Western Animation / Barnyard

What happens in the barnyard stays in the barnyard.

Barnyard (also marketed as Barnyard: The Original Party Animals) is a 2006 Nickelodeon animated comedy-drama written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, starring Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, David Koechner, Wanda Sykes, Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, and Jeff Garcia, among many others .

Otis is a party animal cow, one of many barnyard animals who hide their walking and talking lifestyle from humanity. Ben, the leader of the barn and Otis' father, is constantly assuring his son that he'll have to shape up and improve his attitude one day. Sure enough, one night of irresponsibility leads to Ben's death at the hands of the evil coyote Dag and his pack. With Otis elected as the new leader, he must look out for all the other animals and struggle with accepting responsibility for others, all while coping with the developing feelings he has for the newest addition to the barnyard, Daisy, a pregnant cow.

It was eventually adapted into an Animated Series called Back at the Barnyard.

Barnyard provides examples of:

  • All-CGI Cartoon: The style of the movie and later the animated series.
  • All Just a Dream: The animals pull this on the farmer after he catches them partying.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Contrary to popular belief, "male cows" don't have udders. To be fair, bulls have nipples, but they don't have udders (and showing actual genitalia wouldn't fly.)
  • Ax-Crazy: Dag has too much fun in the hunt. And then there is the fact that he keeps the legs from the chickens he has killed before as decorations for his chain...
  • Arc Words/Meaningful Echo: "A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others."
  • Artistic License Biology: Coyotes do not travel in packs and are actually highly territorial, though it's implied that they joined him because they were impressed with his skills at hunting chickens.
    • And let's not even get to the male cattle with utters, which they do not have in real life.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The cartoony CGI cows fit in fine with the goofy farm antics. The dark Western revenge story which actually drives the plot, not so much....
  • Babies Make Everything Better: The end of the movie has Daisy giving birth, and Otis doesn't lose his protector zen about it.
  • Back Stab: Dag's way of killing seems to be sneaking around and biting his opponent in the back while they're occupied with his minions.
  • Badass Grandpa: Ben, who can kick coyote ass and play a Tom Petty song in the style of Johnny Cash's cover at the same time.
    • Miles also counts.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the finale all the farm animals do this to Otis.
  • Big Fun: Besides the cows, there's also Biggie Cheese, an incredibly obese rapping rat.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Dag and his coyotes are pretty clear villains. The heroes can be pretty loving, well-meaning, and look out for each other but they are also not perfect role models. The animals of the barnyard, except for the hens, Ben, and Miles, act pretty much like college kids or young adults.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite having been mauled by coyotes, Ben is perfectly fine save for a little bit of blood around his mouth. He dies, of course.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mrs. Beady is the only one who realizes that cows hijacked her car and throw nightly parties. She reprises this role in the Back at the Barnyard.
  • Central Theme: "A strong man stands up for himself, a stronger man stands up for others". According to Steve Odekerk, the movie is about family and what makes a family is people being there for each other and caring for one another.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After a boy tries cowtipping some cows along with his friends, the cows respond with boytipping him.
  • Cool Old Guy: Ben and Miles.
  • Cow Tipping: After a boy tries cowtipping some cows along with his friends, the cows respond with boytipping him.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is much darker than the TV series such as a very mature portrayal of dealing with loss and responsibility, Otis (and possibly Etta) blaming himself for his dad dying and of course, there's Dag the sadistic, serial killing coyote.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mr. Beady is this, particularly to his wife:
    Mrs. Beady: Randall! There is a cow outside!
    Mr. Beady: This is a cow farm. You're gonna find cows outside.
  • Dirty Coward: Dag won't get his hands dirty against targets that fight back, but as soon as they turn their back on him...
  • The Dog Bites Back: "THAT'S CALLED BOY TIPPING!! HA HA HA!!"
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Or rather, a pig named Pig.
  • Down in the Dumps: The coyotes have a base in one.
  • Drop the Cow: Happens to a group of coyotes in the final battle.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Let's face it. Going out battling coyotes all while playing the Johnny Cash version of "I Won't Back Down" at the same time is an awesome way to die.
  • Famous Last Words: "Put the hen down, Dag."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Quite a few examples despite the fact it's a kids movie.
    • When Otis first meets Daisy, he is clearly attracted to her and goes to formerly introduce himself, only to be shocked at the sight that she's heavily pregnant (from a former beau).
    • When Otis is talking to Daisy, he can't seem to stop staring at her udders...
    • At the barn party, one of the barnyard animals is seen getting drunk from drinking the party beverage entitled "Milk & Honey"...
    • Two female cows shown at party are getting their utters pumped of their milk for the beverage at the party...
  • Girls Stare at Scenery, Boys Stare at Girls: This exchange:
    Daisy: It's beautiful, isn't it?
    Otis: My cud?
  • Happily Adopted: Ben is not actually the birth father of Otis: he took the latter in when he was just a calf. Although they do have their fights (most of them concerning the Manchild nature of Otis), it's clear that both of them love each other, and Otis is absolutely devastated when Ben dies.
    • Also, Otis and Daisy raising her child (and his adoptive stepchild) Ben together at the film's end.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: For the first half-hour or so of the film, it's an entertainingly silly Wacky Fratboy Hijink plot with cows. Then Otis' father dies and it becomes a dark revenge Western story...with cows.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Otis, after being beaten by the coyotes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ben dies protecting the chickens.
  • Horror Hunger: Freddy the Ferret is constantly trying to resist himself from eating his best friend Peck the Rooster.
  • Humiliation Conga: Dag gets a rather satisfying one. He never bothers the farm animals again.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Maddy: You're a meaner!
    Dag: Oh yeah? Well, meaners gotta eat too!
  • Knight of Cerebus/Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Dag. The movie completely loses its comedic beats whenever he appears on screen.
  • Lazy Bum: Mr. Beady, who doesn't appear to do much other than sit in his chair, drinking and watching television.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Alhough not shown much, Dag has some shades of this. It's most notable when he taunts Otis, making him feeling terrible about not helping his father on the night he died, and afterwards proposing Otis a deal: he and his pack would only take a few animals each night, but if Otis tries again to stop them, they will slaughter every single one of them.
    • Also, when he says Otis that he will be seeing him around by the next nights. When he returns to the farm, it's during the day, relying on Otis only counting on him return at night as he had always done.
  • Mook Chivalry: Averted. The coyotes dogpile Ben.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers imply that this is a light comedy with crazy animal antics. The movie is really a comedy-drama about Otis' Coming-of-Age Story, his connection with his adopted father, and dealing with his issues of loss, identity, and fear.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ben found Otis as a orphaned calf following him in the fields, so he decided to raise him.
  • Precision F-Strike: They managed to get the Johnny Cash version of I Won't Back Down. Complete with the word "hell". In a kid's movie.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Otis attempts one. It doesn't end well.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Bessie has the voice & attitude of one.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: One of the coyotes when Pip goes inside his ear.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: There is some elements of cynicism but the movie is surprisingly very heartwarming
  • Sole Survivor: Daisy and her friend are the sole survivors of a flash flood that apparently wiped out their previous herd.
  • Talking Animal: Arguably the main point until Ben dies.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: The resident ferret quotes this upon biting a coyote.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: Dag
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: For a movie about farm animals that like to party, the coyotes can be pretty terrifying.
  • Villain Ball: Rather than just quickly kill Otis while he has him pinned down, Dag decided to gloat instead, allowing Otis time to recover.
  • Visual Pun: Biggie Cheese performs "Mr. Boombastic" by Shaggy, and as he starts his song, we cut to a member of the barn band... a shaggy dog.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Dag has absolutely no problems with eating Maddy, who is only a young chick.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Despite having Otis pinned down and wounded twice, Dag gloats and lets him recover for no discernible reason, even when it would guarantee his victory.
  • You Killed My Father: Otis' father Ben was killed by Dag while he was protecting the chickens.
  • Zerg Rush: Seems to be Dag's chief way of dealing with obstacles. He bites them first to weaken them, then orders his entire pack to do this.