My Infamous Problem With "Barnyard" | Ninja Poodles Local

Saturday, September 9, 2006

My Infamous Problem With "Barnyard"

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2006 at 11:35 PM


Because it's the weekend, and I've already been using my brain too much for my upcoming "True Wife Confessions" piece at Ninja Poodles (and, to be honest, comparing tomorrow's newspaper grocery coupons against current grocery-store specials, because I have a sickness--an obsession with paying for no more than half of my groceries--we'll talk about it later, I'm sure), I'm offering you this re-run.  My regular readers have seen every bit of this discussion from every possible angle, believe me--but if you're not familiar with my "other" blog, I now offer a recent post of mine that got more attention than anything else I wrote that month, spawned follow-up posts, and also got picked up by the St. Petersburg Times and printed in their "Word for Word" column.

Nickelodeon Movies and Steve Oedekerk:  Are You Stupid?  is that post.  And just to update, since it was written, filmgoers have assured me that, indeed, although almost all of the bovine characters in "Barnyard" are male, they are all called "cows," and they do, indeed, bear prominent udders and GIVE MILK.  A friend told me of one scene in which a male "cow" character yells "MILK ME!" in the same context as humans might yell...well, you can figure it out.  I'm staying G-rated.  And in an interview with Steve Oedekerk since then, he has basically stated that in the beginning, he was ignorant of the biology of cattle, but even though many people involved with the film educated him and begged him to "fix this," he insisted that udders are "just funny," and, having ultimate creative control, kept them on ALL the "cows," even the father/son main characters.  He added that anyone who was bothered by this inaccuracy should just "lighten up," because "cows don't talk, either."

It bothered me enough that, even though my child is in the prime target demographic for this film, I couldn't bring myself to spend any of my hard-earned money on it.  If  the issue is simply that "udders are funny" (and judging from Steve Oedekerk's other films, such as "Bruce Almighty" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," this is not a new theme for him--"booby jokes: huh-huh-huh"), and the cows just HAD to have them, why not let the main characters be girls? I guess even if it's animation, it's still Hollywood, and female leads just don't put butts in the seats.

Oh, well...read the post and meet me back here, if you like.  How hard is it for you, my fellow Arkansans (or anyone else), to believe that someone in this day and age could reach adulthood and still not be able to identify the secondary sexual organs of mammals?  Or apparently really not understand that MILK only comes from FEMALES?  I mean, I wasn't looking for the anatomical characteristics of bulls to be on display in a child's film, for crying out loud, but would anatomical "incompleteness" not be preferable to transgendered animated characters?   What do you think?

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