NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Wide Eyed 15. who says "...it is a really cute film and worth seeing."
The film begins with a tough looking bull (he has udders for some reason, but he *is* a bull) strolling around a lively farmyard. This is Ben, voiced by Sam Elliot, and he is the animals’ leader. Everyone looks up to him and trusts his judgment. Ben asks Miles, a tough but gentle looking mule voiced by Danny Glover, if he has seen Otis. Otis (Kevin James) is Ben’s adopted son. Ben found him wandering around alone as a calf and took him in as his responsibility. No one seems to have seen Otis, and it is almost time for the daily meeting during which Ben goes over the farm’s status and any dangers that the animals may need to look out for. It’s especially important for Otis to be there because Ben is really hoping that one day, when he is too old, he can pass the torch to his son and have him take over running things.
At this point, it cuts to a wild looking Otis with a few of his barnyard friends. They are on the top of an enormous cliff, preparing to “surf” down on a block of ice. It’s clear that Ben’s responsible, mature sense of duty have not quite rubbed off on Otis who would rather spend his days goofing off and hanging out with his buddies. After a shaky start, Otis and his barnyard pals surf down the hazardous cliff and into the barnyard…late to the meeting.
Ben is visibly annoyed that his own son is so late to this urgent meeting. Apparently, there are some very important things to discuss. For one, Ben is very concerned about the coyote attacks on the barnyard. Another thing that has Ben bothered is that animals have been using human products like cell phones and other electronic gadgets gathered by the “underground” (a.k.a., a group a gophers that pilfers things from humans for the animals to enjoy.) Right as he is talking about this, Otis’ cell phone rings. The gophers want to know what type of shoes Otis wants, but he says, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now, Mr. Jordan Air.” Ben is disappointed.
Later, Ben has a talk with Otis, saying that he used to be the same way. But when he saw Otis wandering around as a young, lost calf, he knew that he had to straighten himself out for Otis’ sake. Ben reminds Otis that that night it is Otis’ turn to be on Coyote watch.
Now, once the animals’ human, gentle and vegan owner goes to bed, the animals turn the barn into one giant party. At night, streamers stretch across the interior of the barn, a stage pops up with singers, and a bar opens (brewing milk and honey). Tonight is going to be extra special because a very attractive, pregnant, and widowed cow named Daisy (Courtney Cox) is going to be there. She just recently joined the farm because something happened to the rest of her herd and the kind farmer took her in, along with one of her friends (voiced by Wanda Sykes). Because of this, Otis begs Ben to let him skip Coyote duty. Ben agrees, saying that he will take Otis’ shift even though he has already been guarding the barnyard for several hours.
In the barn, Otis parties and sings like there’s no tomorrow. All the animals are having so much fun that they don’t hear the chickens screeching as a band of evil coyotes sneaks into their hen house. Ben comes up, wielding a banjo and smacking the coyotes down. He’s old and not quite as strong as he used to be, though. Although he manages to save the chickens, he’s eventually overpowered by the coyotes who then run away.
Finally, a wimpy rooster who can’t crow flies into the barn and screams to Otis that something has happened to Ben. Otis quickly leaves the party and goes to his father’s side. Ben looks at Otis, as if he wants to say something, but then his eyes close and he dies without saying a word. Otis is heartbroken.
The next day, the farmer sadly buries Ben, saying he was a good cow. After he leaves, the animals come up and pay their respects. A meeting is called because the animals want to know who will take Ben’s place as leader. Otis wants nothing to do it, saying that he isn’t like Ben and could never take his place. Miles reminds him that it was Ben’s dream that one day Otis would take his place, but Otis still doesn't care. Finally, after a vote, the animals agree that Otis should take Ben’s place and Otis reluctantly does so.
Unfortunately, electing Otis as leader doesn’t automatically enable him with the qualities he needs to lead the barnyard. His half-hearted leadership and desire to just goof off result in a day time party, something Ben never would have allowed, and the farmer catches them partying and standing upright. While the farmer is still stunned, Miles gives him a good swift kick to the head, knocking him out while they try to figure out what to do.
The animals end up dragging the farmer to a tree and placing a book on his lap and a large tree branch over his head so that hopefully when the farmer awakes, he will believe the tree branch hit him on the head, not Miles, and that he will think he just imagined everything. While the animals are arguing about how to make it look “real” the farmer wakes up again and Miles has to hit him again. Eventually, they succeed in making the farmer believe he was sitting and reading Charlotte’s Web when TWO tree branches fell down and hit him in the head.
Later, Otis has another close call as he and some buddies get revenge on a bratty kid who goes “cow tipping.” They steal a car, drive up to the kid’s house, sneak in through his bedroom window, and then push him onto the floor as he sleeps. As he looks at them in horror, Otis declares, “That’s call kid-tipping! Har, har, har, har!”
They then sneak out of the window again just before the boy’s parents come into the room and find their son huddled in the corner of his room, mumbling incoherently.
On the way back, though, a police car tries to pull them over. What’s even worse is that a camera man is inside, filming an episode of “Cops.” Finally, Otis and his buddies drive into a field of corn, ditch the car, and then act like they are simply grazing in a grassy field when the police officer comes up, confused and wondering where the perps went.
It’s a close call, and the animals aren’t too happy about it. Otis is getting off to a rocky start. That night, Otis goes out for coyote duty. He is sitting alone when Daisy comes up. They end up talking and she tells him how her husband and the rest of her herd died in a horrible storm. While they are talking, Otis spots coyotes and goes after them. Sadly, Otis doesn’t have the skill he needs to take down the coyotes. They end up beating him up and bullying him into allowing them to sneak in at night and take chickens. Otis agrees and feels like a coward, knowing that his father would never have allowed that.
Otis decides he is going to leave the farm. As he prepares to go, though, he learns that some chickens have been stolen from the coup. The coyotes came during the day and took the chickens right from under his nose. Otis realizes he has to step up, remembering the words his father used to tell him: a strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others.
He and some other barnyard pals go after the coyotes and fight to get the chickens back. After a long brawl, the coyotes end up badly beaten and Otis tells them he never wants to see them again. He almost kills one of them, but realizes that isn’t the right thing to do. He lets him go, but tell them to never bother any of the animals again.
Right after beating up the coyotes, Otis learns that Daisy has gone into labor and is giving birth to her calf. They all rush back to the farm and gather around Daisy. She gives birth to a health boy. Otis holds him and realizes that this is what his father was talking about when he talked about learning about responsibility when he first saw Otis. Otis asks Daisy what she thinks she will name her calf and she replies that she was hoping to name him Ben.
Otis decides not to leave, adopts little calf Ben as his own son, and the whole barnyard lives happily ever after.
Sent in by Erin:
Ben (the father cow) gets killed by the coyotes (the bad guys in the movie). Otis (Ben's son) has to take over Ben's job of making sure the animals hide their human-like qualities from the humans and also has to watch for the coyotes at night. While this is going on, Otis meets a girl cow, Daisy, and they fall in love (she's apparently from another farm that was destroyed by a flood - so she's already pregnant from her husband that died). Otis eventually has to go up against the coyotes to save his chicken friends. He chases the coyotes away (doesn't kill them) and saves the chickens and gets back to the barn just in time to see Daisy's baby being born -- which, turns out to be a boy and yep, you guessed it, they name it Ben.