Plot: Otis and the other barnyard animals try to save Christmas after Santa falls ill.
Breakdown: I have never seen Barnyard, the movie on which this series is based, but I have seen an episode or two of the show in the past. And I thought it was very….fine. It had its moments, but nothing ever really stuck out. It’s one of those properties where I always forget it exists.
The show as a whole has a pretty strong Jimmy Neutron vibe, which makes sense because it was made and written by Steven Odekirk, the man who created Jimmy Neutron. Back at the Barnyard is not as good as Jimmy Neutron, in my limited opinion, but it’s still fine. I think the main problem is that Back at the Barnyard tries to be Jimmy Neutron without the fun science stuff, making it rely too heavily on stupid humor. Not that Jimmy Neutron was the most scientifically accurate show in the world, it most certainly wasn’t by a long shot, and it definitely had its fair share of dumb humor, but at least the science aspect was fun and was a strong hook. This show just has talking animals as a hook, and that’s been done to death even when this came out.
Just as Jimmy Neutron’s Christmas special was okay, so is this special. In fact, it basically has roughly the same-ish plot as the Jimmy Neutron special in needing to deliver presents in Santa’s stead because the main character incapacitated him on accident.
And, just as Jimmy Neutron’s special, I don’t think the overall plot makes a lot of sense. According to the lore in this universe, Santa needs to have a present under every tree by midnight or else Christmas will be over forever. But isn’t it supposed to be that he has until Christmas morning? I guess if you just count “morning” as being the AM hours, then this makes sense, but I still don’t think so.
It garnered a few smiles out of me, admittedly, but I don’t think I’ll be seeking out anymore Barnyard stuff in the future. Apparently, the movie was poorly received, and the TV show was one of those “kick it to Nicktoons so we can let it quietly die” situations, being sent there mid-season two. I really don’t think I’m missing much.
There was a musical number in the episode, produced by Guy Moon, whom you may know as the man who did a lot of musical work on Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom – Basically any Butch Hartman show. It was a fine song, but, just like the songs in the Jimmy Neutron special, I forgot them as quickly as I heard them.
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