Barnyard (also known as Barnyard: The Original Party Animals) is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy film, directed by Steve Oedekerk, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures that was released to theaters in the USA and Canada on August 4, 2006.
The film is produced, written in part and directed by Steve Oedekerk, and stars the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Wanda Sykes, David Koechner, Sam Elliot, Andie MacDowell and Danny Glover. This movie also stars veteran voice actors such as Jeff Garcia, Tino Insana, Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke and Dom Irrera. Oedekerk also provided some voice acting work to the film as well.
Most of the production was carried out in San Clemente, California. It was distributed in Switzerland, Spain, and Netherlands by Universal Pictures.
The film is the second Nickelodeon film to be spun-off into a television series, the first being Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Coincidentally, both are computer-animated and were produced by O Entertainment.
Otis (Kevin James) is a carefree cow who prefers to goof off than accept responsibility. His adoptive father Ben (Sam Elliott) is the leader of the barnyard when the farmer is away, giving the animals the safest moment to spring up on two legs. After Otis interrupts a barnyard meeting with his wild antics, Ben has a talk with his son, in which he tells him that he will never be happy if he just goofs off, and that he should grow up. Otis ignores his advice and leaves to have fun with his friends: Pip (Jeff Garcia), Freddy (Cam Clarke), Peck (Rob Paulsen), and Pig (Tino Insana). That same day, Otis meets a new, pregnant cow, Daisy (Courtney Cox), accompanied by Bessy (Wanda Sykes), another female cow.
That night, the animals throw a massive party in the barn; all the animals are there except Ben, who watches over the fence, which marks their space. Otis is assigned his shift along with him, but he talks himself out of it, saying he is needed for a certain role in the party barn. Ben talks with Otis and says the day he found him alone in the meadow, the stars danced. Otis is given the privilege to party out, and the thankful son runs to the barn. Later on, Ben has to take on a pack of coyotes led by Dag, which is raiding the chicken coop. Ben manages to fight off the pack until he is bitten in the leg, causing him to fall. The coyotes pile on Ben, but he manages to grab Dag and escapes the pile. He threatens to punch Dag, but lets him go, scaring them off. The hens cheer, but Ben falls on the ground, exhausted. Etta the hen runs into the barn and tells Otis, and the alerted son runs outside to his father. Ben opens his mouth as if to say something, but dies.
After Ben's death, all the animals elect Otis as the new leader of the gang. A mule named Miles (Danny Glover) kicks the farmer because he saw the animals on two legs. He shirks his duties by leaving Freddy and Peck in charge of the coop, and helping three trouble-making cows in teaching a lesson to Snotty Boy who enjoys cow tipping. Later that night when Otis is sitting with Daisy, so Otis holds Daisy's hand wile looking up at the stars, he overhears the coyotes chasing a hare. Otis attempts to attack Dag but is outsmarted. Since Otis is weaker, Dag orders a deal that he and his pack will take animals here and there, and if he tries to stand up for all of them, they will kill everyone. Otis decides to leave the barnyard, realizing that he has no chance. The next morning, before leaving, Otis is informed that the coyotes took some hens and a chick. Otis figures that he has been back-stabbed by Dag, as he was not expecting them until tonight, and sets off to rescue the poultry. Otis confronts the pack but is easily defeated; however, Pip, Pig, Freddy, and Peck along with Miles the Mule arrive to help them, along with the gophers and Jersey Cows. Dag attempts to attack Otis from behind, but Otis is alerted when Peck successfully manages to crow a warning. Otis catches Dag and tells the coyote to never return. Dag is swung out of the junkyard by Otis's golf skills.
Otis and the rest make it back to the barnyard, finding that Daisy went into labor. She gives birth to a calf whom she names Ben. Duke, the farmer's sheepdog, asks Otis if he wants to stay and be their leader. Otis agrees, and everyone cheers as he walks outside finding the stars dancing.
- Kevin James as Otis
- David Koechner as Dag
- Danny Glover as Miles
- Sam Elliott as Ben
- Jeff Garcia as Pip
- Cam Clarke as Freddy
- Rob Paulsen as Peck/Pizza Twin #1/Wild Mike
- Tino Insana as Pig
- Dom Irrera as Duke
- Courteney Cox as Daisy
- Wanda Sykes as Bessy
- Maria Bamford as Nora Beady
- Steve Oedekerk as Nathan Beady/Snotty Boy/Snotty Boy's Father/Pizza Twin #2
- S. Scott Bullock as Eddy
- Maurice LaMarche as Igg
- John DiMaggio as Bud/Officer O'Hanlon
- Lloyd Sherr as Everett
- Andie MacDowell as Etta
- Madeline Lovejoy as Maddy
- Nathaniel Stroman as Root
- Jill Talley as Snotty Boy's Mother
- Paul Greenberg as Snotty Boy's Friend
- Fred Tatasciore as Farmer
The film received rather negative reviews from critics and currently sports a rating of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the negative reception, the film was a success at the box office.
The movie also has gained a following among many Nickelodeon fans and they consider it to be an underrated film, like most Nickelodeon Movies' productions. Dag has also gained a strong fanbase due to his evil and sadistic nature.
The soundtrack was released on August 9, 2006 from Paramount. It includes an original song by the Starlight Mints, "You Gotta Move" by Aerosmith and many new songs by North Mississippi All-Stars.
- Mud - North Mississippi All-Stars
- Hittin' the Hay (feat. Les Claypool) - North Mississippi All-Stars
- Down on the Farm (They All Ask for You) - Kevin James
- I Won't Back Down - Sam Elliot
- 2StepN - North Mississippi All-Stars
- Hillybilly Holla - North Mississippi All Stars
- Kick It - The Bo Keys
- Father, Son - Peter Gabriel
- Freedom is a Voice - Bobby McFerrin
- Wild and Free - Rednex
- Mr. Boombastic - Shaggy
- Main article: Barnyard: The Video Game
A video game of the same name by THQ and Blue Tongue Entertainment was created, based on the film. It is an adventure game in which the player(s) name their own male / female cow and walk around the Barnyard and play mini-games, pull pranks on humans, ride bikes, and party with the other animals.
The video game is for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, PC, and Game Boy Advance.
- Main article: Back at the Barnyard
In September 2007, a television series based on the film was released called Back at the Barnyard. While the other voice actors reprised their roles from the film, Chris Hardwick replaces Kevin James as the voice of Otis and Daisy is replaced by Abby, voiced by Leigh-Allyn Baker. Other characters from the film absent in this series include Miles, Dag and Maddy.
- The book that Otis puts in the Farmer's hand is Charlotte's Web, which became Nickelodeon Movies' next film.
- Ben is one of the very few Nicktoon characters to be shown dying onscreen and is considered to be one of the saddest moments in the series.
- This is one of the very few animated films to mainly consist of veteran voice actors.