Barnyard



Barnyard is a computer-animated film, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and distributed by Paramount Pictures, that was released on August 4, 2006 (October 20, 2006 in the United Kingdom). The film was directed by Steve Oedekerk, who was also the principal scriptwriter, and stars the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Andie MacDowell and Wanda Sykes. The film was rated PG by the MPAA for some mild peril and rude humor. Most of the production was carried out in San Clemente, California. It is distributed in Switzerland, Spain, and Netherlands by Universal Pictures.

While some characters in the film are humans, most are anthropomorphic animals which in the presence of humans pretend to be ordinary animals. In particular, when no humans are around they walk on two legs, and talk.

The film opens with Otis (Kevin James), a "male cow" (see below), climbing on a surfboard with a block of ice underneath it on a hill with four of his friends: Peck (Rob Paulsen), the rooster who can't crow; Pip (Jeff Garcia) the mouse, Otis's best friend; Pig (Tino Insana), the perpetually hungry pig; and Freddy (Cam Clarke), a ferret constantly battling the desire to eat Peck or the other chickens. Otis and friends fly down the mountain and eventually crash into a chicken farm. They land in the barn for a meeting being held by his adoptive father and barnyard leader, Ben the cow (Sam Elliott). Though obviously irritated by Otis's late arrival, Ben continues the meeting.

After the meeting, Ben lectures Otis on the younger cow's irresponsibility-- the cell phone call during the meeting and Otis's laid-back nature in general. The elder cow tells his son to grow up, saying that he will never be happy if he spends all his time goofing off. When Otis begins to gripe about his night watch shift, Ben tells him that, "A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others."

After a day spent goofing around with friends and meeting Bessy and Daisy, two new female cows, Otis talks Ben out of his guard shift in order to attend a party in the barn. Later that night, a pack of coyotes led by Dag (David Koechner) sneak into the barnyard and raid the chicken coop. Ben fights them off, but collapses after the altercation. Etta the chicken (Andie MacDowell) rushes to the barn house party and tells Otis about Ben. Otis rushes out of the barn and finds Ben, wounded, lying on the ground. He looks at Otis, as if to say something, but then passes away.

After Ben's death, Otis is elected to be the new farm leader. However, he still lacks maturity in his new position resulting in being caught in a daytime party by the farmer. Otis also leads the rebellious Jersey cows in stealing the neighbor's car to get revenge on a cow-tipping boy.

While patrolling for coyotes, Otis confronts the pack, but is easily defeated. Dag and his gang return the next day, kidnapping a bunch of chickens in broad daylight while Otis is preoccupied about leaving the farm. To make up for his mistake, Otis sets off to confront the coyotes again. He is defeated again, but his friends eventually show up and help him to send the pack fleeing. After the battle, Otis and company return to the farm where Daisy the cow gives birth to a calf she names Ben.
Spoilers end here.

* Grossed $16 million its opening weekend.
* It made $73 million in its domestic theatrical release.
* it has made $108 million in its worlwide theatrical release.

The film has a 24% rating at rottentomatoes.com, but has a number of advocates, including Michael Medved, who gave Barnyard four stars (out of four) calling it "..hilarious, thrilling..", and "..flat out one of the year's best films."

In the real world a male bovine is called a bull or a steer and does not have an udder. However, in this film several characters are "male cows" with an udder. While the director said he did this for fun, some commentators considered it an error, and/or found it irritating. Some reviewers jokingly referred to the film as a bovine Transamerica. This is, however, not the first time cattle have been portrayed in this way. In the United Kingdom, Boddington's Ale featured an animated "male cow" in some of its 1990s advertising, and recent computer animated adverts for Anchor butter portray two "male cows" as having udders. Also, the Dairylea adverts in the UK have male cows with udders. A more recent advert portrays that they really are male because they all have male voices.

Complex scenes in Barnyard were rendered using 64-bit computers from Sun Microsystems, based on a 620-computer render farm, including Sun Fire x64 servers. It was Nickelodeon's most technically challenging animated film, which included vast landscapes with realistic rendering of lighting, as well as complex scenes with over 200 characters.

The switch from a Dell/Microsoft Windows render farm to a Sun/Linux render farm occurred in the midway of the production, when the schedules began to slip and the management recognized that the horsepower based on 32-bit hardware was insufficient so that the release date had to be rescheduled to autumn. With Sun's solution, the release was shifted back to summertime.

Over 180 characters were rigged for animation with rigs being capable of two and four leg stances and walk cycles, squash and stretch, procedural secondary animation of flesh and hair, and motion capture from Omation's 22-camera Vicon mocap stage.

The key software applications running on Sun servers included Avid Technology's Softimage XSI animation software, Mental Ray rendering software, and Eyeon's Digital Fusion digital compositing software.

* A Barnyard TV series will premiere in Fall 2007.
* A Barnyard video game based on the movie came out in July 2006 produced by Blue Tongue.
* The character of "Otis" was based on a sculpture by LA Artist Mark Beam.
* Near the end of the film, in the coyote's den scene, the old bus that is in the junkyard apparently once held a "World Thumb Wars" Tour. The director of the film, Steve Oedekerk, probably put this in as a cameo to his short featurettes entitled Thumbs!.
* The movie was originally going to be released on January 13, 2006 then October 6, 2006 then July 28, 2006, but was switched to August 4, 2006 with The Ant Bully moving to July 28, 2006.
* The film's tagline is "What happens in the barn stays in the barn", a parody of the line from The Godfather, "What happens in the family stays in the family" and the Las Vegas, Nevada tagline "What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".
* The dartboard in the barn is a picture of Colonel Sanders.
* One of the chicks in the film pays homage to the Mr. Hyde-esque transformation of Tweety Bird.
* Ben plays a cover of Tom Petty's hit song "I Won't Back Down." Short instrumentals are played throughout the film. "Slow Ride" from Foghat is played as the animals ride on a motorcycle at night.
* The cellphone Otis has during the meeting in the barnyard, receiving a call from the gophers is a Motorola V3X.
* The rules set down by Ben are reminiscent of those set down in George Orwell's classic tale of barnyard rebellion, Animal Farm.
* Energy drink Red Bull is mentioned in the film.
* The vehicle that Otis and the Jersey cows steal has a logo on the horn similar to that of MG.
* The fat kid's room has a Superman lamp.
* The plot is similar to the plot of the children's book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and its sequels.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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