A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn about the seasons and the transition between winter and spring. Nature lessons include where sap comes from.
Themes of friendship, courage, communication, and being open and honest about feelings. Putting differences aside to work as a team.
Positive Role Models
Maya the bee is curious and adventurous. She tries to help where she can but isn't always successful. Though Willi doesn't like adventure he goes along with Maya. He speaks up for himself, is honest, and admits he's scared in some situations. He draws inspiration from Maya. When Maya and Willi save her life, beetle Rhumba convinces her warlord brother, Bumbulus, they don't have to fight their ant enemies and questions the notion of war. Bumbulus apologizes for not respecting other species.
There is a good gender balance throughout the group of characters. The central character is a positive female role model who is enthusiastic and inquisitive. Though she often makes mistakes, she always tries to do the right thing. Most of the voices are provided by White actors, but there is some diversity among the supporting cast.
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Violence & Scariness
Gentle slapstick throughout, like characters standing on glowworms' tails. Some characters fall from heights but have soft landings. Characters push each other. The baddie beetles bicker and their boss behaves like a bully, tripping up their helper. Characters get trapped in a cave. All the insect characters are under threat of being eaten by birds and are occasionally chased. Talk of war between beetles and ants. A character is saved from drowning.
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One use of "stupid." Some potty humor involving burping.
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Products & Purchases
This is the third movie from the franchise, which also includes a TV series, books, and toys.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb is an animated adventure about an adventurous young bee with moments of slapstick action, some peril, and plenty of positive messages. Aimed at preschoolers, it is the third movie from the franchise -- which also has a TV series -- that originally started as a popular German kids' book. Set in a world of insects and bugs, the movie features conflict between ants and beetles, which Maya (voiced by Coco Jack Gillies) and her friend Willi (Benson Jack Anthony) resolve. It has themes of teamwork, friendship, courage, and communication. There is gentle slapstick throughout but also some scenes of mild threat that might worry some. Characters go over a waterfall and one is saved from drowning, Maya and her friends are trapped in a cave, and the characters are all under threat of being eaten by birds. The leader of the beetles declares war on the ants. Maya is a positive character who encourages others. Willi is open about his feelings, admitting he is scared of the situation they are in. There is very mild potty humor -- ants and aphids burp and find it funny -- while one character says "stupid." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This third feature film from the series -- and second from director Noel Cleary -- is a bright, colorful, and cheery adventure for preschoolers. Right from the start, Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb is a fun ride with well established characters that is suitable for newcomers and series fans alike. Maya's world is beautifully animated with a visual flair that surpasses the TV series -- the backgrounds are lavish and lush as the world turns from winter to spring.
Some big themes are tackled but with a light touch that'll keep kids from being overwhelmed or bogged down, and the adventure zips by quickly. Plucky Maya buzzes along merrily, improving things for other insects as she goes, resulting in a feel-good movie that merrily passes the time. While not essential viewing, it'll no doubt delight staunch Maya fans and proves a pleasing time for those just looking for a nice little adventure to enjoy as a family.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.