There You Go

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 could’ve used a bit more Windex. Apart from a short lived 2003 sitcom, it was 14 years since the highly profitable original movie. I enjoyed catching up with the big fat Greek Patroklos family, but the sequel isn’t nearly as fresh. It’s really hard to recreate the accidental independant success of something like My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Nia Vardalos was bound to repeat herself. As well as give it too much of a Hollywood feel with the entire original cast returning alongside producer Rita Wilson and young star Alex Wolff.

As I expected, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a multigenerational story that needs to live up to its title somehow. Toula falls back into old habits after years of marriage with Ian. Most of their time is spent on trying to spice things up. The half Greek daughter we saw at the end of the first movie is now a rebellious teenager on her way to college. Most of Paris’ time is spent trying to decide between staying with her suffocating family or attending college further away.

Paris also goes to prom with her crush from school, but it’s very last minute. The biggest fattest greekest focus is actually on Toula’s parents. The wedding happens when her father Gus learns that his marriage certificate was never signed. Leading her mother Maria to make the most out of the situation. Other family members have arcs, but none of them impact anything. The comedy is only amusing compared to the unexpected hilarity of what came before. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is just “Opa!” enough.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Paris and Bennett attend the prom

Preceded by: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Opa!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. It couldn’t have happened to a more unlikely movie. It has a mostly unknown cast and was very independent, but I guess it just connected with people. Never underestimate the power of a Greek audience I suppose. My Big Fat Wedding is the passion project of struggling Greek actress Nia Vardalos. Her one-woman play based on her family was discovered by none other than Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. They produced a movie adaptation and Vardalos was adamant about keeping her script exactly the same.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding centers on Toula Portokalos and her loud, enormous, and nosy Greek family. With the exception of mythology, I honestly didn’t know much about modern Greek people. Apart from how delicious their food is (Greek fries are to die for). The film explores Toula’s life as a thirtysomething Greek woman who’s never gotten married or made babies like her father wanted. Her father is an old fashioned Greek man who thinks Windex is the answer to every problem and her mother is an outspoken cooking machine.

The rest of her extremely close family is just as colorful. They’re all genuine Greeks, so I didn’t recognize anyone apart from Joey Fatone. Toula gets educated, has a makeover, and complicates her life by falling in love with the non-Greek Ian Miller. Their charming relationship goes by so fast that they end up engaged in no time. My Big Fat Greek Wedding ended up being pretty hilarious when they introduced the culture clash. Since Toula’s proud Greek family is vastly different from Ian’s small boring family. The wedding itself was more heartfelt than I was expecting. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a big fat breath of fresh air.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Toula and Ian are married

Followed by: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Movin’ Like Bernie

Weekend at Bernie’s II was dead on arrival. How do you make a sequel for what should clearly be a rotting corpse by now? The first movie was such an unexpected hit that they had to keep the story going. Weekend at Bernie’s is a dark over-the-top guilty pleasure, but Weekend at Bernie’s II is way more ridiculous than I was expecting. The original was understandably PG-13. The sequel is PG and contains an animated opening credits. You’d swear they wanted this dead body movie to appeal to children.

The most WTF thing about the sequel is how they bring back Bernie. They actually use African voodoo to turn Bernie into a zombie that only moves to music. Sure the first movie was a suspension of disbelief, but who’s idea was this?! A voodoo queen was hired by the mob to find Bernie’s buried treasure and this was the only way to find it. If you thought Larry and Richard were depraved before, they steal Bernie’s body from the morgue in order to clear their names (and Larry grave robs him for good measure).

Just like the original, a misfortunate secondary antagonist tries to hunt them down and one of the guy’s has a love interest. Gwen is never mentioned, so the voodoo officiant native Claudia takes her place. The corpse humor is more stupid than clever since they added the supernatural element. The only good thing to come out of this painful sequel is an amusing dance Bernie does while moving. The second easiest money Terry Kiser has made. Weekend at Bernie’s II should’ve stayed buried.

Weekend at Bernie's II

Charles (right) and Henry (left) dance with Bernie (corpse)

Preceded by: Weekend at Bernie’s

Dead Man Walking

Weekend at Bernie’s kills me everytime. Of course your enjoyment depends on how twisted your sense of humor is. Weekend at Bernie’s is a black comedy about a pair of schmucks pretending their dead boss is still alive. Apart from a hilarious parody on The Simpsons, my mom was the one who brought the movie to my attention. The reaction she got from co-workers being told the plot was too comical to pass up seeing it for myself. You’d think a gimmick like this would be one note, but Weekend at Bernie’s is consistently funny throughout.

I guess it’s just the breezy 80’s atmosphere. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman are a fun bumbling duo playing Larry and Richard respectfully. Richard is the responsible one with a crush on his co-worker Gwen and Larry is his irresponsible jokester best friend. They both work for an insurance company where they unknowingly discover their boss is embezzling money. Bernie Lomax is your typical wealthy douche bag, but he becomes a hilarious punching bag when his mob connections backfire on him.

Easiest money Terry Kiser ever made. All he does is play a corpse about 34 minutes into the movie. Larry and Richard take advantage of Bernie’s beachfront property by propping him up with sunglasses and moving him with strings. Sure it’s sick, but the physical comedy is gold. The situation just continues to escalate as the moochers and beach babes are none the wiser. The only thing keeping the plot going is Bernie’s killer continuously thinking he’s still alive. Weekend at Bernie’s is guaranteed to make you die laughing.

Weekend at Bernie's

Larry (right) and Richard (left) hang out with Bernie (corpse)

Followed by: Weekend at Bernie’s II

Creatures vs. Extraterrestrials

Monsters vs. Aliens is out of this world. I miss the days when DreamWorks Animation made more satirical projects centered around subjects that most children wouldn’t understand. I wasn’t like most children at 13 years old. I’ve always been a huge fan of monster attack B movies or alien invasion pictures of the 1950’s. Monsters vs. Aliens sounded like a lot of fun the moment it was announced. It was originally meant to be an adaptation of a comic called Rex Havoc before being turned into more of a classic monster movie homage. I was still very familiar with each monster type despite not seeing everything that was being parodied at the time. It may have been 2009 and/or a reference to drive-in cinema, but the 3D is still pretty obnoxious. Monsters vs. Aliens is the first DreamWorks movie to make a considerable leap with its computer animation. Resulting in realistically textured humans with unattractive appearances. Except for Susan, she’s probably the hottest DreamWorks woman in my opinion. Reese Witherspoon brings plenty of character growth to the lead monster. Susan is hit by a meteor before her wedding to douche bag reporter Derek voiced by Paul Rudd. Her hair turns white and she grows to ginormic size just like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

The government takes her to what is essentially Area 51, lead by the hardened General W. R. Monger. Kiefer Sutherland makes an impression as the stereotypical southern general. The rest of the monsters make up an enjoyable ensemble with the usual innuendo filled DreamWorks banter. Hugh Laurie’s sophisticated British voice is best suited for Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. A half cockroach mad scientist modeled after The Fly. Seth Rogen brings the laughs in his second DreamWorks role as B.O.B. An indestructible gelatinous mass with a single eyeball and no brain modeled after The Blob. Will Arnett is fun as the macho monster the Missing Link. A 20,000 year old fish man likely modeled after Creature from the Black Lagoon. Susan, Dr. Cockroach, Link, and B.O.B. are the only monsters who can have banter since the fifth monster is bigger than even the 50ft. Susan. The final monster is the building sized Insectosaurus. A giant bug dinosaur either modeled after Godzilla or Mothra. When a UFO lands in America, the President of the United States is sent to negotiate Close Encounters style.

Stephen Colbert voices what is probably the most incompetent President in movie history. All the political commentary is unusual to see in a kids movie, but the war room is the best place for Monger to initiate his monsters vs. aliens idea. The alien probe makes its way to San Francisco where it wrecks the Golden Gate Bridge. The first battle is highly uncoordinated, but it does lead to Susan literally discovering the strength she never knew she had. Although the other monsters fear they’ll never be accepted by society, Susan finds the confidence she needs to dump Derek and own the title of Ginormica. The alien in the title is actually just one extraterrestrial. Rainn Wilson voices the very eccentric big headed tentacle alien Gallaxhar. He plots to extract Susan’s quantonium in order to clone himself and invade the Earth. The final fight in the UFO is a thrilling, occasionally childish battle that saves all mankind and earns each monster their acceptance. Monsters vs. Aliens was a movie begging to have a sequel, but DreamWorks felt the parody approach didn’t pay well enough. So they made a video game, a 3D short called B.O.B.’s Big Break, two clever Halloween specials, and a lackluster one season Nickelodeon TV series. Monsters vs. Aliens is more than enough fun as long as you enjoy the classics.

15. Monsters vs. Aliens

The monsters

Skadoosh

Kung Fu Panda 3 is the perfect conclusion to the awesome journey of Master Po. Unlike Kung Fu Panda 2, the third installment is a bit more comedic with a strong supernatural element. The exaggerated fantasy element of martial arts was always present, but they go full chi this time around. Kung Fu Panda 3 was unique for being a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and their Oriental division. Giving China a greater say in the success of the project. I didn’t rewatched DreamWorks animated movies that often after I turned 20, but I should because I forgot just how epic Kung Fu Panda 3 is. After a physical threat like Tai Lung and a mental threat like Lord Shen, the next ruthless villain became the supernatural Kai. A yak spirit warrior with the typically comedic voice of J. K. Simmons. If Tai Lung had a personal connection to Master Shifu and Lord Shen had a personal connection to Po, then Kai has to have a personal connection to Master Oogway. The wise tortoise was absent in Kung Fu Panda 2, but this was a chance for Randall Duk Kim to return. The colorful computer animation used in the spirit world is breathtaking.

Kai uses a set of jade swords and his own power to extract the chi from the great kung fu masters. Turning them into his own jade zombie (jombie) minions. Such animal masters include Master Croc, Master Bear, and Master Chicken. Meanwhile, every other major voice actor from the first & second movies return to finish Po’s story. Although envisioned as a 6 part saga, a trilogy is really the way to go. Jack Black fully understands Po as the beloved Dragon Warrior. The Furious Five are his greatest allies & best friends. An aging Dustin Hoffman is even given more to do as Master Shifu plans to retire. Giving Po the disastrous task of becoming a teacher in the Jade Palace. The previous movie’s cliffhanger is addressed by having Po’s biological panda father find him. Bryan Cranston replaces the previous actor as Li Shan. He’s a big hungry panda most concerned with connecting with his son. The other father gives Mr. Ping a much bigger role as the goose in the middle, but the valley is attacked by Kai’s jombies before anything can come of it. They learn of Oogway’s past with Kai as they both discovered a village of pandas that possessed chi.

It’s enough to bridge both stories together and an excuse to have an entire cast of marketable panda characters. Each panda delivers their own comedic banter, but the most interesting case is the ribbon twirling Mei Mei. Although she was clearly modeled after Rebel Wilson, Kate Hudson replaced her in post-production due to scheduling conflicts. Li shows his son what it means to be a real panda, but he never knew chi to begin with. Something Po desperately needs to learn in order to beat Kai. The Furious Five are split up with the more comedic Mantis and Crane scouting ahead. Then the Jade Palace falls as Monkey and Viper are also turned to jade. I always expect Angelina Jolie to have the biggest role as Master Tigress. This time she goes to warn Po and also ends up being loved by a female panda cub. Much like Seven Samurai, the only logical solution is for Po to train the village how to fight like pandas. All the martial arts action is on par with the entire series, but the visually dazzling spirit world fight is a major highlight. It’s enough to make Po a true Dragon Warrior. Ending with a satisfying kung fu demonstration set to “Kung Fu Fighting” and uniting everyone. Kung Fu Panda 3 is an other worldly way to end a trilogy of awesomeness.

30. Kung Fu Panda 3

Po trains a village of pandas

Preceded by: Kung Fu Panda 2

The Dragon Warrior

Kung Fu Panda 2 succeeds by going deeper with the legend of a panda of pure awesomeness. Turns out DreamWorks Animation is really good at making sequels. Since Kung Fu Panda 2 more than lives up to the standard set by the original. Po’s path to become the Dragon Warrior was so awesome that it led to an equally awesome Nickelodeon series called Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Despite being 15 at the time, Kung Fu Panda was an action-packed martial arts tale for everyone. I definitely wasn’t expecting the sequel to be as dark as it ended up being. Kung Fu Panda 2 deals with heavy themes such as adoption, genocide, and death. All while retaining the hilarious sense of humor of before. Since it was directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Kung Fu Panda 2 became the unlikely highest grossing movie with a female director. DreamWorks studied Chinese culture a lot closer and the opening reflects that by using another unique animation style. Chinese puppetry is used to tell the story of our newest villain.

After a physical threat like Tai Lung, Lord Shen ended up being a peacock. An evil peacock who uses bladed weapons, a deadly fireworks cannon, and wiped out a village of pandas when a soothsayer foretold his defeat. The brilliant Gary Oldman brings a sinister gravitas to a personal threat like Shen. Michelle Yeoh voices the old goat Soothsayer due to her strong connection with martial arts films. The same applies to one member of the legendary masters of Lord Shen’s former palace in Gongmen City. Jean-Claude Van Damme manages a computer animated split as Master Croc, Dennis Haysbert keeps you in good hands as Master Storming Ox, and Victor Garber gets some time in as Master Thundering Rhino. Learn more about them in their short Secrets of the Masters. Meanwhile, every other major voice actor from the first movie returns to save China from Shen’s kung fu ending weapon. Jack Black explores the deeper side of Po as he discovers he’s adopted. Mr. Ping being a goose was originally played for laughs, but they really take it seriously this time. Po was an adorable panda cub that Ping discovered in a radish crate and raised as his own. You might assume the comedy would be lost as soon as Master Po became a skilled kung fu panda, but his fighting style can still be hilarious.

Po is fully accepted by the Furious Five as they fight side by side. Angelina Jolie gives Master Tigress the most surprising character development as she participates in Po’s antics and becomes a genuine friend. Some say romantic, but I’m not sure that was their intention. Crane, Mantis, Monkey, and Viper have their moments of action, comedy, and companionship as well. It’s actually Master Shifu who’s left out since he has achieved inner peace and no longer needs to train the Dragon Warrior. A more withered Dustin Hoffman still shines no matter how small the part. The martial arts fighting is even more of a spectacle with the improved computer animation. Po and the Furious Five face a pack of wolves and gorillas in several creatively epic sequences. Po continues to be haunted by flashbacks associated with Shen’s symbol until he learns the terrible truth. That his mother was killed saving his life. With inner peace mastered, Po takes down Shen’s army with the help of his friends and a final “Skadoosh.” In the end, the lesson is to not let your past define who you are. Making Po’s acceptance of his adoptive father truly emotional. I just wasn’t expecting a cliffhanger where Po’s birth father is alive amongst other pandas. Kung Fu Panda 2 brought depth to a warrior of black & white.

20. Kung Fu Panda 2

Po fights with the Furious Five

Preceded by: Kung Fu Panda & Followed by: Kung Fu Panda 3

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting

Kung Fu Panda set DreamWorks Animation on a path of legendary awesomeness. After something as bizarre as Bee Movie, DreamWorks needed a sure fire hit to fully earn back their lost appreciation as a computer animation studio. Kung Fu Panda sounded like a joke the second you heard the title. Yet just like our unlikely panda hero, the success of Kung Fu Panda was no accident. The original intention was to make a parody of martial arts films with anthropomorphic animals. Like the great masters before him, the director saw the potential to tell a genuine wuxia hero’s journey that honored Chinese tradition.

It just happened to star animals. Unlike some anthropomorphic animal movies, Kung Fu Panda is totally warranted in using an all animal world. I’ve always been a big fan of martial arts, but I hadn’t seen many movies centered on the subject. Kung Fu Panda is the perfect gateway for children to become entranced by kung fu. I was 13 years old in 2008 and there was no way my brother and I would miss out on what was sure to be a blast. Kung Fu Panda was so awesome that it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature and became the highest grossing non-sequel for DreamWorks at the time…

12. Kung Fu Panda

Po trains with Master Shifu

Kung Fu Panda is the best of both worlds for DreamWorks. It was comedic, but there are no pop culture references or Disney jabs. Martial arts movies were an influence, but this level of dedication to action hadn’t been done before. The breathtaking computer animation and respect for ancient tradition even earned Kung Fu Panda acclaim in China. Not bad for a predominantly American production with primarily American voice actors. The animation wasn’t just limited to CGI, because the opening establishes the mood with a beautiful traditionally animated sequence meant to resemble a Chinese painting. The Valley of Peace is a peaceful Ancient Chinese setting mostly inhabited by Chinese animals such as rabbits, pigs, and geese. Each of them wearing appropriate Chinese attire.

Our hero is the most unlikely warrior imaginable. Po is a big fat panda with an intense fanboy appreciation for kung fu. After his less than inspired role in Shark Tale, Kung Fu Panda was exactly what Jack Black needed in his 2008 career resurgence. Jack Black’s hilarious enthusiasm was just right for Po, but he also gave the panda more depth than you’d expect from a comedian like him. Po dreams about being the legendary Dragon Warrior even though his father wants him to run the family business. They trick you into thinking he’s a panda, but Po’s father is actually a cheerful goose named Mr. Ping. Ping loves his son as much as he loves making his secret ingredient noodles. The funny and criminally underappreciated James Hong is one of at least four Oriental actors in the movie.

The center of all kung fu action is the Jade Palace. A sacred hall where the greatest warriors in all the land come to train under Master Shifu. A role filled by the critically acclaimed Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman isn’t someone I’d immediately associate with kung fu, but his experience brought great complexity to the stern Shifu. Despite his anti-panda sentiment, most people forget Shifu is actually a red panda. The wisest member of the Jade Palace is the elderly tortoise Master Oogway. Randall Duk Kim voices the ancient mentor who envisions the return of a deadly foe. Leading to a ceremony where the Dragon Warrior is chosen. Everyone including Po is shocked when he’s the one chosen. Shifu doesn’t believe a flabby panda can become the greatest warrior in history, but Ooway knows what he’s doing.

The Furious Five are the most clever use of anthropomorphic animals in the movie. Since each of them embody a different animal style of kung fu. The Furious Five are easily the coolest characters with all their high energy martial arts experience. Like Jack Black, Angelina Jolie got her Shark Tale redemption as the fierce and highly dedicated Master Tigress. Next to Shifu, Tigress is the most vocally against Po training among them. Jolie really captures her warrior spirit and longing to prove herself. The rest of the Furious Five are made up of 2 Chinese actors and 2 comedians. Jackie Chan himself is the high energy humor loving Master Monkey. He’s a monkey of a few words, but a great fighter on the team. Lucy Liu brings slithery sweetness to Master Viper. She’s probably the least hostile team member towards Po. David Cross uses his trademark sarcasm for the flighty Master Crane. The first team member to directly interact with Po, but it doesn’t go too well. The least likely Furious Five member is Seth Rogen as the small Master Mantis. You get what you expect from the laugh prone Rogen, but every warrior is beneficial to the team.

The Furious Five was so interesting that they got a short film detailing their unique origin stories called Secrets of the Furious Five. The slapstick that comes from Po’s training is hilarious, but a real warrior never quits. Not even when the main villain escapes his inescapable prison. Ian McShane is excellent as the extremely intimidating snow leopard Tai Lung. He was once raised by Shifu like a son, but his heart turned to black when Oogway rejected him as Dragon Warrior. His prison is heavily fortified with thousands of rhino guards and Tai Lung as the only prisoner. The late Michael Clarke Duncan makes the most of his small role as a guard who shows a Dan Folger voiced messenger goose every precaution. Kung Fu Panda is very funny, but action is the real highlight of the movie. The stylised, fast paced, yet cartoon friendly kung fu sequences are edge of your seat excitement.

He may be the villain, but Tai Lung’s escape is a pure spectacle. The Furious Five vs. Tai Lung is an epic bridge showdown that practically defies the laws of physics. Meanwhile, Shifu makes a breakthrough with Po when he realizes food is a great source of motivation. You really come to believe Po’s journey as he fights for his dumpling and masters panda style. When Tai Lung nerve strikes the Five, it’s finally time for Po to unlock the secrets of the Dragon Warrior scroll. It appears to be blank, but Po’s father helps him to realize there is no secret ingredient. You need only to believe you’re special. Master Shifu vs. Tai Lung is a brutal fight between mentor and mentee that only ends when Po eventually climbs up the stairs.

You wouldn’t expect a fierce snow leopard to be a match for a lazy panda, but Po vs. Tai Lung is a hilariously unconventional fight that’s very evenly matched. Po proves himself by mastering the Wuxi Finger Hold and conquers his enemy with a final “Skadoosh.” In the end, Po’s dream comes true as he’s honored by the Furious Five and accepted by a much more light hearted Shifu. An after-credit scene (that I often forget about) shows them bonding over a meal and reveals a symbolic peach tree that begins to sprout. Of course I’d be sad if they didn’t use the always catchy song “Kung Fu Fighting” at the end. A song normally used as a punchline, is given an honorable cover by CeeLo Green. Kung Fu Panda is more awesome than DreamWorks could’ve expected.

13. Kung Fu Panda

The Furious Five

Followed by: Kung Fu Panda 2

I Wanna Grow Old with You

The Wedding Singer is the best place to see Adam Sandler’s sentimental side. As well as his musical talent that he often shows off in most movies he stars in. Even when I wasn’t a Sandler fan, I knew I wanted to check out The Wedding Singer. Since I can’t say no to a good romantic comedy no matter who the leads are. This is the first of three rom-coms starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. They have really believable chemistry.

Sandler is the titular wedding singer that’s apparently the most undignified profession there is. Even though Robbie Hart is a nice guy who cares about his wedding attendants. When his fiancé stands him up on their wedding day, he falls into a deep depression. This is a surprisingly layered performance for Sandler. The comedy is there, but it’s much less in your face. Barrymore is the perpetually sweet wedding waitress Julia. She helps Robbie out of his romantic rut. Causing them to really connect and even share a meaningful practise kiss.

The problem is her rich unfaithful a-hole fiancé Glenn coming between them. Not sure what she sees in that guy. Several frustrating misunderstandings get in the way, but it’s nothing a mad dash to the airport followed by a grand declaration of love won’t fix. Robbie wins Julia’s heart by serenading her on an airplane with a little help from Billy Idol. The hilarious cameo is thanks to The Wedding Singer taking place in 1985. So expect plenty of 80’s era songs, big hair, and bright colors. The Wedding Singer puts its loving, wedding filled atmosphere to good use.

The Wedding Singer

The wedding singer

Black & Yellow, Hello!

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.

11. Bee Movie

Barry flies with the pollen jocks