Combustible Celluloid
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With: (voices) Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Andie MacDowell, Wanda Sykes, Steve Oedekerk, Maurice LaMarche, David Koechner
Written by: Steve Oedekerk
Directed by: Steve Oedekerk
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild peril and rude humor
Running Time: 90
Date: 08/04/2006

Barnyard (2006)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Cow or Never

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Even if we overlook the fact that Barnyard features male cows (as opposed to bulls), this movie is still a turkey. Writer/director Steve Oedekerk (whose output includes Patch Adams, the Ace Ventura sequel and those stupid "Thumb" videos) desperately scrambles for something -- anything -- a five year old might like. The production is jacked up and crammed with pop music from frame one, except for several maudlin, soul-searching moments that can induce sleep. The CG animation looks like rubbery plastic instead of animals, and much of it is spent on jokes related to derrieres and hindquarters. The irresponsible hero, Otis (voiced by Kevin James) must grow up after coyotes butcher his stepdad (voiced by Sam Elliott). Courteney Cox and Danny Glover provide additional voices.

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