Bee Movie

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Bee Movie Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Seinfeld comedy is cute fun for the whole family.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 64 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 89 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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.

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bymark897 July 13, 2013

meh

For Seinfeld, I expect better.
not good educational value, as dead flowers don't just perk up when pollinated, bees have more than 2 eyes, and he Barry wou... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byTsion April 4, 2009

Not so good...

BEE MOVIE has an awesome premise, but it is very poorly executed. Renee Zellweger is good, but the film never really suceeds where it intends to.
There is no s... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBarry B Benson September 22, 2016

Cinematic Triumph

Barry clearly inspired me, and the movie touched me on another level. Please respect this wondrous masterpiece - it clearly deserves it! All around amazing fil... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymagicalkinet43 April 7, 2018

Really innapropriate, but I enjoyed it

This movie is about the most inappropriate you can get. I love Barry B. Benson's curvy body. his beautiful hair is so shiny and well washed.

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?

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. 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.

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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