The family and I went to see “Barnyard” at our favorite second-run movie theater. I like animated features. I like them a lot. But I couldn’t get past this one detail that pretty much prevented me from relaxing and enjoying what was good about the film.
Bulls! Don’t! Have! Udders!
Every single cow in “Barnyard” has zero horns, and a bright pink udder. According to IMDB, the movie’s director “thought it would be funny for the male cows to have udders”. Uhh…..No. It’s not funny. It’s stupid. It pulls your audience right out of the film every time they see a big, macho bull named “Ben” swinging a set of teats around. And frankly, when the central premise of the film is a young bull becoming a responsible adult and stepping into his father’s hoofprints, it rapidly moves past stupid and becomes an insult to the audience.
As a film, “Barnyard” had it’s moments. But when I compare it to “The Wild”, which I saw last week, it comes off looking weak. “The Wild” was just as formulaic, but the writing was much sharper, and overall it was much, much funnier.
So, if you’re looking for a rental to watch with the kids, go Wild and stay out of the Barnyard.
Gene Shalit, eat your heart out.