Bee Movie is a 2007 animated family comedy film by DreamWorks Animation and it is one of their most problematic and ridiculous movies, but still one of the most entertaining.
It is about a bee who after an encounter with a human woman tries to change the law in regards to honey profiting and bee usage with disastrous consequences. Okay, so this is definitely an incredibly fun film to watch and it was, at least to me, one of the most unabashedly entertaining films from DreamWorks Animation. I won’t deny that. It was fun, sometimes funny and for once fast-paced in a good sense.
However, entertainment factor does not determine a movie’s greatness and this is certainly the case of such. It is so ridiculous first and foremost in its premise alone but also in its execution. Not only do the endless parade of bee and overall animal puns get annoying, but also the constant hip and childish urge is evident. But the whole third act is just where they went too far. I know this is supposed to be a family film, but even such a movie should not have a sequence in which hundreds of bees lift and maintain an airplane in the air. That was so ridiculous and just plain dumb that it ruined it for me. And the whole speaking between bees and humans is ridiculous as well as the movie’s whole second half which succumbed to the usual over-the-top blockbuster trappings.
The characters are really good, I have to say. Barry was sympathetic to me and although he was a typical modern protagonist for the studio, he was still realistic and a likable creation. Vanessa is really, really good. I liked her character the most probably because she was atypical and quite lovable in her quirky behavior. And the relationship between these two is naturally the highlight. Adam is a stereotype and Ken is an expected Patrick Warburton creation, but he was at least quite funny. Most of the characters are memorable.
The performances are, on the other hand, not as good. They once again went with the celebrities route and it did not work out particularly well for them. Jerry Seinfeld is most definitely the best of the bunch and he suited the role the most. However, not the same can be said for Renee Zellweger who just does not fit for this woman. Yes, she admittedly did a fine job, but her voice is too soft and too calm and I just wished someone else acted Vanessa. But the rest are all solid.
The animation here is nothing praise-worthy and the character design as well as the overall exterior look of the film is an archetypal DreamWorks look. But on the other hand, I did enjoy it as I enjoyed the overall movie experience. I liked its colorful approach and although the use of so much yellow can be annoying to some, I liked it personally and I liked the look of the trees and nature. The humans definitely look similar and the film is not artistic, but at least it is pleasant to watch and it was professionally done.
What I liked about it is the refreshing choice to not use too many modern pop songs this time around. Yes, the score is once again mediocre and certainly forgettable, but at least it isn’t filled with so many annoying songs that DreamWorks is famous for doing. However, the pop-culture references are still present and pretty annoying and the use of puns is admittedly excessive. But it is funny and I liked the humor here as it provided me with a couple of really big laughs. It was an easy territory to go in, but at least it was mildly funny and sometimes quite hilarious.
Bee Movie is up there with ‘The Road to El Dorado‘ in terms of quality which isn’t bad as it means that it is better than their many CGI features from the mid 2000s that were so uninspired and lacking in terms of both entertainment and humor. It isn’t a good film per say, but it certainly isn’t bad either.
It is technically lacking. The brisk pace isn’t particularly annoying and was even enjoyable to me, but the direction is flat, the acting isn’t that good and the animation is pleasant, but not that great. The dialogue is far from sophisticated, but the message is well done. It is a good film for the kids to teach them about bees and their importance, but it is also bad for them because they once again made them unrealistic and too goofy. They should have gone with a more grounded approach and it would have made it much better. It’s also not as emotional as it should have been and the characters, though likable, are still not the ones you root for in a bigger degree. The problem with Bee Movie is also that it is in its execution a forgettable animated film and not just unrealistic, but also too childish and ridiculous.
Bee Movie is such a ridiculous movie not just in its premise but also in its execution, especially of the second half. The humor can be annoying and it is too childish and at times quite dumb, but it is admittedly very funny from time to time and it is also really fun to watch. It is riddled with flaws, but it is still one of the most entertaining DreamWorks films.
My Rating – 3
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