The Bee Movie Review - Bee-ing Strong

Only comedian Jerry Steinfeld and Dreamworks Animation SKG could have gotten away with the BEE MOVIE, billed as a comedy that will change everything you thought you knew about bees. 

Jerry plays Barry B. Benson who wants more out of his life than just being a drone. (Don’t we all.)   A recent bee college graduate, he is told that he must choose a career path that will forever be his.   Unlike his best friend Adam Flycatcher ( Matthew Broderick) who is content to run the honey making machine.   After all, its what bees have done for centuries.

Barry is mesmerized by the “big” boys – the macho pollination flyers who take their lives into their hands every time they go out in the human world.  He longs to get out there and see the world.   Of course one crucial thing is that bees cannot fly in the rain and can never talk to humans.

Even as he takes the dare and flies out with the jocks, Barry knows, despite the scare of almost being killed on a tennis ball, that this is what he wants. . Then it rains.   Barry feels his strength ebbing as he heads for the nearest flower box and inside the apartment of Vanessa ( Renee Zellweger ), a florist.  

Van’s boyfriend Ken ( Patrick Warburton ) wants to crush the bee but she saves him and places him in the flowers.   Despite warnings about communication with humans, Barry tells Vanessa “thanks.”   She is naturally floored that bees can talk.

On her roof garden, the two develop a “thing.”

Barry goes shopping with her to the store. Sitting on her shoulder he is shocked to see all the jars of honey in the shape of bears.   Concerned that these humans are taking what is rightfully the bee’s, Barry follows the truck to the country bee farm where the worker bees are in “concentration camp” like cages, forced to work and give away their honey.   He is assisted by Mosquito Mooseblood ( Chris Rock.)

Barry decides this is his mission in life – to sue the human race for stealing bee honey.   Naturally Vanessa helps him much to the chagrin of Ken who would still like to squash the bug.

The honey corporation is taken to court with southern attorney Layton T Montgomery ( John Goodman) as the defense.  

Barry soon learns however that all actions have consequences.   Obtaining all the honey rights back, there is soon no need for the bees to work, with no work, there is no pollination, with no pollination, all the flowers die.   There is only one last chance for Barry to make things right.   He and Vanessa have to fly to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and rescue the last living flowers, hijacking a plane and bringing them back to New York, so that his hive can work the pollen.  


The hive is soon happily back at work, busy as bees, and Barry and Vanessa set up a practice for all maligned animal defendants.

Others in the film include Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”), Larry Miller (“The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”) and Rip Torn (“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”) as, respectively, Honex tour guide Trudy; Dean Buzzwell of Winger University, Barry’s alma mater; and Lou Lo Duca, the leader of the select squadron of Top Gunners known as the Pollen Jocks.


As with most animations, the subtext suggestive humor is on an adult level as well as a children’s level and there is some smoking but in all the movie is rated PG.    Most kids will have fun with it despite many of the improbabilities of the story and hopefully they will take away the lesson of cause and effect.   Maybe Barry would have been better off working the honey machine?

For more information about the film go to


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