his chances of victory are slim.
The next morning, before leaving, Otis is informed that the Coyotes took some hens including Maddy (Madeline Lovejoy), a little chick who looks up to him. Otis realizes that Dag doubled-crossed him, as he was not expecting him and the coyotes until tonight, and sets off to rescue the chickens. Otis arrives in the junkyard to fight off the pack and gains the upper hand in the fight, until Dag bites him in the leg. However, Pip, Pig, Freddy, Peck, Miles (Danny Glover), a mule and Ben's old friend, and the Jersey Cows arrive to help Otis. Dag tries to attack Otis from behind, but he is alerted when Peck successfully manages to crow a warning. Otis grabs Dag by the throat and smashes him through a window. Otis threatens to punch Dag like Ben did, but warns him to never return to the barnyard before knocking him out of the junkyard; finally avenging his father's death.
On their way back, Pip reveals to Otis that Daisy went into labor after he left, so Otis and the rest of the animals steal a biker gang’s motorcycles from a diner and make it back to the barn in time to witness Daisy giving birth to a calf that she names Li'l Ben. Otis then takes full responsibility and becomes the new leader of the barnyard as he watches the stars of himself, Daisy and Lil' Ben dancing just like Ben said.
- Kevin James as Otis, a carefree bull
- Courteney Cox as Daisy, a kind-hearted pregnant yellow cow and Otis' love interest
- Sam Elliott as Ben, a Welsh Black cattle cow who is Otis' adoptive father
- Danny Glover as Miles, an old mule and Ben's best friend who becomes Otis' friend
- Wanda Sykes as Bessy, a sassy brown cow and Daisy's friend
- Andie MacDowell as Etta, a mother hen and Maddy's mother
- David Koechner as Dag, a sadistic maroon coyote, and the leader of his pack
- Frank Welker as Coyotes
- Jeffrey Garcia as Pip, a wisecracking mouse and Otis' best friend
- Tino Insana as Pig, a pig who is Otis' friend
- Dom Irrera as Duke, a sheepdog
- Cam Clarke as Freddy, a panicky, neurotic ferret who is one of Otis' friends
- Rob Paulsen as Peck, a chicken who is another one of Otis' friends
- S. Scott Bullock, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche as Eddy, Igg and Bud, a group of Jersey cattle
- Fred Tatasciore as the Farmer
- Lloyd Sherr as Everett, a teenage bloodhound
- Madeline Lovejoy as Maddy, a chick who looks up to Otis
- Nathaniel Stroman as Root, a handsome rooster
- Shaggy as Biggie Cheese, a rapping mouse with a heart of gold
- Steve Oedekerk as Snotty Boy, Randall Beady, and Pizza Twin #2
- Maria Bamford as Nora Beady, the farmer's neighbor
- Jill Talley as Snotty Boy's Mother
Barnyard was released in theaters on August 4, 2006 by Paramount Pictures.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 22% based on 97 reviews, and an average rating of 4.37/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Unimaginative and unfunny, this tale of barnyard mischief borders on 'udder' creepiness and adds little to this summer's repertoire of animated films." On Metacritic, it has a score of 42 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. Critics were harsh to Barnyard when it was released theatrically. Most of the criticism came from the plot, animation, humor, characters, though they praised the voice acting and ending.
Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel gave the film 2 stars out of 5, saying that, "with Barnyard, another quick-and-dirty 'all-star cast' mess churned out by the digital start-ups hired to steal some of Pixar's cash, the year that computer-generated animation 'jumps the shark' becomes official. Politically correct, anatomically incorrect and ugly to look at, the only thing that saves Barnyard is a writer (and director) Steve Oedekerk's gift for gags and almost-edgy humor." Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film a score of 1.5/4, saying that "if you want to punish your kids, send them to bed without dinner. If you want to disturb, frighten and depress them while making sure they fail biology, take them to the animated feature Barnyard." Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly criticized the film's plot, giving it a C+ score and said that "it feels like Barnyard swipes too much of its plot from The Lion King."
On the positive side, J. R. Jones of the Chicago Reader enjoyed Barnyard, saying that "it's way funnier than many of the R-rated comedies I've seen lately, though Oedekerk seems to have ignored the writer's edict to know your subject—most of his cows are male. The CGI is excellent, with characters whose depth and solidity suggest Nick Park's clay animations. The laughs subside near the end as the requisite moral kicks in, but this is still that rare kids' movie I'd recommend to parents and non-parents alike." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film a score of 2.5/4, calling it "a sweet and mildly funny movie that will entertain young audiences, but one aspect is utterly mystifying: The two main characters, father and son bovine creatures, have large, distracting udders."
Barnyard grossed $72.6 million domestically and $43.9 million internationally for a worldwide total of $116.5 million against its production budget of $51 million.
The film opened at #2 at the box office on its opening weekend behind Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, earning $16 million at the domestic box office from 3,311 theaters. On the film's second weekend, it dropped 38.7%, grossing $9.7 million and finishing in 4th place, behind Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Up, and World Trade Center. By its closing on November 2, 2006, it grossed almost $73 million in its domestic theatrical release.
|Barnyard (Music from the Motion Picture)|
|Recorded||2005–2006 ("Wild 'N Free" was recorded in 1994; "Boombastic" was recorded in 1995)|
|Genre||Alternative rock, Pop|
The film's score is done by John Debney. The soundtrack was released on August 22, 2006 by Bulletproof Records. It includes an original song by indie pop band the Starlight Mints and "You Gotta Move" by Aerosmith.
|1.||"Mud"||North Mississippi Allstars||2:30|
|2.||"Hittin' the Hay"||North Mississippi Allstars featuring Les Claypool||2:23|
|3.||"Down on the Farm (They All Ask For You)"||Kevin James and North Mississippi Allstars||1:12|
|4.||"I Won't Back Down"||Sam Elliott||2:12|
|5.||"2StepN"||North Mississippi Allstars||2:46|
|6.||"Hillbilly Holla (End Credits)"||North Mississippi Allstars||3:25|
|7.||"Kick It"||The Bo-Keys||2:33|
|8.||"Father, Son"||Peter Gabriel||4:56|
|9.||"Freedom Is a Voice"||Bobby McFerrin and Russell Ferrante||4:17|
|11.||"Wild ‘N’ Free"||Rednex||3:37|
Other songs featured in the film:
- "The Barnyard Dance" - Lewis Arquette and Family
- "You Gotta Move" - Aerosmith
- "Sister Rosetta" - Alabama 3
- "Slow Ride" - Paul D. Calder (as Paul Calder)
- "Truck Song" - Paul D. Calder (as Paul Calder)
A video game based on the film was produced by THQ and Blue Tongue Entertainment. It is an adventure game in which the player names their own male or female cow and walk around the barnyard and play mini-games, pull pranks on humans, and ride bikes, plus party hard. The game was released for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, PC, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS.
Spin-off television series
On September 29, 2007, a CG animated television series based on the film and titled Back at the Barnyard premiered on Nickelodeon. Chris Hardwick replaced Kevin James in the role of Otis, and Leigh-Allyn Baker voiced new character Abby, who replaced Daisy. The series ran for two seasons, and ended on November 12, 2011.
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- "Barnyard (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Woodward, Tom (December 12, 2006). "Barnyard (US - DVD R1)". DVDActive. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- McCutcheon, David (November 14, 2006). "Barnyard Bashes DVD". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Barnyard". Metacritic. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.[permanent dead link]
- Moore, Roger (August 4, 2006). "Udder nonsense falls short in 'Barnyard'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Smith, Kyle. "Critic Review - New York Post". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 18, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Barnyard Review | Movie Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. August 2, 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Barnyard | Chicago Reader". Chicago Reader. May 18, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Puig, Claudia (August 3, 2006). "Watch your step in 'Barnyard' - USATODAY.com". USA Today. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Barnyard". Bulletproof Records. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Nickelodeon (September 10, 2007). "The Original Party Animals Join Nickelodeon's Slate of Hit Nicktoons with the Premiere of 'Back At The Barnyard' on September 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)". PR Newswire. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
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