Or just tragically ignorant of simple biology? This "Barnyard" movie isn't even OUT yet, and it's already making me crazy, just from the commercials. You don't understand why? Well, first, let me just say that I went to the film's own website, to do a little research and make sure I didn't have you all wrong, before I wrote this. My suspicions were, unfortunately for the soon-to-be-confused children of America, not unfounded. Let's take a look at "Barnyard's" synopsis:
From Steve Oedekerk and Nickelodeon Movies, two of the co-creators of “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” and filmed entirely in CGI, comes this hilarious look at what really happens in a barnyard when the farmer’s back is turned. “Barnyard” is a lighthearted tale centering around Otis (voiced by Kevin James), a carefree party cow, who enjoys singing, dancing and playing tricks on humans. Unlike his father Ben (voiced by Sam Elliott), the respected patriarch of the farm, and Miles, the wise old mule (voiced by Danny Glover), Otis is unconcerned about keeping the animals’ humanlike talents a secret. But when suddenly put in the position of responsibility, the “udderly” irresponsible cow finds the courage to be a leader.*takes deep breath* OK. Right off the bat we have a small problem with terminology. But I get that not everyone is from cattle country, or, in fact, any kind of "country," so let me explain one quick thing, City Boys. This story is, in your words, about a young male "cow," Otis, and his father, Ben. What's the problem? Well, it would be the same if you said that the movie was about a "hen" named Otis and his father. You see, the term "cow," by definition, indicates a female of the Bovidae family. Otis and his father would not be "cows," they would be "bulls," or, if involved in an unfortunate auger accident and castrated, "steers."
But hey, I'm not a hard case. Something like that, you not knowing the correct terminology for common domesticated animals, that's not a terribly big deal. I mean, lots of people probably don't realize that the word "cow" is gender-specific. No biggie. I do find the fact that it got all the way from conceptualization to production without being caught by anyone rather annoying, but I'm bigger than that. I can forgive.
But here's where we have a HUGE problem, Nickelodeon Movies and Steve Oedekerk--here's a still shot from "Barnyard," depicting Otis, the main character, defined by you as male, and voiced by Kevin James:Here's another one:These are obviously depictions of a cow. With udders. You took the trouble of having them drawn onto all the "cow" characters (all but one of whom, from what I've been able to gather without seeing the film, are MALE), so you must know what they are. Right? I mean, you know that's where milk comes from, right? That those are mammary glands? Which are a part of female mammalian physiology? I'll break it down for you: Udders are a cow's "boobies." They make milk for calves (and numerous dairy farms). I'll break it down even further: Bulls and steers--in your world, "boy cows"--DO NOT HAVE BOOBIES. Napoleon Dynamite knew it. Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, would know this. Heck, his idiot friends Carl and Sheen would know it. Why don't you?
I'm holding out hope that this abominable biological error is somehow part of the storyline. That the bulls are in drag, hiding their candy in order to avoid being slaughtered or castrated (or both). I'm counting on the parents who see it to let me know. And I'm holding you accountable, Nickelodeon Movies and Steve Oedekerk. You owe us for this gaffe. Big-time. And don't act like it's too much trouble to get the details right, either (although, really--transgendered characters are a pretty significant "detail), because here I have a still from the animated film "Hoodwinked":That's "Red," with "Japeth," the singing mountain goat. You will notice that although Japeth sings and has removable horns, traits which are generally missing from your non-animated goats, he is faithfully depicted with no teeth showing. Why is that significant? Well, because goats, which are ruminants, only have about 8 teeth in the lower jaw, which are not readily visible, and a heavy "dental pad" behind the upper lip, instead of teeth there. That's why ruminants are able to clip grass off so neatly, unlike horses, who rip it out by the roots.
Oh, and so help me, if Miles the Mule has children* in this new movie, I will hunt you down, beat you with an agricultural encyclopedia, and force you to attend an FFA fair at the point of a pitchfork.
*Bonus educational note to Nickelodeon Movies and Steve Oedekerk: Mules are sterile.