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Movie Review

Barnyard: The Original Party Animals

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild peril and rude humor

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Animation, Comedy, Family
1 hr. 23 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 4, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
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Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“What happens in the barn stays in the barn”

“Barnyard” is a tale about what happens with the animals when no one is looking. This movie begins with Ben (Sam Elliott), the leader of the barnyard, announcing a meeting in the barn. Ben protects the barnyard and feels a personal responsibility for the animals within the gates. As he roams the barnyard announcing the meeting, he is looking for his son Otis (Kevin James). Otis is off surfing down a hill, and “arrives” after the meeting has already started. Otis seems to think that life is one big party and isn’t interested in the things his father feels are important.

As Otis and Ben discuss Otis taking over the responsibilities of the barnyard, Otis exclaims that “everyman is for himself.” Ben states that “A strong man stands up for himself; a stronger man stands up for others.” However, Otis continues his partying ways with his friends.

Eventually, Otis is forced to take over and even then he is resistant to change his ways. After some of the chickens are abducted, Otis learns the lessons his father had been trying to teach him.

When this movie began, I had such a hard time getting past the fact that all the cows, both male and female, had udders. These cows also drank milk. This is a pet peeve of mine. I didn’t expect anatomically correct animals in this film, but would it have been so difficult to omit the udders from the male cows.

This movie was rated PG. Although, there was no foul language, there were a few implied comments. There is a comment about “an extra hoof right up your…” The word is never said. Another comment is made about an animal licking themselves and the comeback made is, “I can’t even reach mine.” At one point a policeman makes a comment “Nothing a strip search won’t cure.” The Tom Petty song, “I Won’t Back Down” is sung with the lyrics “standing at the gates of hell.” There were many other songs and sometimes it was difficult to clearly make out what was being said.

There is little sexual content. In a bar scene with humans there is a very brief flash of a women with cleavage showing. In another scene, a boy is shown with his pants slipping very low in the back. Otis has a love interest; Daisy (Courtney Cox) is a pregnant cow who comes to live in the barnyard after her husband was killed.

There is some mild violence in this movie. The coyotes are mean-looking and could be frightening to some children. I watched my younger boys (4 and 2), and their reaction to the coyotes and the fighting between the coyotes and the other animals. Neither one seemed to be bothered by this, but clearly the coyotes are sinister and dark. In one scene, the coyotes attack Ben and kill him, in another scene they surround Otis, and there is a final fight scene with the coyotes in their home environment (junkyard). Whenever the coyotes are around, there is a definite sense of evil. (My favorite character was Miles (Danny Glover) a barnyard mule. His character was cast perfectly.) Miles kicks the farmer repeatedly to keep him knocked out.

The cows are portrayed as teens, and they act out normal (by the world’s standard) behavior. They hot wire and steal a car, they go kid-tipping (the cows tip over a kid), and there is a scene with a high speed chase. They have almost continuous parties with loud music, drinking beverages out of kegs (milk), playing cards and dice, and there is a scene where the crowd eggs Otis on to perform, similar to what you would expect at a frat party.

Overall, this movie was cute and you could find many moral messages to talk to your kids about such as standing up for others, dangers of reckless partying, going along with your friends when they are doing wrong, and accepting responsibility, But I believe the most important message you can take from this film is regarding God’s protection. When Ben talks to Otis about protecting the barnyard, he states “No animal will be injured within the barnyard gates.” He sits watch by the fence. Now salvation doesn’t come from staying within the boundaries, but from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, if we walk within the boundaries of God’s law, we are offered protection. I am not a legalistic person, but I do know that trouble can be avoided if we live by the Ten Commandments. This is God’s fence He has set up to protect us physically, spiritually and emotionally.

This movie started off so slow I had to force myself to stay awake even though I attended a matinee. About 20 minutes into the film, my husband asked me if this was supposed to be funny. It was shortly after that point that the movie picked up speed and laughs. When polling my family after the movie, my 18 year old son said the movie was okay, my 16 year old son said he didn’t really like it, my 12 year old daughter said it was good, and my 4 year old son said he really liked it. This movie has the feel of many Nickelodeon TV shows. I left feeling like I had watched Jimmy Neutron visits the farm.

Obviously, this movie was aimed at younger audiences, and the 12 and under crowd will love it.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—“Barnyard” is an entertaining animation that is family friendly and teaches a good moral lesson about learning to put others ahead of yourself. The characters were likeable and funny. The animals exhibited what it means to be a community and to care for your fellow man. My young children and I enjoyed the movie without any embarrasing “bad word” moments or adult innuendos. There was some mild violence when the cows had to defend against the coyotes. There were also moments of revelry, partying and irresponsible behavior (theft, running from police). These scenes were in context however and helped develop the theme. They are needed to help the main character see the error of his way. Overall, the movie was good and I would recommend it.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—R. DeLosSantos, age 37
Positive—I have to disagree with the viewer James Vipond. I seriously doubt that the artist was saying that male cows would be better off with udders. I think the male cows have udders because—though it is a bit annoying (even creepy)—when most people think “cow” they think “udders”… I think it was just a charicature. Anyway, this is a very good, clean movie, but I didn’t like how the coyotes were portrayed. For one thing, coyotes do not live in huge marauding packs—and they don’t howl like wolves. I’m a bit concerned that it’s just going to encourage children to be afraid of everything with sharp teeth.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Christa Quillin, age 50
Positive—I took my 9 yr. old son and 4 yr. old daughter, and we really liked it. I would say it has been the best summer kids movie I’ve seen all summer. It could have been rated G, it was so non-offensive. Good morals and good story. (The coyotes weren’t too scary either.)
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Lucy, age 36
Positive—…I was pleasantly surprised of how good the movie came out. I took my 7 and soon to be 9 year old to watch it in the theater. There were some hidden funnies in the film the kids didn’t pick up. For example, the chickens throwing darts at a pic of KFC during the partying. Both kids overall really liked the movie. My almost 9 year old daughter didn’t like what happened to Ben (don’t want to post spoilers here). I also noticed both kids really didn’t like the scenes with the coyotes (they were afraid of them). So if your kids are sensitive, I would say to be wary of those scenes. Overall, I personally found the movie one of the better ones in a long while. It had a good message in the movie. The fact, Otis had to grow up and take responsibilty as a leader. I suspected the ending before it came, but the message was clear. At some point in your life, you need to put away the games and parties and become an adult. This will be one we’ll own when it hits the DVD.
My Ratings: Good / 3
—Matt Cole, age 35
Positive—Come on people. This is a cartoon not a realistic movie. I had my Christian grandkids over and watched it. Ages 6,11,13. They loved it, also a non-Christian girl 6. They adored it. My daughter said it wasn’t appropriate; I had to remind her utters are normal and natural. I don’t think there’s a movie or cartoon made a person can’t criticize or find something in it someone would think objectionable, including the bible. So one should take a movie for what it is FUN.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Gary, age 63
Neutral—I took my kids to see this movie. Albert, my 4 year old came home crying from school saying that he told his teacher that cows could talk and got in trouble, so he was not to happy about that. I thought the movie was decent, though I would not recomend it to 4 year olds! Just Kidding! No, but, my 2 year old, Rockell, thought it was hysterical and she loved it. I actually fell asleep while watching the movie, but Rockell woke me up by tumbling into the seat in front of her. I stayed awake the rest of the movie!
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Scarlett Bleamer, age 27
Negative—When my husband and I saw the preview to this we HAD to see it. What a let-down! I had to miss the scene where the coyotes killed Ben due to a bathroom break for my 3-year-old. My 4-year-old liked it, and thank goodness he’s not old enough to catch the inuendos.

My husband and I thought it was mildly offensie, especially for a kid’s movie. There were several scenes in which they are “drinking it up” (milk portrayed as cow’s beer), vandalism, a police chase—during which the cows run through the field yelling “Milk me! Milk me!” instead of the four-letter-word often heard in the world when someone is in trouble or scared.

The artistic quality was okay, if you can overlook huge udders on every single cow. Also, a rat raps to Mr Boombastic, which is a very sexual song. I would say skip it in theaters, maybe on rental, and no all together unless you really wanted to see it.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jessica, age 27
Negative—I found this movie very disturbing, especially since it was aimed at kids. I would not consider the behavior exhibited as anything “normal” for teenagers: raves, drinking parties, stealing a car, drinking while driving and fleeing an officer. I just kept thinking that if the animals were replaced with their human equivalent, it would be far from a “kids” movie. Animation does not equal kid-friendly. The story does get cute at the end though. I do not have kids, but I would highly recommend parents to view this before taking your kids. As an adult, it wasn’t all that enjoyable—a lot of the story/characters/music seemed unoriginal.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Jacki, age 25
Negative—Like most other Americans, I grew up watching TV cartoons that featured humanized animals. Animation can be entertaining, but with all the human diversity in our world, do the big studios really need to continue making movies and TV shows with animals that speak human language and walk upright? I think not. This movie is yet another example of Viacom’s disdain for decent entertainment. Any artist who puts udders on a bull is saying, in effect, that he knows better than the Creator God.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—James Vipond, age 39
Negative—We expected so much more when we went to see “Barnyard.” …this movie could have really been an excellent family film. Instead, it highlights stealing and selfish behavior. The main character, Ben, finds out only too late the cost of his errors. I would not recommend this film.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Penny Zeller, age 33
Negative—…it contains RAVE paries (called that in the film) drunkeness, stealing, joy riding and trashing a car, many ilusions to vulgar sexual terms (such as teen cows shouting “milk me milk me” while fleeing the police) and a hip act with implied sexually explicit lyrics. The worst part of all this is that none of this behavior is shown as being wrong or brings any consiquences. The only thing wrong is that the main chairactor is not “being a stronger man” by taking care of others. Because he is busy partying, he isn’t around to help his dad in a fight which results in his death, but the acts themselves aren’t condemed. It’s treated like watching too much TV or playing too many video games and neglecting home work and chores, instead of serious criminal activity.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Clayton Richard, age 45
Negative—I viewed this movie with my two grandaughter’s ages 8 and 5. I was extremely dissapointed with the content of the movie. The barnyard animals mimicked young teens that were drinking, partying, exhibiting extreme dangerous behavior, i.e. Grand Theft Auto, Fleeing and Eluding Police, Drinking and driving. Yes, we all know the milk was supposed to be booze; it was a Keg Party. The animation did not cover up the message. My grandchildren were very disturbed by the scary coyotes; this was not a little scary, it was VERY scary for them. Your reviewer called it mild; however, I feel this is what happens when we become numb to violence; eventually it stops bothering you. Hated it, and wished I would of viewed it prior to bringing the children.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2
—A. Rogers, age 47
Negative—I thought this was a terrible movie… I think showing kids the disobedient cows—running from the police, stealing cars/motorcycles, drinking (even though it was milk, the message was implied) and all the partying is not appropriate for children… Also, showing the male udders, to me, resembled where the male’s penis would be. …The cows didn’t even have any consequences from all their wrong doings. I would definitely not recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Amy Goodale, age 41
Negative—I totally disagreee with the film reviewer on this one. I think maybe they’ve been de-sensitized by watching too many movies. I can’t remember ever walking out of a movie prior to this one. Everything about the animals is portrayed as worldly to the Nth degree. Party, party, party… that is what life is about. Mocking the mailman whenever his back is turned, etc. Definitely not a movie for kids, nor adults for that matter. I hung in there when the dad was killed, because I thought it was going to cause the son to wake up and reform his ways. It didn’t seem to happen, and the partying kept on going, so our family left. There were a ton of young kids there being indoctrinated into the world’s view of life, and that kind of bothered me.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Rob Schutt, age 40
Negative—The most offensive thing about this movie is that it is portrayed as a “family movie.” Like another reviewer said, if the actions and dialog were coming from animated humans, or real-life humans, I’m sure these characters would turn the stomachs of a few more Christian parents. This is a dangerous movie because the sin of the characters is hidden behind innocent, colorful, and cute cartoons. The creators have taken what the world deems as “normal” teenage behavior, and asked the question, 'Now how would this translate in an animal world?' The animals curse ('milk me!'), talk about sex/masturbation (the dog’s disclosure of licking himself once), drink heavily (milk out of kegs and beer hats), drink and drive, the list could go on. The one positive theme: doing good for others, is drowned out by countless examples of how to live a worldly existence filled with friends, food, booze, and the rest.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Shaina, age 25
Negative—I recently watched the movie “Barnyard—The Original Party Animals” with my wife and our 11 year old daughter. The “2” for quality is due to the obvious blunder of udders on both genders of cattle. I was offended by the use of the word “caca” by the rooster character named Peck. I was again offended by the use of the word “hell” by the singing animals at the party in the barn. I was once more offended by the inclusion of the song “Boombastic” by the artist Shaggy, this also at the party in the barn. However, I am ABSOLUTELY APPALLED that the song “Popsickle” by The Starlight Mints was selected as music during the credits. Does nobody else have closed captioning? Has no one read the lyrics to this song? This song is about male oral sex. It is not hidden or subtle. Look it up for yourself and read the words. If this is what Nickelodeon and Paramount judge as being appropriate for children, then I will no longer patronize either.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Mike Mund, age 45
Comments from young people
Neutral—I think “Barnyard” is good movie for people under seven. People older than that might get bored, because it is not funny, it has no plot, and it seems to go on for hours even though it is only 1:23. I did not find very much offensive.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Conner, age 10