Barnyard Review

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When the farmer's away, all the animals play ... and sing, and dance. Eventually, though, someone has to step in and run things, a responsibility that ends up going to Otis (James), a carefree cow.


Writer-director Steve Oedekerk wrings plenty of comic mileage from the weirdly Orwellian, Gary Larson-esque premise that farmyard animals are a breed of party-hearty yahoos who cavort on two legs, talk like the cast of Porkies and convene rowdy barn dances every night while their clueless overseers are asleep.

Who could resist a hearty chuckle at the sight of a bunch of chickens throwing darts at a Colonel Saunders dartboard? The downside is that Oedekerk burdens the riotous anthropomorphism with a load of worthy guff about accepting responsibility: this is not what you want from a toon about frat-boy bovines. That said, voice talent is excellent (particularly David Koechner as a villainous coyote) and the animation is well up to par. But whoever decided to give the boy cows udders has some serious issues to address.

Good voice talent and some funny moments but the serious message is a bit heavy-handed and weighs it down.