Max Fleischer wanted to do a feature film based on Maurice Maeterlinck's "The Life of the Bee." Unable to get the film rights, he devised an original story along the same lines, making this the first animated feature not adapted from a work of literature. (Also, the first one to take place in contemporary times, rather than "long ago and far away.")
The titles are shown over what seems to be a 3 dimensional background because it is. The Fleischer studio pioneered the idea of building models and filming them rather than drawing background plates. They did this several times in the "Popeye" cartoons.
Ted (Tedd) Pierce was loaned to Fleischer Studios from Warner Bros. where he was a writer for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Pierce also lent his unique bass voice to several Warner's cartoons as well, rather unique in that business.
The production of this film precipitated the rift between Max Fleischer and his brother, Dave, a rift that was never resolved. One reason for this rift was that Dave wanted to write the musical score for Mr. Bug, which Max refused.