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Friday, August 4, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Movie Review

Despite bovine misinformation, "Barnyard" parties it up

Special to The Seattle Times

Cows are female, right? I mean, I just want to make sure before I say something stupid. Here, it says so right in my dictionary: "Cow: The mature female of cattle of the genus Bos. "

OK, now that we've cleared that up, let me specifically address all you 4-year-olds out there who are reading this and wondering if you want to spend your hard-earned money on "Barnyard."

The answer is yes, this is a darn cute movie and I think you'll find it funny. Just don't be fooled by its cows.

In the real world, there are no big-uddered boy-cow heroes named Otis. There is not a cow alive, like Otis, who could ever sound like Kevin James, a big man and a fine comic actor. Moreover, there isn't a cow in the universe, like "Barnyard's" Ben, with a voice like rugged Sam Elliott, manliest of all men.

Movie review 3 stars

Showtimes and trailer

"Barnyard: The Original Party Animals," with the voices of Kevin James, Sam Elliott, Danny Glover, Courteney Cox, Andie MacDowell. Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk. 90 minutes. Rated PG for mild peril and rude humor. Several theaters.

Yet, as I'm sure you've learned by age 4, we forgive a lot in the world of animation. In "Barnyard," we have Otis the cow, adopted son of Ben the cow. Ben is the brave leader of a bunch of silly, barnyard animals who dance and party whenever there are no farmers around.

Otis is a goofball and frequent disappointment to serious Ben. But one day Ben doesn't survive a raid on the farm by nasty coyotes, and Otis has to take over a job he doesn't feel he's good enough to do. His friends, however — including Daisy the cow (Courteney Cox), Miles the donkey (Danny Glover) and Etta the hen (Andie MacDowell) — believe in him.

Writer-director Steve Oedekerk, one of the creators of "Jimmy Neutron," is behind this enjoyable movie, with its picture-book colors, raucous action and familiar rock songs. And, hey, I heard lots of adults laughing during the movie, too. So go ahead. Just remember what I told you about cows.

Tom Keogh:

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company



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