I first saw Bee Movie in 2007 shortly after it was released, and was reminded of it recently so decided to give it another watch. I sort of wish I didn’t. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
Bee Movie was directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith, produced by Jerry Seinfeld, Christina Steinberg and Cameron Stevning, and written by Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Robin, Barry Marder and Spike Feresten.
In short, this movie tries way too hard. It’s very childish and simple in some respects, and yet it tries (and fails) to appeal to adults by added in irrelevant and often unhumourous pop culture references. It tried to be funny, and occasionally succeeded, but most jokes fell flat on their face. I was disappointed by this because I expected (with Jerry Seinfeld as one of the writers) that the humour would be similar to that in the TV show Seinfeld, but unfortunately it was nothing like it. It was simple, dry and sarcastic, which can be very funny when done right, but not in this film.
Then there’s the voice acting. The main cast of Bee Movie (which includes some very popular names) were Jerry Seinfeld (Barry B. Benson), Renee Zellweger (Vanessa Bloome), Matthew Broderick (Adam Flayman) and Chris Rock (Mooseblood the Mosquito). I think it can be generally agree than Seinfeld is a bad, yet funny, actor. It turns out he’s just as bad a voice actor, and the humour in Bee Movie bared no resemblance to that in Seinfeld or in his stand-up comedy.
Then there are all the scientific inaccuracies. I get that some things aren’t supposed to be accurate, like bees talking, but there are other parts of the film, parts that seem to be trying to teach children that are just plain wrong. For example, you can’t take pollen from one type of flower and use it to pollinate every flower in the world, bees are not the only pollinators, only female mosquitos drink blood and no living plants would die due to a lack of pollination, it would just stop reproducing and no fruit would be produced. There are more but these are just the more obvious ones.
My thoughts on the animation (by Dreamworks) is mixed. As far as the scenery and the backgrounds go, it’s pretty good. It’s bright and colourful most of the time but is also dull and almost greyscale. On the other hand, however, the animation for the characters seems stiff. It just doesn’t hold a candle to that of other animation studios such as Pixar. This is a shame because I know Dreamworks is capable of great animation like in How to Train Your Dragon.
In addition to this, there are the obvious flaws in the storyline. For example, the number one rule for bees is never ever speak to a human under any circumstance. Then Barry goes ahead and talks to a human when there’s no real reason to and gets less than a slap on the wrist by his hive. For breaking the most important bee law, zero punishment. Another flaw that really disappointed me was the lack of response by the human race when they found out that bees could talk. It’s a bit like “Oh, bees can talk, how fascinating. Let’s also let them sue a major company in court and represent themselves.” I mean it should be a big deal, but it just isn’t!
Don’t even get me started on the relationship between Barry and Vanessa, I mean, in the film it seems all innocent because it’s a children’s film, but when you actually think about what they’re suggesting. What they’re implying, it’s just so wrong I don’t even want to talk about it. So anyway, I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone except for people who want to learn what not to do in an animated film.
Favourite character/actor: Mooseblood the Mosquito (Chris Rock)
Least favourite character/actor: Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld)
Favourite scene: The scenes that show the inside of the hive
Least favourite scene: The interplay between Barry and Vanessa
Rating; 1/5 stars