Barnyard

Barnyard

1.5 out of 51.5 out of 51.5 out of 51.5 out of 5 1.5

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Barnyard applies the familiar adage about kids playing when their parents are away to farmers and their livestock, then stretches out its one-note premise impossibly thin; it probably goes unsaid that all the good jokes are in the trailer. Either the animators considered their contribution to the bovine species (a male cow) a witty act of Lamarckian subversion or the idea of a Mexican-American mouse (here’s to you Speedy!) jumping back and forth between a pig’s belly and a bull’s boner was a harsh affront to Saturday-morning refinement. Spike Lee may take insult with the casting of Danny Glover as a mule that repeatedly knocks out the story’s vegan farmer on what appears to be the man’s 40 acres, or the fat-black-and-ugly rat with cheese-shaped bling around his neck who sings Shaggy’s “Boombastic” during one of several party-happenin’ raves. There’s also Wanda Sykes as a sassy pregnant heifer, “Jersey cows” (Guidos, that is—also male and with udders), mafioso gophers, and a nelly horse who runs offstage after his Lord of the Hoof routine is cut mercifully short. This is all to say that there’s a little bit of insult here for everyone. Except, that is, for the it’s-only-a-cartoon crowd: They’re blind to everything, and as such are unlikely to tag the film for the bargain-basement Lion King that it is (see the astrological happy-ending for confirmation) or recognize that the only remotely cool character here—an unidentified animal kept in a box that bops around to cotton-eye-Joe techno—is really a gene splice of the Tazmanian Devil and Captain Caveman. This is the most dubious animation since Robert Zemeckis’s creepy The Polar Express, only uglier, lazier, and with a more indisputable racist streak.

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DVD | Soundtrack
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Runtime
82 min
Rating
PG
Year
2006
Director
Steve Oedekerk
Screenwriter
Steve Oedekerk
Cast
Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Andie MacDowell, David Koechner