Bee Movie (2007)
Director: Steve Hickner & Simon J. Smith
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock
Plot: A bee who has just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue us.
Genre: Animation / Comedy
Rating: PG for mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.
Dreamworks' animation is not as technically detailed as Pixar's, nor does it boast the artistry of a Hayao Miyazaki picture. Their animated films over the years have clearly shown a lack of distinction - Madagascar (2005), Shark Tale (2004), Over the Hedge (2006) aren't exactly movies that are as memorable as compared to popular niche works such as Princess Mononoke (1997) or Finding Nemo (2003). Bee Movie more or less remains forgettable, though it exceeds my expectations to a certain level.
Bee Movie is hilarious in ways young kids will find difficult to grasp. Writer Jerry Seinfeld employs movie references (e.g. Ray Liotta in the Scorsese's gangster drama Goodfellas) as well as attempting to compare the irony of the lives of honey bees to that of ours, infusing a smart blend of humor into a somewhat predictable storyline. The animation is colorful and bright with lots of emphasis on the color yellow to give the 'visual outlook' from a bee's perspective.
The final third of Bee Movie is as close to the definition of absurdity as it can possibly get. But it's because of this our funny bones are tickled. Although it's a minor film, Bee Movie has the potential to be a crowd pleaser, especially towards people who can interpret the mature humor behind it. Kids are likely to feel restless though at certain parts after the first hour when things get talkier and less showy. It's bee-buzzing silly but the design production of the film is excellent. See it once for the amusement, but it will not last multiple viewings.
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