Barnyard (also known as Barnyard: The Original Party Animals) is a 2006 American-German computer-animated family comedy film, produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, directed by Steve Oedekerk (who was also the principal screenwriter), and produced by Steve Oedekerk and Paul Marshal. It was released on August 4, 2006. The film stars the voices of Kevin James, Courtney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Andie MacDowell and David Koechner. Most of the production was carried out in San Clemente, California. The film is the second Nickelodeon movie to spin-off into a TV series, the first being Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. It earned $116.5 million worldwide against a $51 million production budget.
Otis (Kevin James) is a carefree cow who prefers to goof off rather than accept responsibility. His father Ben (Sam Elliott) is the leader of the barnyard when the farmer is away, giving the animals the safest moment to spring up being bipedal. After Otis interrupts a barnyard meeting with his wild antics, Ben has a talk with his son, in which he tells him that he'll never be happy if he just goofs off, and that he should grow up one day. Otis ignores his advices and leaves to have fun with his friends Pip (Jeff Garcia), Pig (Tino Insana), Freddy (Cam Clarke), and Peck (Rob Paulsen). That same day, Otis meets a new yet pregnant cow named Daisy (Courteney Cox), accompanied by another girl cow named Bessy (Wanda Sykes).
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 that he's needed for a certain role in the party barn. Ben talks with Otis and says that 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 takes on a pack of coyotes led by Dag (David Koechner), who is plundering the chicken coop. He manages to fight off the pack until he is bitten on the leg by the red coyote, making him 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 him and the coyotes off. The hens cheer, but Ben falls on the ground, exhausted. A hen named Etta (Andie MacDowell) runs into the barn and tells Otis and he runs outside to his father. Ben opens his mouth as if to say something, but then dies. He is then buried on his hill by the farmer. His grave was labeled, "Ben- a good cow."
After Ben's death, all the animals elect Otis as the new leader of the barnyard, presumably because he is a born party animal. An old mule named Miles (Danny Glover), who was lifelong friends with Ben, kicks the farmer (Fred Tatasciore) because he saw the animals on two legs, knocking him out. Otis shirks his duties by leaving Freddy and Peck in charge of the coop, helping three trouble-making cows called the Jersey Cows: Eddy (S. Scott Bullock), Igg (Maurice LaMarche), and Bud (John DiMaggio) in teaching a lesson to a chubby brat called Snotty Boy (Steve Oedekerk), who enjoys cow tipping, and being chased by police and a helicopter on the television series Cops in the neighbor Mrs. Beady's 1960 Chevrolet Impala. Later that night, when Otis is sitting with Daisy and holds Daisy's hoof while looking up at the stars, he overhears that the coyotes are chasing a rabbit and leaves Daisy and chases after the coyotes to avenge his father. Otis tries to attack Dag and his pack, but he's outsmarted by them. Since Otis is weaker, Dag orders a deal that he and his pack will take animals here and there, and if Otis tries to stand up for all of them, they'll slaughter 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 named Maddy (Madeline Lovejoy), who is one of Otis' best friends. Otis realizes that he has been backstabbed by Dag as he wasn't expecting him and the coyotes until tonight, and sets off to rescue the poultry. Otis confronts the pack, but is easily defeated after Dag bites him in the leg; however, Pip, Pig, Freddy, Peck, and Miles arrive to help Otis, along with the Jersey Cows, Wild Mike and the gophers. Dag tries to attack Otis from behind, but Otis is alerted when Peck successfully manages to crow a warning. Otis catches Dag and he too threatens to punch him but like his father, he can't bring himself to do it. Instead he tells Dag "Never come back". Dag is then swung out of the junkyard by Otis' golf skills, and a golf club.
That night, Otis and the gang make it back to the barnyard, finding that Daisy went into labor after Otis left to face the coyotes. She gives birth to a calf whom she names Ben. Duke (Dom Irrera), 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, a cruel and carnivorous red coyote
- Jeff Garcia as Pip, a wisecracking mouse
- Sam Elliott as Ben, a cow
- Courteney Cox as Daisy, a pregnant cow
- Tino Insana as Pig
- Dom Irrera as Duke, a dog
- Cam Clarke as Freddy, a ferret and one of Otis's friends, as well as Peck's best friend
- Danny Glover as Miles, a mule
- Wanda Sykes as Bessy, a sassy cow who acts a bodyguard to Daisy
- Lloyd Sherr as Everett
- Andie MacDowell as Etta
- Rob Paulsen as Peck, a rooster and one of Otis's friends / Pizza Twin #1
- Madeline Lovejoy as Maddy
- Nathaniel Stroman as Root
- Steve Oedekerk as Snotty Boy / Mr. Beady / Pizza Twin #2
- Maria Bamford as Mrs. Beady
- S. Scott Bullock as Eddy
- Maurice LaMarche as Igg
- John DiMaggio as Bud / Officer O' Hanlon
The film has a "Rotten" rating of 22% at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's consensus says, "Unimaginative and unfunny, this tale of barnyard mischief borders on 'udder' creepiness and adds little to this summer's repertoire of animated films." On Metacritic, it has a score of 42 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On the positive side, J. R. Jones of Chicago Reader enjoyed the film, saying that "it's way funnier than many of the R-rated comedies I've seen lately, though Oedekerk seems to have ignored the writer's edict to know your subject—most of his cows are male. The CGI is excellent, with characters whose depth and solidity suggest Nick Park's clay animations. The laughs subside near the end as the requisite moral kicks in, but this is still that rare kids' movie I'd recommend to parents and non-parents alike." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film a score of 2.5/4, calling it "a sweet and mildly funny movie that will entertain young audiences, but one aspect is utterly mystifying: The two main characters, father and son bovine creatures, have large, distracting udders." On the negative side, Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel gave the film 2 stars out of 5, saying that, "with Barnyard, another quick-and-dirty "all-star cast" mess churned out by the digital start-ups hired to steal some of Pixar's cash, the year that computer-generated animation "jumps the shark" becomes official. Politically correct, anatomically incorrect and ugly to look at, the only thing that saves Barnyard is writer (and director) Steve Oedekerk's gift for gags and almost-edgy humor." Kyle Smith of New York Post, has criticized the film, giving it a score of 1.5/4, saying that "if you want to punish your kids, send them to bed without dinner. If you want to disturb, frighten and depress them while making sure they fail biology, take them to the animated feature Barnyard." Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly criticized the film's plot, giving it a C+ score and said that "it feels like Barnyard swipes too much of its plot from The Lion King."
Barnyard was released on August 4, 2006, and opened to 3,311 theaters. This film opened at #2 at the box office on its opening weekend behind Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, earning $16 million at the domestic box office. It closed on November 2, 2006 and has grossed $73 million in its domestic theatrical release. It has made $116 million in its worldwide theatrical release, becoming a box-office success.
- It is paired with Over the Hedge.