Following Antz, A Bug's Life, Flushed Away and this summer's Ratatouille, Bee Movie is yet another animated flick with a starry cast in which a creature that ordinarily would seem pesky is rendered as not just harmless but even lovable and idiosyncratically human.
There is zero life left in this concept, even if it does spring this time from the fertile mind and absurd sensibility of Jerry Seinfeld.
The comic co-wrote, co-produced and stars in this colourful jaunt as a bee named Barry, who dares to leave the rigidity of New Hive City for the vast unknown of the outside world -- specifically, the corner of 67th and Columbus on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Seinfeld's longtime stomping grounds on TV and in real life.
Sound familiar? This DreamWorks Animation release shares almost the same premise as Pixar's Ratatouille, in which Remy the rat left the safety and comfort of hiding with his family and picking through trash to become a gourmet chef in Paris. It's an unfortunate coincidence, because clearly both films were years in the making. But the similarity serves as a reminder of the superiority of Pixar's animated offerings -- their substance, character development and heart.
What distinguishes Bee Movie somewhat is that it's flooded with Seinfeld's sense of humour -- his trademark observations on the ridiculous minutiae of our daily lives. That should keep his fans, and adults in general, relatively entertained. There are some cute lines here and there (and some amusing cameos from Sting, Ray Liotta and Larry King) but because Bee Movie is also for kids -- who have never been the target audience for Seinfeld -- bee puns all too often prevail.
Barry, a recent college graduate, could go work for the Honex Corp. alongside his nebbishy best friend, Adam (Matthew Broderick), making honey as bees have for millions of years. In a highly detailed set-up sequence, he learns he could be a heater, cooler, crud picker or stirrer like his dad (Barry Levinson; Kathy Bates does the voice of Barry's mom).
So although this concept has been done so many times already, the superior script and fairly well thought out ideas certainly gives this an edge that most other animated movies just don't have.
Highly recommended among all other Animated movies.