*WARNING* This article does not contain major spoilers, but does discuss plot points, details, and possible minor spoilers. If that is not cool with you, watch the film and come back. Reader discretion is advised.
The Bee Movie was directed by Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner. It stars Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger with supporting roles from Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman and Chris Rock. The film focuses on a bee, Barry Benson (Jerry Seinfeld), attempting to find himself and his place in the world. Along his journey of self-enlightenment, he meets Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), the owner of a flower shop and the heart of our story. The two have a sort of romance go on, and they work together to tackle the evil honey industry.
First and foremost, the plot is obviously absurd. What do you expect it’s a kid’s movie? That being said, it isn’t one of those movies that you have to suffer through with your little sibling/child/random child from the street. It’s actually quite tolerable, especially given that Mr. Seinfeld himself helped to write. The film is entertaining and funny. Having watched it twice in the last 48 hours, I still found myself laughing on the second viewing, which was surprising to me. There is plenty of adult humor and innuendos that will buzz right past the little one’s ears.
Visually, the movie is quite well-done, especially since it was released in 2007. It has a similar look to Paramount’s crown mid-2000’s jewel, Madagascar. The animation wasn’t in your face or overly cartoonish, except in the backgrounds, where attention to detail clearly wavered. There was also some surprisingly good cinematography, like the scene where Barry flies through a car engine. There was a lot of effort put into some scenes like that and it paid off as you watch it.
The voice acting was a good fit, too, except for Seinfeld as Barry, for some reason his voice just stuck out of place compared to others. I always love to hear Patrick Warburton, who played Vanessa’s husband Ken. His voice really played well into the role of Ken, a man who’s fiancee essentially leaves him in favor of a bee. I would be driven pretty crazy by that too.
I am no fan of politicizing every film ever to exist, but this film definitely hits some pretty on-point social commentary. Elements talking about the transition from college to the real world, racism, and the consolidation of the economy. I know, no fun, right? These themes aren’t overly thrown in your face, but if you happen to feel like paying attention while your nearest child is mesmerized by a talking bee, then you’ll probably notice at least one of these.
With that being said, the plot of the film is both cliche and cheesy. Whether or not that is due to the nature of it being kid’s movie is up for your interpretation, but it’s pretty evident. Barry wants more than what his friends and parents expect of him, he leaves the nest (or hive, in this case) and changes the world. A perfect motivator for a child to explore the world around them, but maybe lazy to the older audience. It all comes down to what you expect from a film like this.
It’s nice to acknowledge this film for more than just memes, because it’s not a bad film. In fact, I might even move to call it BEEautiful. No, but it’s pretty good.