Barnyard (2006)

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Released 27-Dec-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Steve Oedekerk (writer/director), Paul Marshal (producer) an
Music Video-Barnyard Bop music video
Music Video-Mud music video
Featurette-Boogying in the Barn
Featurette-Utter Talent - Voices of Barnyard
Featurette-An Animator's Life
Short Film-Method Acting with Kevin James
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 85:56
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Steve Oedekerk
Studio
Distributor
Nickelodeon
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin James
Courteney Cox
Sam Elliott
Danny Glover
Wanda Sykes
Andie MacDowell
Case ?
RPI ? Music John Debney
Paul D. Calder
Philip A. Cruden


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Otis the cow (voiced by Kevin James) loves to party, much to the disappointment of his dad Ben (voiced by Sam Elliot) who is trying to teach him to be a man. Ben is also a cow, not a bull. Boy and girl cows? Well, I guess this is a world where the animals put the "bar" back into barn every night, so why not? Good luck explaining to your kids that all cows are girls after this one! Anyhow, I digress. Otis is a party-loving male cow. A nice new girl cow (voiced by Courtney Cox) comes to town that he befriends. Otis finds he needs to curb his partying ways and assume some responsibility to defend his fellow farm animals from a pack of evil coyotes.

    It is a story that has been done more times than you could count, and it has certainly been done better, but there is a charm to Barnyard that keeps it fresh despite the tired formula. The animation isn't great, but it suits the cartoonish and comedic style of the movie. There are some great jokes in this one, too. However, it is one of those cases where if you've seen the ads and the trailers, you have pretty much seen the whole movie.

    Barnyard is better suited to primary aged children than real littlies, as the PG rating probably suggests. It is the sort of movie that parents would probably enjoy too, at least parents who think that cow-tipping and riding a mechanical man is funny, though not nearly as much as the kids.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The movie is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, slightly short of the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

    The video presentation is very good. The image is sharp and are no issues with grain or low level noise. The level of detail in dark areas is very good.

    The colours used in the movie are bold and vibrant. The palette comes out beautifully on high resolution displays.

    There are no film to video artefacts or film artefacts visible at any point (most likely because this was a digitally generated video and film was not involved). The only noticeable video compression artefact is a degree of posterisation that is particularly noticeable in scenes with limited light sources (such as those set at night). This artefact, though certainly noticeable, does not really detract from the film - in some ways it enhances the cartoonish look of the movie.

    There is an English language subtitle track. Based on the sample I viewed, the subtitles are clear and well-timed.

    This is an RSDL disc. The layer change occurs at 54:12 and was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The only audio track, save for the commentary, is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) track.

    The dialogue is crystal clear and appears in reasonable sync for a cartoon. The voice acting is generally of a good standard.

    Music plays a big part of the movie, with several feature songs and performances throughout and a fitting score. Occasionally the score does not blend in with the featured songs too well, but only the picky will notice.

    The surround channels get a modest amount of use, mainly for environmental effects and music. The LFE track is not used frequently, but is put to reasonable use when it is used. This is not a soundtrack you would put on to wow your friends, but it is effective for the material and crystal clear.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are plenty of good extras to be found on this disc.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Commentary with Steve Oedekerk (writer/director), Paul Marshal (producer) and the crew

    A fairly busy commentary track that largely focuses on the technical and design aspects of the movie. This track probably won't appeal to the younger audience that the movie is pitched at, but is quite jovial and occasionally interesting. The track is fairly poorly recorded and does not sound like it has been recorded in a sound-proof room or studio.

Barnyard Bop music video (2:00)

    A new music video featuring the animals from the movie playing a variety of percussion in odd ways. Short, but sweet.

Mud music video (2:48)

    A short music video featuring characters from the film and studio footage of the North Mississippi All Stars (who played all the "house band" music in the movie).

Featurette - Boogying in the Barn (5:23)

    A short featurette about how music was used in the movie, without making it a musical as such, and about the house band "The Barnyard Boys", AKA the North Mississippi All Stars.

Featurette - Utter Talent - Voices of Barnyard (10:26)

    A featurette about how the voice casting was done, the actors who play each character and how they got into character. Thanks to the string of comedians that provided voice talent to Barnyard this is actually pretty fun to watch!

Featurette - An Animator's Life (12:19)

    The director, production designer and animators take us through the process of developing the characters and animation (including motion capturing). For anyone that hasn't seen a 3D animation featurette before, this gives a pretty good overview of the 3D animation production process. Alas, there's not much here for anyone that has seen this sort of featurette before.

Featurette - Method Acting with Kevin James (2:02)

    Kevin James heads on down to the farm to get into character by learning to be a real cow!

Deleted Scenes (9:53)

    Seven deleted/alternate scenes, in varying states of animation (or lack thereof, some are only storyboards), with optional audio commentary. Three of these are whole songs.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

    Barnyard really cuts a good trailer, although it is one that gives away a few more of the jokes than it probably should.

Nick-on-air campaign (6:14)

    A series of 13 advertising spots used on the Nickelodeon channel to promote the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 edition misses out on:

    The Region 1 version misses out on the Theatrical Trailer and Nick-on-air spots.

    I would favour the Region 1 version for the extra interactive content, although anybody not interested in the games or additional languages may be better off with the Region 4 version of the movie.

Summary

    A good, but not great, low-budget animated feature that sticks to a tried and true formula. The DVD is packed with a solid selection of extras.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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