Monday, August 14, 2006

Otis needs a Manzier

So, we went to see Barnyard this weekend. Being an Disney animation geek, I am always willing to give a new animation project a chance, but I have a pretty low tolerance for poorly executed animation. Like, you know, easy research items that seem to escape the people making the movie. Below you see Otis, the Kevin James-voiced lead character. See anything screwy about this "cow?"
Would it have been that hard for someone to figure out that cows are female, and male bulls have no udders?!? I was distracted from moment one by this, and couldn't really get past it. Even my seven-year old picked up on it. Much like I said in my diatribe on the script shortcoming of the new Star Wars trilogy, couldn't they have hired someone to read through the script and check the character models for accuracy? You know, like maybe a real farmer or something? Do you think that maybe mid-way through production they realized their error, but decided that people wouldn't notice and/or it would cost too much to fix?

Beyond this unbelievable lack of knowledge of the anatomy of cows/bulls that apparently hundreds of people possessed, the movie was just a not-well-executed clone of the Lion King. [Warning: Spoilers] Simb... err... Otis, the young lio... ehh... cow who is heir to the throne as king of the jung... ahh.. barnyard would rather sing and play with friends. When Mufa... umm... Ben is killed by the evil lion and hye... ohh... coyotes, Simb... err... Otis is thrown into the position of authority that he is not ready for and decides to run away. Words from the wise old Rafik... ohh... Miles convince Simb... err... Otis to come back and defend the jung... ahh.. barnyard against the evil lion and hye... ohh... coyotes. Simb... err... Otis then gets the girl, Nal... oohh... Daisy, they have a child and they all live happily ever after.

You would think that this was a Disney Cheapquel Mad-Lib...

OK... so we have anatomically incorrect cows and a recycled plot line, so at least the animation is good, correct? Think rubber... Squishy rubber animals... Kinda like rubber duckies. No... not so good.

I know it's just an animated comedy geared to kids, and the kids enjoyed the movie, so I guess that's what they were going for. But the sudden glut in computer animated films on the market is going to make people tired of this medium, much like it tired of the glut of traditionally animated films.

photo via IMDB

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