Bee Movie is the most unbeelievable DreamWorks Animation movie ever made. There wasn’t much buzz when it first came out, but Bee Movie made an out of nowhere come back in the 2010’s. It beecame an internet meme thanks to my generation realizing how truly bizarre the movie is. I was 12 years old in 2007 and Bee Movie was the first DreamWorks movie my brother and I saw by ourselves. I fondly remember the movie, but I definitely questioned its unusual concept when I was a kid. After focusing on an ant colony with adult comedian Woody Allen as the unexpected lead, Bee Movie beecame the first animated movie to focus on a bee hive. Understandable considering how layered a bee civilization is (luckily I’ve never been stung). Less understandable is stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld making this his only major film role after Seinfeld ended. “What’s the deal with bees anyway?” Bee Movie was first marketed with unusual live-action concept trailers of Seinfeld in a bee costume. I was so confused since I was too young to have watched Seinfeld at the time. Along with Seinfeld’s awkward stand-up based humor, Bee Movie is about 80% bee puns. Bee Movie beegins with an inspirational quote about the science of bee flight.
You might expect a realistic approach to bee life, but Bee Movie really goes for a modern hive approach where bees wear black & yellow striped clothing, sharpen their stingers, and make honey at Honex Industries. They also do stranger things like use their antenna as a phone and drive in little cars despite having wings. Not to mention honey being an all purpose product. Like Antz, bees have unusually human faces. Seinfeld practically plays himself as Barry B. Benson. The only bee to ever question the hive mind that is working one job for the rest of a bee’s life. Matthew Broderick tries to bee cautious as Barry’s best friend Adam, but Barry yearns to leave the hive. The only bees that leave are the pollen jocks who collect nectar and spread pollen with extracting equipment. Bee Movie really gets weird when Barry ends up lost in New York where he meets the love of his life. An attractive human florist named Vanessa Bloome voiced by Renée Zellweger in her second DreamWorks role. And yes, they do call a lot of attention to the fact that it’s a bee/human romance. When I was younger, the oddest aspect of Bee Move was all bees being able to speak, but choosing not to. Barry & Vanessa learn about each other’s lives before things take another turn. The biggest conflict comes when Barry discovers all the honey in a supermarket and investigates the source. Along the way flying into Chris Rock doing his second DreamWorks role as the mosquito Mooseblood.
Beekeepers are made to look like over-the-top villains and their mistreatment of bees is so much that Barry actually sues the human race. Followed by a news interview with Bee Larry King. There really aren’t any specific villains apart from two of the biggest scene stealers. Patrick Warburton is absolutely hilarious as Barry’s dimwitted romantic rival Ken. Meanwhile, John Goodman entertains as a stereotypical Southern big city lawyer. The court battle amps up the weirdness with appearances from Sting, Ray Liotta, and Vincent the bear from Over the Hedge. The only Disney jab is Winnie-the-Pooh being tranquilized while Piglet watches. Barry ultimately wins the case, but this is a late 2000’s movie. So expect a last minute environmental message. Bees are so important that every flower on Earth dies. The only hope is for Barry & Vanessa to fly a plane full of flowers back to New York with the help of the hive. Bee Movie is full of black & yellow (hello) that’s pleasing to look at in computer animation. Bee jokes can bee a little insufferable at times, but at least they use ironic songs like “Sugar Sugar” or “Here Comes the Sun.” I’ll even admit that the B movie pun used for the title is pretty clever. Bee Movie is beeyond bizarre in a way only DreamWorks can pull off.