PG for some mild peril and rude humor
Aug. 4, 2006
Comedy, Kids/Family, Animation
(the voices of) Kevin James, Courteney Cox Arquette, Danny Glover, Sam Elliott, Wanda Sykes
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By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
- Barnyard, one of the latest animated films to hit theaters this summer, provides a glimpse of farm life from the animals’ point of view. Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, who also wrote Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Barnyard offers fun that the whole family can enjoy.
Although the previews make the film out to be merely a string of mischievous antics in which the animals act like humans while the farmer is not around, the movie has a substantial plot that even offers a few stirring tear-jerk moments.
The film follows the life of fun-loving Otis the cow (voiced by Kevin James) and his party-animal friends. Otis’ father Ben (voiced by Sam Elliott) tries to coach his son in the ways of an adult. On this farm, it is the cows’ responsibility to safeguard the other animals from the ravenous wolves that would harm them. But Otis is more interested in hanging out with his friends than learning about the harsh realities of farm life.
When trouble comes to the farm the animals’ carefree existence is threatened. Otis quickly learns that life is not always a party and becoming an adult means accepting more responsibility.
While the plot is reminiscent of The Lion King, Barnyard has enough unique elements to set it apart from the 1990s classic as well as the plethora of other animated animal tales that have been released in recent months. The film’s action sequences and quick-witted dialogue move the plot along at a swift pace, and the music is more enjoyable and memorable than most films of this genre.
Perhaps the best aspect of this film is its appeal to a wide audience. Children will be entertained by the animals’ tricks while learning valuable life lessons, but parents will also find Barnyard to be a fun experience. There are enough zany scenes and allusions to pop culture to make even the most solemn adult chuckle.
The film may not become a classic like Lion King has, but it is definitely worth a 90-minute trip to the farm.
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