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Is the Bee Movie the best animated movie we've ever seen? No. But,
defying the critics, I took my 11 year old daughter (who didn't really
want to go) and my 5 year old son to see the movie and we all really
enjoyed it. Most importantly, the story and humor of the movie operates
at multiple levels, so it appealed to all of us at our individual age
What is beyond dispute is that the visual feel of the movie is incredible. Some of the bee hive interior and flight scenes were just breathtaking. My kids were spellbound.
To me the best judge of a movie is how fast it moves along. This one kept us all entertained throughout and its 90 minute running time felt like half that. So, ignore the critics, and take your kids. They'll have a great time, and even if you're not a Seinfeld fan, so will you.
This is a silly movie. It's goal is to make you laugh, and little
beyond that. Indeed I laughed for most of the movie. It is hard for me
to find much fault when I am laughing that much. That the last act had
fewer jokes was a minor misstep. The characters were cute and the story
didn't get in the way of the humor. And I kind of enjoyed the story, it
was a little odd and funny.
It is unusual among animated movies in that its focus is jokes, kind of like a stand-up act. There are a lot of these jokes and they are quite funny! Does anything feel better than laughing? (OK, well very few things.) The story is mainly there as a vehicle for the jokes. So perhaps slightly different expectations will serve you well with this movie.
Don't go to this for a serious story! It is light humor, and at that game a great success. If you recognize that that is what the filmmakers are going for, then you will enjoy it. If you are expecting an incredible story or thrilling action or amazing animated beauty, then you might be disappointed.
As lighthearted humor with playful animation, and a great ending song, the film is a success.
Bee Movie has its moments of brilliance, but they are few and far
between, and I think what weakens this movie the most is the fact that
most other movies have already beaten it to its punches. There's
nothing too original here. Most notably, it bears many similarities to
the 1998 animated film, Antz, starring Woody Allen as the insect living
in a perfectly functioning society who begins to question his
importance in the greater scheme of things. And much like DreamWorks'
previous animated film, Sharktale, featured many fish-themed puns, Bee
Movie tries the same thing, except with bee puns, and you'll learn
fairly quickly that there's not a lot to work with in that area. And,
let's face it: Larry King has appeared as himself in so many movies
that the gimmick itself has become an irritating cliché. Here he is, in
complete bee form. I think they've taken him as far as he can go.
Altogether, though, Bee Movie is not without its charms. It does eventually find itself in some odd, uncharted territories (could a bee really fall in love with a human?), there are plenty of funny moments, and yes, even some of those puns work. Jerry Seinfeld, who has taken a lot of pride in writing, producing, acting in, and promoting the movie, does do a very good job voicing the main character. You sometimes feel like these actors doing voices for cartoons are just phoning it in, but Seinfeld gives a surprisingly energetic performance. I could picture him mimicking Barry B. Benson's movements in a recording booth as I heard his voice; it's obvious he was passionate about every aspect to the movie. The rest of the cast does a good job, too: Renee Zellwegger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, as well as John Goodman in a brief role, who once again proves what an amazingly talented voice actor he is. Whenever there's a need for a big, burly character, John Goodman is the go-to guy, because, well, he IS a big, burly character. Ray Liotta's cameo was also a highlight, and much more inspired than King's cameo.
It may not be a perfect movie, or the most original, and for a 90-minute run-time, it kind of drags on a bit, but for all that it is, I can't say that it wasn't entertaining. It won't go down in the history of greatest animated films, but it may be a decent way to spend a rainy day, when you can't go out and fly.
My rating: 6/10
If you're knowledgeable about your animated films, you may remember the slight controversy surrounding Finding Nemo, which inspired a few children to flush their fishes down the toilet so they could "free" them into the ocean. Bee Movie just may plant some worse ideas in kids' heads. Keep an eye out for news stories about children getting stung by bees after trying to make friends with them once they see the movie. Maybe Larry King could do a special about it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A professor in the University of Central Florida that taught me very
well about cinema, submitted a wonderful script to different movie
studios about two kids over the summer living with their father inside
a boat, as they sail the western hemisphere for multiple reasons. But,
despite the good script, had a major issue that did not allow for it to
ever be filmed: it did not figure out its audience and failed to reach
a demographic to aim for. The script was much too mature for kids to
watch; yet the piece was about kids, which wouldn't interest the
adults. It was a coming-of-age story that would have issues
entertaining anybody, despite the rich material. This is the biggest
issue of Bee Movie.
Bee Movie tries to entertain kids and adults yet has very little humor for the children, nevertheless a plethora of jokes for the adultsbut the cutesy factor becomes a turn-off for the parents. As a matter of fact, Bee Movie could have definitely benefited from edgier material and aiming the film towards an older audience. Jerry Seinfeld has a wonderful story to tell, but the kids would definitely not be interested. Bee Movie involves a major lawsuit, celebrity cameos, hidden humor about actors, and the typical Seinfeld humor that made the comedian a household name back in the 90s. The movie does have its laughs, does indeed contain its moments, but it could have been much better if it didn't try so hard to appeal to the kids.
In this movie, we follow a recently graduated bee by the name of Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) that decides to fly away from the hive to see the world prior to picking the one job he'll work for the rest of his life, whatever that may be. After an incident involving a tennis ball, a spunky florist Vanessa (Renee Zellweger) saves him. As his relationship with humans, especially Vanessa, improves, he learns that humans eat honey and decides to sue the entire human race. About a dozen of well-known actors and actresses are sprinkled in this movie, ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Ray Liotta to Chris Rock to even Sting (okay, so he doesn't act). The best vocal performances in this movie however come from Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller, adult Simba) and of course, Patrick Warburton (Kronk in Emperor's New Groove, The Tick, and Joe from Family Guy).
Unfortunately for Dreamworks, Pixar is once again raising the bar in animation with the incredible Ratatouille earlier this summer. So, with such competition, the animation department suffers a lot. Whenever the action slows down (the flying sequences, albeit not enough of them, were good) the lack of detail becomes obvious; the trees look the same, the buildings look the same, and some of the voices doesn't match the faces. For example, when Ken (Warburton again) screams and rants, his face does not match the explosion of rage. Even older flicks like Madagascar, Over the Hedge, and Ice Age looked better. Seinfeld's vision of the bee world was unveiled, but not with a rather lack of detail.
Where the movie scores its biggest points lies in the fast-paced, unpredictable humor of Jerry Seinfeld. This is a well-written story with an original plot and plenty of jokes to throw at everybody. The slapstick and physical humor rather misses more than hits, but the Seinfeld-humor (you whether understand this very well, or not at all) delivers most definitely. Whether it's the sidesplitting one-liners, subtle pop culture gags, or the hilarious cameos (Ray Liotta's scene was comic gold), the Master of Nothing still has the jokebug in his blood. The performances do indeed enhance the experience, but some are underused; best example is Chris Rock. The slow moments come whenever slapstick replaces dialogue, and it happens several times.
Bottom Line: Bee Movie is a decent flick for adults, but not that great for kids. Finding the balance between material for kids and material for adults is not easy yet in this film it becomes so one-sided, you wind up laughing a lot but feeling sorry for the kids watching at the same exact time. The story and dialogue are unique and refreshing, but at the same time it almost feels wasted because half the audience will get a kick out of it. Jerry Seinfeld once again delivers, but should probably try to stay away from making substance for kids, and remain with the witty adults. Animation isn't a big deal either, so the visuals will not astound you that much either. Instead, come in for the great dialogue and a potential step towards making more computer-animated flicks for just teenagers and adults---even though this genre is almost always marketed towards the "rugrats."
"Mildly amusing" is probably the best description of this
recently-released (on DVD) animated feature. My reviews on animated
movies are what I thought of it as an adult, and how adults would
relate to it. For this one, I'd say this is not a film adults will run
out and buy: rent - yes/maybe; purchase - no.
The animation and story might be something kids will still enjoy but most of the gags fall flat for adults, although it does have a few clever things in it. It just isn't up to some of the truly funny animated films of the past few years. That said, it was still fun to watch with some humorous drawings in the background that you have to watch for quickly.
As for the story, for a film with a lot of politically-correct messages, stereotypical characters, Liberal icons plugged, etc., it was surprising to see a commonsense "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" conclusion. Kudos for that, but there are just too many dumb parts in this story. The connection of a talking bee with a human girlfriend was too ludicrous to be entertaining, as were the courtroom scenes.
The animation was fair. Yes, a story with flowers as a key ingredient is going to be colorful, so there is plenty of color but it looked kind of washed out and blah to what it could have been (i.e. "Cars," "Polar Express," etc.). I expected more out of a Dreamworks film.
Overall, for adults: skip it. It just isn't funny enough to invest your time. For the little kids, sure - they'll like it. They like almost almost any animated movie.
I must admit, my first impression was it would be just for kids. I was pleasantly surprised just how much of a kid I still am! The Bee Movie was an adventure in honey heaven. The cheerful animation and very funny script kept me flying high to the very end! I loved this movie. It lifted my spirit and helped me to relate to my own dull working world experience. I see so much potential in this film for sequels and spin-offs. A clever script and comic timing that only Jerry Seinfeld has mastered, this film is sure to take you on a journey. It blends fantasy and reality so delicately they are both interchangeable. Seinfeld was at his best. I also have a new respect for the little buggers (bees)! I recommend this movie to anyone who feels trapped in their routine... set yourself free and see the Bees!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a mediocre and uninspired script packaged in cutesy computer
animated figures (soon headed for your nearest toy store shelves). This
film is an easily forgettable loser in trying to entertain children.
It doesn't entertain adults much either because it lacks the playfully devilish double entendre humor you find in animated cartoons like "Shrek" or "The Simspons Movie."
The only side-splitting humor is in a mosquito character voiced by Chris Rock - and that lasts just a few precious screen minutes. He would have made a great sidekick to the Seinfeld bee character, but alas, I guess Jerry didn't want to be upstaged by another comedian.
Instead, Bee Movie is low-calorie on energy, excitement, slapstick and the tickle-your-funnybone fun-loving momentum that propelled classic animated cartoons like "Cars," "Toy Story," "Robots," and "Over the Hedge."
The laughs are few and far between. I watched this in a theater with lots of families and I can count on one hand the number of times children giggled with delight.
So, this movie met my worst apprehension: a television sitcom comic tries to make a children's cartoon with a lot of clever dialog but little action.
For example, the parody on using outside personalities like CNN's Larry King,the rock star Sting, and Ray Liotta is completely lost on young viewers (but it did guarantee a promotional spot for Jerry Seinfeld on the real Larry King Live broadcast).
Also, I can't think of anything more boring in a children's film than having courtroom scenes, of all things. The worst and scariest bad guy the cartoon has to offer is a lawyer in a three-piece suit. Nyuk! nyuk! yet *another* lawyer caricature.
Bee Movie tries to work in a gratuitous environmentalism statement in the final 15 minutes. But by the time that rolls in you've already looked at your watch a few times wondering where you parked the car.
There's nothing honey sweet about this film, it's purely Saccharine: no nutritional value and bad aftertaste.
Sharp, funny animated feature about a beemused young bee and recent college graduate who learns that he's destined to work a routine colony job for the rest of his life. Although his natural instinct is to beeware of humans, his life takes a turn for the better when he meets a saintly florist who not only beefriends him, but helps him quickly file a lawsuit beefore humans can take all the credit for mass production of honey! Occasionally too silly for words, probably by intention, but lots to take in with superb animation, good gags, and quirky, memorable characters. Comedy is uneven at times, but still serves as acceptable entertainment for kids and adults alike. ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is awful. Horrible. Not good. Even for kids. Even for adults.
It is just bad.
The intro is horribly written, imagine you and a work friend are walking to work, and your mate turns to you and says "We are going to work, at the factory, where we make pies, to sell to people. That is my lot in life". Would that not strike you as a little strange? Yes it would, somebody stating the obvious to me like that would result in me hurting them in the face. The dialogue in this opening section is this bad.
The film then decides to start off about 7000 plot lines ("I Don't WANT TO WORK FOREVER IN THE SAME JOB!" "HUMANS STEAL MY HONEY!" " I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH A HUMAN!" "IM GOING TO COURT!" "THE WORLD IS DYING!") each of which is either stolen from Antz, or just stupid (how would the Bee have sexual intercourse with a human woman? You could'nt even do it carefully).
The graphics look like a bus drivers face, average and yet longing for something more, and Patrick Warburton turns up again playing a muscle bound moron. His mother must cry at night. Yet again he is the best thing in this horribly written movie.
Events happen, with seemingly no logic, or sense, or even meaning. Jerry just wrote this, after watching loads, and loads of other animated animal movies, over a weekend, whilst he was having sex with a shoe. Rubbish.
This film came about because over dinner Jerry Seinfeld told an awful joke (Bee movie, B movie, gettit? I just wet myself...and you) and it shows.
Jerry, give Larry David a phone call.
Overall..screw summing up, just avoid this film, stick on Curb and bask in the glory of David. And if your a child, just vomit or something. it will be more fun.
As with many computer-animated films this is a sharply observed visual
comedy grafted over hilarious voice-over. For about ten minutes. Then,
amazingly, they run out of ideas. All the bee jokes are front-loaded
and the film can't survive either on it's script - which has been left
quite open for improvising - or on Seinfeld/Zellweger riffing - because
that's a bit weak too.
I was waiting (along with 40 easily bored children, who didn't get the Pomp & Circumstance joke when I did, to my embarrassment) for some drama to cut in, rather like the revenge or rescue plots of the Toy Stories. The writing team are keen not to get in too deep and stick to the surface gags. Though these revive every so often, it's not particularly satisfying over 90 mins. 4/10
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