The Movie Binge

Review: Barnyard


Yesterday, I said that The Ant Bully is a great movie for pre-teens. There was a solid storyline and it didn't rely on stupid jokes. Barnyard decided to go the opposite route. The movie is a constant onslaught of gags and only a few of them stick. What's worse, the jokes are clearly geared towards five year olds, which is a little young for me even. This begs the question of why I'm reviewing this film if I'm more than twenty years older than the target audience. And based on the five year olds laughing in the audience, it's a valid one.

Barnyard is about Otis, a cow teenager, who is a bit of a rebel. He does what he wants, when he wants. When his dad, who is the leader of the farm animals, is killed by coyotes, Otis must grow up fast and learn to lead his friends and protect them from danger. Really, the movie consists mostly of jokes about how crazy it is that animals can talk. The same joke is made about three or four, maybe five thousand times. Just like my review thus far, it's overkill.

The movie was a bore for me and my movie companion, but there were a gaggle of kids who kept on laughing. They weren't laughing the whole time, but they stayed in their seats and didn't lose attention. Impressive, I suppose. I wished it wasn't creepy to walk up to kids and ask them questions because I really wanted to hear what they thought. Was this better than Cars? What about Ice Age? Unless there are some young kids reading this blog, I doubt I'll ever know.

Barnyard was a weak attempt at an animated feature. There was nothing original or unique about the film. In fact, it felt derivative of nearly every other animated film. There was the slightly wacky but kinda lovable main character and his sweet love interest. There was the zany, weird sidekick. There was the wise old sage who helped our leading cow find his way. I may have laughed a few times, but the movie was a waste of time. Would this movie be good for anybody? I think I could only recommend this to parents who have kids who won't shut up and happen to be within arms reach of the Barnyard DVD.