Bee Movie

Out Now On-Demand

The genius Jerry Seinfeld is Barry the bee who realises humans are stealing honey, and subsequently decides to sue us. From DreamWorks animation.

Jerry Seinfeld makes the move into animation by producing, writing and starring in this children's film. Surely a comedian of his caliber can write a funny screenplay? No, it seems not. Bee Movie is one of the flattest, most pointless, worthless diversions of the year.

Where is the inspired humour? After years of painstakingly slow animation, no-one once realized that the lines "A rose tournament?! Roses don't do sports!" were really quite stupid. It's actually quite impressive just how little effort has gone into making this film original and engaging. A friend who missed the first five minutes guessed that the first shot involved Barry the Bee choosing what to wear out of a selection of identical black and yellow clothes. Yep, he was bang on.

The story is weak, and the climax involving a jumbo jet doesn't have anything to do with what came beforehand. The whole film is just an excuse for some weak watered-down jokes to be loosely strung together. In fact, the sheer pointlessness of the movie is quite staggering. Humans eat honey? So what?

Maybe it's just supposed to be some sort of thinly-veiled communist propaganda, using Barry's experience to champion the importance of employment and of being part of a system. Coming from union-heavy Hollywood, that's not surprising. But it certainly goes against the grain. Usually animated films are all about being different and standing out from the crowd. This one is about blending in and not speaking out of turn.

The only thing the film has in its favour is the intricate design of the beehive and its inner-workings. And also for the scene in which Barry first leaves the hive and zooms around New York, which is beautifully brought to life.

But ultimately Bee Movie will only be interesting to younger audiences who might not realize how cliched the gags are. And while the target audience might be amused for an afternoon, Jerry Seinfeld has certainly tarnished his reputation as a comedian. His first foray into animation is flashy but useless.

Empire Magazine [UK]

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The depth of talent in the cast and gag writing shines through, but it’s only just enough to take your mind off of the flat animation...

Los Angeles Times

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Nothing about the movie resonates emotionally. The conformity of the hive is neither crushing nor soul-deadening. The fact that humans making money off the bees' labor has no effect on the quality of life of the bees, who dwell in contented, well-fed insularity. There's no real jeopardy. The stakes are low. It's a bee movie about nothing.

NZ Herald [Russell Baillie]

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That the story wilts towards the end of its relatively short running time is something of buzz-killer. But for its gags alone, Bee Movie deserves a bee-plus...

Rolling Stone

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At its relaxed best, when it's about, well, nothing, the slyly comic Bee Movie is truly beguiling.

The Christchurch Press [James Croot]

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As in Seinfeld's much-loved, long-running television sitcom, the writing is sharp, but, disappointingly, the gag quotient is down...

TV3 [Kate Rodger]

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1/2 It's not quintessential Seinfeld for the hardcore, but there's certainly a flavour of him here. There are some really cute and entertaining moments for kids and grown-ups alike, and I thought the whole bee premise was original and engaging...

Variety [USA]

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Amiable but no more, Bee Movie puts a hiveful of potent talent at the service of a zig-zigging, back-of-an-envelope story that's short on surprise and originality.

Make a Bee line for the exit

This is what would happen if bees sued the world an alright movie but animation is so so and story line is the same leave this one for the under 7s