"Bee Movie" Review

Title: Bee Movie
Director: Simon J. Smith, Steve Hickner
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Genre(s): Comedy
Rated: PG (For mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking)

 It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie surrounded with so much buzz as there is with “Bee Movie.” The way Jerry Seinfeld and DreamWorks have been promoting this movie, you’d think the second coming of Christ was upon us. This means there’s both good news and bad news about the movie. The good news is that the product that’s delivered is actually pretty good. It’s sweet and yummy, just the way you’d like it to be. The bad news is the movie is far less of a big deal then the trailers portray it to be, meaning some may not like it on principle alone. The story: A young bee named Barry Bee Benson (Jerry Seinfeld of...well, do I really need to tell you) has just spent three days in school and is on the verge of picking a career. This is something all bees do, but there is a catch: Once a bee has chosen a career he is stuck with it forever. 

When he questions a supervisor if that means he’ll be worked to death the response he gets is “we’ll sure try.” If this all sounds familiar it should. Ten years ago DreamWorks produced another CGI film about a bug who wanted more purpose in his life. The movie was “Antz,” starring Woody Allen in the title role, and was noteworthy for being a major animated film made for adults rather then kids. “Bee Movie” takes the same basic storyline, simplifies it for kids, and substitutes Allen’s stand up for Seinfeld’s stand up. The trade off may not be original but, eh, it works. Berry eventually bee-friends (you have no idea how much fun it is to write this review right now) a human named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger) who shares with him stories about how life works, how humans do this and that, and eventually helps Berry sue the human race.
At this point you may be wondering how an animated film for kids manages to turn into a legal drama. Well, you know all that honey in store shelves we take for granted? Well, bees live to make honey, and we greedy humans take it, eat it, and sell it for a profit. All the while, the bees don’t get any money from it. Hey, at least the lawsuit makes more sense then that of the guy who sued McDonald’s because their food made him fat. As mentioned above, “Bee Movie” is an incredibly sweet movie, with Seinfeld’s brand of humor all over this movie. It’s not complicated, but it works. There’s visual gags for the kids, grownup puns for the adults, and lots of cool facts about bees that you may or may not know about. Seriously, I learned more about bees in this movie then I learned about global warming in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

I do want to make a small comment on the rating of this movie, which has been rated PG by the MPAA for “mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.” I’m not exactly sure what passes for objectionable in the eyes of the MPAA these days, but I’m finding their branding of animated films to be very off lately. In this case, I could not find a single curse word, explosion, innuendo, or fart gag in the whole movie. Therefor, I think it’s fairly safe to assume even the most conservative parent will find nothing wrong with “Bee Movie,” and I think it’s about time they stopped giving animated films PG ratings just because it will help the movie at the box office. Other then that though, I think the movie really is a B movie for kids though; charming, sweet, but ultimately forgettable and insignificant. Still, it tastes good while it lasts, so its an easy recommendation.

Parents have little to worry about: With the exception of some crude humor there is nothing wrong with this movie. Recommended for all ages.