A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Director:

Doug Atchison

Writer:

Doug Atchison
11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keke Palmer ... Akeelah
Laurence Fishburne ... Dr. Larabee
Angela Bassett ... Tanya
Curtis Armstrong ... Mr. Welch
J.R. Villarreal ... Javier (as JR Villarreal)
Sean Michael Afable ... Dylan
Sahara Ware Sahara Ware ... Georgia (as Sahara Garey)
Lee Thompson Young ... Devon
Julito McCullum ... Terrence
Erica Hubbard ... Kiana
Eddie Steeples ... Derrick-T
Dalia Phillips ... Ms. Cross
Tzi Ma ... Mr. Chiu
Jeris Poindexter ... Steve (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)
Sara Niemietz ... Polly
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Storyline

Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of -- but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee's demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Changing the world... one word at a time.

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Fishburne and Angela Basset both appeared in Boyz N The Hood (1991). See more »

Goofs

One of the Spelling Bee words is Pluziosity (with a Z), but the word is spelled Pluviosity (with a V). See more »

Quotes

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon: [commentating on TV] Several of the kids placed very high in last year's bee, especially Dylan Chiu. He's come in second two years in a row.
Derrick-T: Kick his butt, Akeelah! B-U-T-T, butt!
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Connections

References The Powerpuff Girls (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Day by Day
Written by Stephanie Jones (as S. Jones)
Performed by Stephanie Jones
Courtesy of Stephanie Jones
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User Reviews

 
A "One of a Million" Film indeed!
6 July 2006 | by jabrunsoSee all my reviews

Akeelah and the Bee was a film in which not only inspired me as an individual, but specifically a young Black male individual. Finally, a film in which Black males running around shooting guns and sexing/ mistreating women. A film in which shows a young Black girl coming from an urban neighborhood, raised by a single mother, but still motivated and inspired to use her gift of spelling to the highest degree. During my time watching this film: my emotions were overwhelmed with a sense of positive energy in which inspired me to be motivated to continue doing my best in life: not settling for excuses for where I grew up, the failures I encountered and taking every bit of my negative past to strengthen my positive future. Finally a film where an African American student is demonstrated as brilliant and intelligent!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akeelah and the Bee See more »

Filming Locations:

Berkeley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,011,585, 30 April 2006

Gross USA:

$18,848,430

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,948,425
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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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