Barnyard (sometimes known as 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 BTSW. The film stars the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Andie MacDowell, and David Koechner. The film was released on August 4, 2006, in the United States and October 5, 2006, in Germany.
Like the other animals in the barn, Otis the bull (Kevin James) likes to sing and play while the farmer is away. However, the carefree bovine must soon find the courage to be a leader when, unexpectedly, he finds himself in a position of great responsibility.
- Extremely weak story that draws too many similarities to films such as GMW, GMW, GMW, GMW, GMW and GMW; many sources point this out.
- The graphics looked like they were borrowed from a Windows XP or Xbox 360 game cutscene at best.
- The characters are incredibly unlikeable, with Otis being an almost completely unlikable protagonist. He dosen't even know how to take care of the farm, and instead spends the whole movie partying around throughout the farm instead of being there for his father.
- The character designs are ugly and weird. The designs in the early trailers are much worse.
- Much of the movie's humor consists of pointless fart and burp jokes and juvenile humor, making it go way off in many ways.
- Some of the writing can be very cheesy at times.
- The idea of animals partying in their barns is rather pointless.
- Otis, Ben and the other Jersey cows are male, and yet they inexplicably have udders. An actual bull makes an appearance in the movie and is treated as a separate species, which makes no sense. By having a "male cow" in the film, many kids can get confused about a cow's sex.
- Dag the Coyote is a very disturbing and stereotypical antagonist that wants to go after the animals in the farm.
- Otis and his friends act like stereotypical teenagers.
- As a "comedy"/"drama", it doesn't work with an unoriginal and weak plot.
- The scene where Otis, Iggy, Bud and Edd scare "Snotty Boy" is very pointless.
- Otis' antics get way too extreme like when the movie promotes wild partying, carjacking, speeding, evading the police and excess drinking... what is the target audience for this, again?
- Some illogical and nonsensical scenes.
- Unnesscary use of adult jokes in a PG-rated movie. For example, when Otis says "Oh, milk me!", it sounds mostly like he's saying "Oh, f*ck me!".
- Otis and Daisy have a rather pointless romantic subplot for most of the part.
- Despite being called Barnyard, the first half of the movie mostly focuses on Dag the Coyote and the farm animals, rather than Otis himself.
- While it hasn't aged well, the CGI animation is okay.
- Decent voice-acting.
- Ben's death in the movie truly feels realistic and emotional and arguebly is the best part of the movie.
- It's not afraid to show fighting and deaths in a children's film, as Ben is brutally killed by the main antagonist, Dag.
- The ending isn't so bad.
- Ben has a great phrase: "A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others". However, it's completely ruined when you remember BQ #1.
- Despite his cartoon-ish appearance and being poorly-written by Steve Oedekerk, Dag manages to be an utterly terrifying villain.
- Plenty characters can be likable, such as Ben, Daisy, Bessy, Miles, Etta, Pig, Freddy, Peck, Maddy and Farmer Buyer.
- The soundtrack is great composed by John Debney, including Sam Elliot's cover of "I Won't Back Down".
- The film is practically meme gold, with scenes like the pizza delivery, "there's a cow farm, you're gonna find cows outside" and of course, Biggie Cheese.
- Some funny moments here and there. For example, the scene where Otis and his friends try to find a way to hide the farmer and make an event that didn't happen to prevent to go to the farmhouse and Freddy trying to eat Peck.
- While Otis is an unlikable protagonist, he does become more likable towards the end of the film.
Barnyard received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, who particularly targeted its inaccurate depiction of male cattle with udders for criticism. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "rotten" 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, the film has weighted a score of 42 out of 100, indicating "generally or unfavorable reviews," as well as an average score of 5.6/10 on IMDb.
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 "male" bovines having udders was explained in the October 2006 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. In the letters page, one reader asked about the anatomically-incorrect cows (bovine) and whether or not it was intentional or not, and the magazine explained that Steve Oedekerk, the movie's director, "thought it would be funny for the male cows (bulls) to have udders".
- The character Biggie Cheese is a parody of the late rapper Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G.
- In Spain, the film is titled El Corral: Una Fiesta muy Bestia (The Corral: A Very Beast Party).
- The film was originally going to be produced by DNA Productions (who also did GMW) but since the pitch was changed into the looks of the final film, the production company left the project and instead went on to work on The Ant Bully, which surprisingly came out a week before Barnyard. However, some of the elements in Barnyard are very similar to Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
- Similar to Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Barnyard isn't based on any pre-existing franchise, and was instead somewhat of a test pitch to see how a full audience would react to a full series.