Barnyard, Ant Bully Swap Dates

With Paramount Pictures pushing the release of the animated feature Barnyard back a week to Aug.4, Warner Bros. has moved its Ant Bully up a week to July 28, according to ComingSoon.com. Studios generally seem to be having difficulty jockeying for position amid the recent onslaught of 3D animated movies, resulting in an ever-changing toon release calendar.

Featuring the voices of Kevin James, Courtney Cox, Danny Glover, Sam Elliott and Wanda Sykes, Barnyard takes a comical look at what really happens in a barnyard when the farmer is away. The film is written, produced and directed by Steve Oedekerk, writer of Bruce Almighty and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and director of Ace Ventura: Pet Detectiveand the hilarious Thumb movie spoofs. Animation was completed at Oedekerk’s San Clemente-based Omation Studio.

Helmed by Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius creator and director John A. Davis, and produced by Tom Hanks’ Playtone Prods., Ant Bully is based on the popular children’s book by John Nickle, in which a young boy floods an ant colony with his water-gun and is magically shrunken down to insect size and sentenced to hard labor in the ruins. Boasting a star-studded voice cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, Lily Tomlin, Cheri Oteri, Bruce Campbell, Regina King and Ricardo Montalban, the pic will be released simultaneously in IMAX 3D and conventional formats. Davis’ Dallas-based DNA Productions (Olive, the Other Reindeer) delivered the CG animation for the feature.

In other movie release date news, Warner Bros.’ Superman Returns will open two days earlier than previously announced, taking a Wednesday bow on Jun 28. The shift will give the superhero flick a little more time to rake in dough before Disney releases the highly anticipated sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on the following Friday, June 7.