There aren't a lot of choices in a bee's life a bee attends a few days of school, graduates from college, and chooses a job in the hive that he'll labor at for the rest of his life. Barry (Jerry Seinfeld) is different from his best friend Adam (Matthew Broderick) and all the other bees he wants to see the world outside the hive and can't begin to contemplate doing the same job for his entire life.
Naturally, the life of the "pollen jock" bees appeals to Barry because it's the only job that takes a bee outside the hive and into the larger human world. Once outside the hive, Barry breaks the most sacred bee law and speaks to a human named Vanessa (Renée Zellweger) in order to thank her for saving his life. A relationship quickly blossoms and leads Barry to the discovery that humans are stealing honey from the bees and selling it for their own profit. Vowing to hurt the humans the one place they’ll feel it, Barry brings a legal suit against the honey industry and the courtroom drama begins. There are some hysterical moments in the film, as one would expect from a Seinfeld production, and an abundance of one-liners, double-meanings, slapstick humor, and innuendo-laden dialogue that will keep adults guffawing throughout the show. Still, the whole concept of seeing the life of a common pest through non-human eyes is getting repetitive thanks to films like Ratatouille, Flushed Away, Open Season, and Over the Hedge. It should be noted, though, that this first foray into animation by Jerry Seinfeld was four years in production due to its collaborative nature, so its theme may actually have well predated all of the aforementioned films. Children ages 5 and older will love the bees' silly antics, though many of the jokes will go right over their heads and parents should be cautioned about some mildly suggestive humor. More than just a comical film about the life of one very different honeybee, Bee Movie is a social commentary that pokes fun at human behavior while stressing the importance of doing even the most menial job well and championing the power of working together toward a common goal. There's even a lesson to be learned from the bees about controlling one's temper. --Tami Horiuchi
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