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"BEE MOVIE"
(2007) (voices of Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*None Minor Heavy *Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Minor Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Animated comedy: Fed up with them taking advantage of his kind, a bee decides to sue humans for stealing and selling their honey.
PLOT:
Barry B. Benson (voice of JERRY SEINFELD) and his best friend Adam Flayman (voice of MATTHEW BRODERICK) live in New Hive City and are recent graduates, meaning they're expected to work for the rest of their lives like the rest of the bees employed by Honex Industries producing honey. Yet, while Adam is excited about having one permanent job, that doesn't sound enticing to Barry who doesn't want to end up being a stirrer like his father. Instead, he longs to be a pollen jock, one of the bee flyboys led by Lou Lo Duca (voice of RIP TORN) that get to go out of the hive and pollinate flowers.

Through a combination of pluck and luck, he manages to go out flying with them on a mission, but then ends up being separated and crash-lands in a human apartment during a rainstorm. The tennis player there, Ken (voice of PATRICK WARBURTON), tries to kill Barry, but Ken's would-be girlfriend, Vanessa (voice of RENÉE ZELLWEGER), stops him. Accordingly, and despite their number one rule being that they're not supposed to talk to humans, Barry feels he must express his gratitude to Vanessa, a florist, for saving his life.

The two end up forging an unlikely friendship, and that's when Barry learns that humans have been enslaving his kind for years, taking their honey, and selling it for themselves. Accordingly, he decides to sue the human race for that, thus putting him at odds with pompous lawyer Layton T. Montgomery (voice of JOHN GOODMAN) who vehemently defends the human honey industry. From that point on, Barry and Vanessa try to fight the good fight, unaware of the repercussions that are to follow.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many younger ones will be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters (particularly non-human ones) as role models, but here's a quick look at their major characteristics.
  • BARRY B. BENSON is a bee who doesn't want to live a status quo life and ends up breaking his kind's number one rule by talking to and becoming friends with Vanessa. Fed up with the humans selling their honey, he decides to sue them in court. During his journey, he must contend with various perils and attempts on his life.
  • VANESSA is a human florist who saves and then befriends Barry, helping him sue humans for taking advantage of bee work.
  • ADAM FLAYMAN is Barry's best friend, a true conformist who can't wait to work in one permanent job for the rest of his life.
  • LAYTON T. MONTGOMERY is a pompous lawyer who uses melodramatic tactics while trying to defeat Barry's legal case.
  • KEN is Vanessa's self-absorbed, would-be boyfriend and tennis partner who grows increasingly jealous of the time she spends with Barry, and thus tries to kill him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated comedy that's been rated PG. No profanity is present, but various colorful phrases are, along with some slightly suggestive and sexually related comments.

    Various action and adventure-based attempts are made on a bee's life by humans, a bee stings a person, and slapstick style material is also present. Some of that material might be suspenseful or unsettling for the youngest of viewers, but probably no one else.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and some behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate (with the aerosol and lighter = flamethrower bit potentially being dangerous). A tiny bit of crude humor is present, there's brief smoking and a comment that smoke used on bees contains nicotine, while what initially looks like wine is just cider.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, some flying scenes might induce that.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • What looks like wine in several scenes is apple cider (noted by the bottle saying that).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Barry says, "I'm gonna go drain the ol' stinger" (but we don't see that occur).
  • Trying to prove a point about them in a court hearing, Barry states, "I believe we're all aware of what bears do in the woods."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A pollen jock acts as if he's going to humiliate Barry (who's lying that he's one of them), but the bigger bee ends up inviting Barry to come along on a mission (although he doesn't think he's cut out for it).
  • Knowing he has to say something to thank her for saving his life, Barry breaks the number one bee rule and talks to Vanessa (the breaking the rules is the bad attitude part).
  • When Barry says he met someone, another bee says they hope it isn't a wasp (that some viewers might take as WASP, or white Anglo-Saxon protestant).
  • Various humans try to kill Barry, but beyond Dan and Ray Liotta, they're only doing so in a usual, non-personified human vs. bee fashion.
  • Barry views the humans as enslaving bees in hives, smoking them into submission (with mechanical smokers, and getting them hooked on the nicotine in that smoke), and then stealing and selling their honey.
  • Some viewers might not like a comment about humans having look-alike bee counterparts such as "Bee Jesus" (a play on the word "bejesus").
  • Montgomery pushes his assistants.
  • Trying to discredit them in a court hearing, Montgomery asks Barry if he and Vanessa live together and are bed bugs.
  • About the pollination debacle they inadvertently created, Barry jokes that he and Vanessa could forge a double-suicide pact (some viewers might not like that subject matter being addressed via humor).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Younger kids might find the following as unsettling or suspenseful, but that's unlikely for older ones and/or adults.
  • Barry ends up accidentally stuck on the fibers of a regular-sized tennis ball. He then holds on for dear life as a human bounces and then serves that ball, followed by it being volleyed back and forth before accidentally be knocked out of the court. It then bounces on a city street several times (barely avoiding being struck by traffic), with Barry then ending up sucked through a vehicle's grill and into the engine compartment. There, he's sucked into and bounces off the spinning fan blade, avoids the fire in the combustion engine, and then travels into the passenger compartment where he's sprayed and must avoid the pet dog that repeatedly tries to bite him. During that, and as the driver and others adversely react to Barry's presence, the vehicle swerves through traffic and barely avoids hitting a bicyclist.
  • Barry manages to get out of that, but is then hit by raindrops during flight (after we've heard that bees can't fly in the rain). He then crash-lands into Vanessa's apartment, bangs repeatedly into the window, and then does the same flying toward a light bulb he believes is the sun. He then falls into some dip and is nearly eaten, but Ken stops his guest from doing that and nearly smashes Barry with his huge shoes, but Vanessa stops him from doing that.
  • Barry flies through traffic, trying to catch a honey truck, and barely avoids vehicles, but ends up slamming onto the truck's windshield (along with other insects, some alive, others dead, all played for comedy). He and a mosquito must then avoid the windshield wipers and related cleaner spray, and then he and another bug hold onto the antenna that then retracts, leaving them with nothing to grasp.
  • Bees in a commercial hive are hit with smoke from a smoker and collapse, but are only stunned and later are okay.
  • As part of Barry's evidence in the big trial, he has a handler bring in a huge bear that growls and appears menacing, but then proves that was just an act when told they can leave.
  • Fed up with Barry and the attention the bee gets from Vanessa, Ken tries to kill him, first with a rolled up magazine. Ken then tries deodorizing spray, but when that doesn't do the trick, he shoots the spray over a lighter, creating a flamethrower of sorts. Barry avoids that, but Ken hits him with water from a showerhead, with that knocking Barry into the toilet. Ken tries to flush him, but Barry surfs out of that. Ken then tries to kill him again, but Vanessa comes in and stops him.
  • Some kids may worry about Adam after he stings Montgomery (since such stings often mean the bee's death), and Adam looks sick in the hospital, but is okay later (albeit with a restaurant plastic sword in place of his now missing stinger).
  • A jumbo jet pilot tries to such up Barry with a dust-buster, but ends up knocking out the co-pilot with that. His body then activates the emergency raft that inflates and knocks out the pilot, thus leaving the plane without anyone to fly it. Barry summons Vanessa to do that, but when lighting strikes the plane and fries the electrical system, the plane goes out of control. With their fate and that of the future of all plants and flowers, some kids may worry as Vanessa tries to land the plane (played for part suspense, part comedy as the pollen jocks fly up and help land the plane by carrying it on their many backs).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • In a montage of the aftermath of a hearing, we see police push a human woman's head to a table and hold automatic weapons on her, while a dart is fired into Winnie the Pooh who then falls off a log to the ground.
  • Security guards carry automatic weapons.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Let's shake it up a little," "Looking sharp," "He's such a hot-head," "That girl is hot," "Wow, that blew my mind," "Pollen jocks," "Sky freaks," "Couple of hive Harrys," "Shack up," "Dawg," "That is stellar," "Just babbling like a cicada," "Scared out of my shorts," "You striped stem suckers," "That is diabolical," "Jerks," "What in the name of mighty Hercules is this?" "You're busted, box-boy," "Pinheads," "They make the honey and we make the money," "Bee-Jesus" (for "bejesus"), "Those just get me psychotic," "You idiots," "This little creep," "This isn't a good fella, this is a bad fella," "I'm gonna go drain the ol' stinger," "A royal flush," "Surf's up, dude," "That bowl is gnarly," "They're striped savages," "I believe we're all aware of what bears do in the woods," "Don't freak out," "Black and yellow," "This is insane," "Drop it in, woman," "Sometimes I just feel like a piece of meat" and "I was already a blood-sucking parasite."
  • To prove to herself that she's not dreaming (about a bee talking to her), Vanessa stabs a fork down into her hand (no blood).
  • Some kids may want to imitate Ken shooting aerosol spray over a lighter, thus creating a flamethrower of sorts.
  • Vanessa and Barry takes turns slapping each other (to get the other to "snap out of it").
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful, adventurous and some dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Barry states that a female bee is "hot," prompting Adam to say she's his cousin, with Barry replying that they're all cousins.
  • To prove that his parents aren't listening to anything he's saying, Barry states that he's going to "shack up" with a grasshopper (and they don't react at all to that).
  • Barry talks of working through various emotions, including anger, jealousy, and lust (the latter presumably referring to Vanessa).
  • After Adam tells Barry's parents that the latter has been making out with Vanessa (making that up), Barry's uncle says that he dated a cricket once and her crazy legs kept him up all night.
  • Trying to discredit them in a court hearing, Montgomery asks Barry if he and Vanessa live together and are bed bugs.
  • Referring to being milked and getting nothing out of it, a female cow states, "Sometimes I just feel like a piece of meat" (some may see a sexual connotation in that).
  • SMOKING
  • We briefly see two miscellaneous humans smoking.
  • Barry views the humans as enslaving bees in hives, smoking them into submission (with mechanical smokers, and getting them hooked on the nicotine in that smoke), and then stealing and selling their honey.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Barry isn't happy that his parents don't listen to what he wants, while they aren't happy that he's seemingly ready to buck the status quo.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that bees shouldn't be able to fly due to the involved physics issues.
  • We learn that job openings on an employment tote board are the result of unseen bee deaths (and the openings come rapid fire).
  • Barry points out to bees in a commercial hive that their "queen" (seen in a photo on the wall) is really a guy in drag (with beard stubble, etc.).
  • Barry refers to bees as being slaves to "the white man."
  • The fact that if bees stopped working (or just disappeared), not only would honey production slow down or stop, but the same would also occur to pollination, thus affecting most plants (and, as a result, animals and humans).
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy and/or adventure.
  • We see a test bee equipped with a helmet subjected to a test, where a human-sized, rolled up magazine, flyswatter and shoe whack or stomp down on him, followed by bug spraying blasting him (he's knocked around, but okay).
  • Trying to impress some female bees, Barry tells a fake story that includes slapping Adam around for effect.
  • After hitting a spinning car's fan blade and being sprayed inside the vehicle, Barry manages to get out of that, but is then hit by raindrops during flight (after we've heard that bees can't fly in the rain). He then crash-lands into Vanessa's apartment, bangs repeatedly into the window, and then does the same flying toward a light bulb he believes is the sun. He then falls into some dip and is nearly eaten, but Ken stops his guest from doing that and nearly smashes Barry with his huge shoes, but Vanessa stops him from doing that.
  • To prove to herself that she's not dreaming (about a bee talking to her), Vanessa stabs a fork down into her hand (no blood).
  • A man burns his hand on a light bulb he's replacing and then falls from his ladder (we don't see the impact).
  • A large fan blows a test bee back against a wall as part of a test.
  • In a fantasy bit in Barry's mind, Vanessa takes off in a small plane, flies around a bit, and then suddenly crashes into a rocky cliff, exploding upon impact and then again on the ground below that.
  • A man hits Barry with a rolled up magazine, followed by Vanessa grabbing that and repeatedly hitting that man with the same.
  • A factory worker briefly battles Barry (thumb tack vs. stinger, in a sword battle fashion), with Barry knocking the tack from the human's hand.
  • Bees in a commercial hive are hit with smoke from a smoker and collapse, but are only stunned and later are okay.
  • Montgomery pushes his assistants.
  • Ray Liotta repeatedly tries to smash Barry with a small award.
  • Ken hits his head on the bottom of a table.
  • Fed up with Barry and the attention the bee gets from Vanessa, Ken tries to kill him, first with a rolled up magazine. Ken then tries deodorizing spray, but when that doesn't do the trick, he shoots the spray over a lighter, creating a flamethrower of sorts. Barry avoids that, but Ken hits him with water from a showerhead, with that knocking Barry into the toilet. Ken tries to flush him, but Barry surfs out of that. Ken then tries to kill him again, but Vanessa comes in and stops him.
  • Fed up with Montgomery and falling for his antagonistic courtroom behavior, Adam flies over and stings the lawyer in his clothed butt (prompting Montgomery to go melodramatic, yelling for someone to suck the poison from his buttocks).
  • In a montage of the aftermath of a hearing, we see police push a human woman's head to a table and hold automatic weapons on her, while a dart is fired into Winnie the Pooh who then falls off a log to the ground.
  • A taxi suddenly brakes and Barry slams into the glass or plastic divider between the seats.
  • A jumbo jet pilot tries to such up Barry with a dust-buster, but ends up knocking out the co-pilot with that. His body then activates the emergency raft that inflates and knocks out the pilot, thus leaving the plane without anyone to fly it. Barry summons Vanessa to do that, but when lighting strikes the plane and fries the electrical system, the plane goes out of control.
  • Vanessa and Barry takes turns slapping each other (to get the other to "snap out of it").



  • Reviewed October 30, 2007 / Posted November 2, 2007

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [And So It Goes] [Hercules] [I Origins] [Lucy] [Magic in the Moonlight]

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