© United Pictures International GmbH

Der tierisch verrückte Bauernhof (Barnyard)
U.S.A. 2006

Opening 5 Oct 2006

Directed by: Steve Oedekerk
Writing credits: Steve Oedekerk
Principal actors: Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliot, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes

In this animated film for children a farmer believes that all is well. Little does he know but after hours the animals become personified. They walk on two legs, hold meetings, entertain each other with musical presentations worthy of Broadway, watch TV, go joy-riding and generally whoop it up. Still, a certain standard of order and safety requires a mature mind, conveniently provided by old Ben the cow. Upon his demise at the claws of the evil coyotes, his laid-back son Otis unwillingly assumes responsibility with the support of his friends Pip the mouse, Freddy the ferret, Peck the rooster, and Pig the pig. This is a multi-cultural group, e.g., one has a Mexican accent, one an American gangsta’ accent and so on. They take revenge on a fat boy who thinks cow-tipping is fun; Otis falls in love with Daisy; Freddy resists opportunities to eat the chickens; the donkey provides a wise counterpart to Otis’ immaturity; the coyotes seem to be straight out of The Lion King. The cows seem artificially plastic and I didn’t know that male cows have udders, but these do. There is a fantasy animal called Wild Mike. The German translation is excellent if that’s your only alternative, although the English version features Kevin James, Danny Glover and Andie MacDowell. This is a harmless film with a lesson about assuming responsibility, good for the whole family. (Becky Tan)

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