Bee Movie

  • Review Date: March 9, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Seinfeld comedy is cute fun for the whole family.
  • Review Date: March 9, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The bees at first rally together to reclaim their own honey but later realize their pivotal role in keeping the environment beautiful. Barry initially blows off his responsibilities in the hive but learns how important even the smallest job can be. Vanessa sticks up for Barry (before she even knows he can talk) and saves him from getting squashed, asserting the value of every creature's life. Ken behaves very childishly, but it's all played for laughs.

Violence & scariness

Barry imagines Vanessa crashing and blowing up. He also has a terrifying flight across Manhattan in which he's almost killed several times. Bugs on a windshield are wiped away for good (some already dead, some still alive). Bees in a honey farm are gassed with smoke by beekeepers.

Sexy stuff

Barry daydreams about Vanessa; he and Vanessa spend a lot of time together, but they never have more than an interspecies friendship. Some mild innuendo that kids likely won't get (there is a joke about drag queens, for example). Some jokes based on the idea of interspecies dating.

Language

Mild: a mosquito makes a lawyer joke about blood-sucking parasites.

Consumerism

New York Post, Daily Variety, Timberland boots are all mentioned/featured. Lots of brand-name honey is featured, but all of the brands are fictional.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A passerby's unpleasant cigarette smoke inspires Barry's defense in his legal case. Billowing smoke from beekeepers' smoke guns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this has been one of the most aggressively marketed animated movies in recent history. Jerry Seinfeld has left no promotional stone unturned, so chances are that if you've had NBC on in the house for more than 20 minutes, your kids have seen a commercial for this movie. The good news is that it's a film that even preschoolers can follow, and while there are a few tense moments (mostly involving Barry's pell-mell flights through Manhattan), there are no overarching villains or monsters -- or even that many pop-culture references to frighten or confuse kids. There are still a few jokes that will go over little heads, but they're mostly about things like being "Beeish" (the insect equivalent of being Jewish), Larry King, and the boredom of working too hard. Oh, and a mosquito makes a blood-sucking lawyer joke.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Barry Benson (Jerry Seinfeld), who has just graduated from bee college, is horrified to learn that he must pick his life-long job as a worker bee and will never get a day off. But then he gets the chance to leave the hive and ends up flying into the apartment of sweet-natured florist Vanessa Bloome (Renee Zellweger), who saves him from being smooshed by her cocky boyfriend (Seinfeld vet Patrick Warburton). In addition to the interspecies crush that Barry develops on Vanessa, he finds out, to his disgust, that humans flagrantly consume honey -- the nectar his kind toil their entire lives to produce -- in everything from lip balm to tea sweeteners. At that point the comedy takes a slight backseat to a bit of courtroom drama (presided by an Oprah Winfrey-voiced judge), wherein the bees sue the honey corporations.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Anyone who watches NBC, occasionally eats at McDonald's, or glances at a newspaper's arts and leisure section knows that BEE MOVIE is Jerry Seinfeld's labor of love. He's worked hard promoting the honey out of the picture. But because Seinfeld has left no marketing tool unused, the film falls slightly below expectations. The humor is there (Seinfeld is a gifted comedian, even in the form of his alter ego, animated bee Barry Benson), and the story is original, but the animation isn't nearly as amazing as Pixar's, and only a couple of characters get major laughs.

If you're looking for a sweet and easy film that even the youngest member of your tribe will enjoy, this is a safe bet. But if you're expecting a Seinfeld-like laughfest with out-of-this-world animation and a catchy soundtrack, it's not quite that buzzworthy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what made kids want to see this movie -- the story or all the ads and product tie-ins. Was it "buzzworthy" of all the marketing hype? What parts of the movie are intended to appeal to kids, and which ones are meant for adults? How can you tell? Families can also discuss why the bees, particularly Barry, wanted their honey returned. Kids: What were the consequences of this? What did you learn about bees and nature? Does honey seem more important now than before you saw the film?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 1, 2007
DVD release date:March 10, 2008
Cast:Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew Broderick, Renee Zellweger
Directors:Simon J. Smith, Steve Hickner
Studio:DreamWorks
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Bugs, Friendship
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.

This review of Bee Movie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLissaNicky March 30, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Human + Bee + Love = ???????????

Who falls in love with a bee???? how is that a good role model for little kids? besides that i thought it was cheesy, stupid, and I didn't laugh once
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 9 years old October 11, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
I liked this movie when i saw it in the movies but if you have younger kids who like winnie the pooh Do not let them see this movie as pooh gets shot (Traquilized) and i may take a bit to explain that the gun makes it have sweet dreams! but other than that is a good movie
Parent Written byrmama10 April 21, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Suicide joke not funny

I did not like the "suicide pact" comment by the bee.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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