Bee Movie

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For the video game based on the film, see Bee Movie Game.
Bee Movie
Bee movie ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Narrated by Jim Cummings
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Edited by Nick Fletcher
Production
company
DreamWorks Animation
Columbus 81 Productions[1]
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 2, 2007 (2007-11-02)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150 million[2]
Box office $287,594,577[2]

Bee Movie is a 2007 American computer animated family comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It stars Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.

Bee Movie is the first motion-picture script to be written by Seinfeld, who co-wrote it with Spike Feresten, Barry Marder, and Andy Robin. The film was directed by Simon J.Smith and Steve Hickner and produced by Seinfeld, Christina Steinberg and Cameron Stevning. The production was designed by Alex McDowell, and Christophe Lautrette was the art director. Nick Fletcher was the supervising editor and music for the film was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams.

The cast and crew include some veterans of Seinfeld's long-running NBC sitcom Seinfeld, including writer/producers Feresten and Robin, and actors Michael Richards (Seinfeld character Cosmo Kramer), Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld character David Puddy), and Larry Miller (who plays the title character on the Seinfeld episode "The Doorman"). Coincidentally, NBC was host to the broadcast television premiere of the film on November 27, 2010.[3]

Plot[edit]

Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) has recently graduated from college and is about to enter the hive's Honex Industries honey-making workforce. With his best friend Adam Flayman (Matthew Broderick), Barry is initially very excited, but his latent non-conformist attitude emerges upon finding out that his choice of job will never change once picked. Eventually, both bees choose to become Pollen Jocks, whose job it is to gather the pollen that honey is made from. While on his first pollen-gathering expedition, Barry wanders off to a nearby city and ends up at a flower shop run by human Vanessa (Renée Zellweger). Upon noticing Barry, Vanessa's boyfriend Ken (Patrick Warburton) attempts to swat him, but Vanessa instead safely catches and releases him outside the window, saving him.

Barry later returns to express his gratitude to Vanessa, breaking the sacred rule that bees are not supposed to communicate with humans. Against both of their expectations, Barry and Vanessa develop an instant bond, bordering on attraction, and start hanging out together frequently. Of course, all of their friends and family are upset by this relationship, especially Ken, who jealously attacks Barry with a makeshift flamethrower, though Barry escapes unscathed. Angered by Ken's actions, Vanessa breaks up with him and orders him to leave, much to his dismay.

Later, while Barry and Vanessa are going through a grocery store, Barry is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bees' honey for centuries and decides to journey to Honey Farms, which supplies the grocery store with its honey. Outraged at the poor treatment of the bees in the hive, including the use of bee smokers to subdue the colony, Barry resolves to sue the human race to put an end to the exploitation of bees. At the trial, the defense attorney Layton T. Montgomery (John Goodman) antagonizes Adam into stinging him, jeopardizing the bees' credibility and putting Adam's life in danger, though he manages to survive. However, Barry ultimately wins the trial by exposing the jury to the harsh treatment bees are subjected to, particularly the smoker, and bees are exempted from having to make honey for humans ever again.

Despite having lost the trial, Montgomery angrily warns Barry that this will result a bad shift in the balance of nature. As it turns out, the sudden, massive stockpile of honey has put every bee out of a job, including the vitally important Pollen Jocks. As a result of this, without anything to pollinate them, the world's flowers slowly begin to die out. Before long, the only ones left with healthy pollen are those at Vanessa's shop, which are loaded onto a plane to be delivered to the bees so they can re-pollinate the world's flowers. Vanessa, with Barry's help, is forced to fly the plane, and the other bees rally and gather at the landing site to help guide the plane down.

Armed with the pollen of the last flowers, Barry and the Pollen Jocks manage to reverse the damage and save the world's flowers, restarting the bees' beloved honey production. Nothing is mentioned about the fate of companies like Honey Farms, though humans and bees are seen treating each other visibly better, and honey is now supposed to be "bee-approved". Barry becomes a member of the Pollen Jocks while Adam is working as a krelman, helping to pollinate the plants while running a law firm inside Vanessa's flower shop, as well as helping Vanessa, switching the name from "Vanessa's Flowers" to "Vanessa & Co: Flowers, Honey, Music, and Legal Advice". As the film closes, his office door reads "Insects at Law". Mooseblood, a mosquito friend of Barry's, works in his office with him as a lawyer (stating that he is already a bloodsucking parasite and only needed a briefcase), which is shown when Barry is interviewing a cow about the human exploitation of her milk.

Voice cast[edit]

Cast notes[edit]

Megan Mullally originally voiced the Queen of the Hive and had even recorded her lines; but this character was cut from the film. Seinfeld still wanted her to have a part in the movie, so he gave her the role of the Honex Tour Guide. At one point, Uma Thurman, Rebecca Soler, Lisa Kudrow, David Letterman, and Raven-Symoné were all attached to the film, but they dropped out for various reasons.[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

Bee Movie
Film score by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Released October 30, 2007
Genre Score
Length 44:56
Label RCA Records
Rupert Gregson-Williams film scores chronology
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
(2007)
Bee Movie
(2007)
Made of Honor
(2008)

All music composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, except as noted.

Track listing:[5]
No. Title Performer Length
1. "Graduation"     3:13
2. "Honex"     2:48
3. "The Pollen Jocks"     1:32
4. "Barry Flies Out"     5:34
5. "Vanessa Intervenes"     2:01
6. "Sugar, Sugar"   The Archies 2:46
7. "Assault on Honey Farms"     2:33
8. "Ken"     2:28
9. "Barry Turns the Screws"     3:12
10. "Monty Slanders and Adam Stings"     2:12
11. "Hearts, Flowers and Hive Closures"     2:34
12. "Honey Round Up"     1:38
13. "Rooftop Consequences"     1:50
14. "Land That Plane"     6:39
15. "Here Comes the Sun"   Sheryl Crow 2:59
16. "Thinkin' Bee" (iTunes bonus track) Jerry Seinfeld & Matthew Broderick 0:57
Total length:
44:56

Marketing[edit]

Trailers[edit]

Two teaser trailers were released for the film that feature Seinfeld dressed in a bee costume, trying to shoot the film in live-action. Eddie Izzard portrays the direction agent, and Steven Spielberg suggests to Seinfeld in the second trailer to just do it as a cartoon. Upon the release of the first trailer, it was announced that three of the live-action teasers would be released in total.[6] In the second trailer, Steven Spielberg is taking a picture of himself and an assistant director, referencing the camera gag Ellen DeGeneres pulled on him during the 79th Academy Awards. After Seinfeld fails to do scenes in live-action, Spielberg suggests Seinfeld that the film can just be made as a cartoon. One of the crew members announce that the film is a cartoon, having the crew leave the stage studio. The trailer finally shows the movie as an animated CGI feature. Also in the second trailer, the bear that jumps out at Barry is Vincent the Bear from Over the Hedge, another DreamWorks Animation SKG movie.[7][8]

The third trailer was released with Shrek the Third, but this was an animated teaser. The fourth trailer was released on the Bee Movie official website, and revealed most of the film's plot.[9] In addition, two weeks before the release, NBC aired 22 behind-the-scenes skits called "Bee Movie TV Juniors," all of which are staged and tongue-in-cheek in nature.[10] The popular internet site Gaia Online featured a great deal of promotional material for the film.[11]

Books[edit]

Ten books were released for the film: Bee Movie: The Story Book,[12] Bee Movie: The Honey Disaster,[13] The Art of Bee Movie,[14] Bee Movie: Deluxe Sound Storybook,[15] Bee Movie (Ultimate Sticker Books),[16] Bee Movie (I Can Find It),[17] Bee Movie: The Junior Novel,[18] Bee Movie: What’s the Buzz?,[18] Bee Movie Mad Libs,[19] and Bee Movie: Bee Meets Girl.[20]

Video game[edit]

A video game titled Bee Movie Game was released on October 30, 2007 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS.[21]

Home media[edit]

Bee Movie was released on DVD on March 11, 2008 in both fullscreen and widescreen formats and a 2-disc special edition DVD. The single-disc extras include Inside The Hive: The Cast of Bee Movie featurette, Tech of Bee Movie featurette, We Got The Bee music video, Meet Barry B. Benson feature, interactive games, and more.[22] The special edition DVD extras will includes all that, along with a filmmaker commentary, alternate endings, lost scenes with commentary, the live action trailers, and Jerry's Flight Over Cannes.[23] HD DVD version was cancelled after the demise of HD DVD.[24] Paramount released the movie on Blu-ray Disc on May 20, 2008.[25]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Bee Movie received mixed reviews from critics. The film holds a 51% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 169 reviews with an average rating of 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Bee Movie has humorous moments, but its awkward premise and tame delivery render it mostly forgettable."[26] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 54 based on 34 reviews.[27]

Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "After Shrek the Third '​s flatulence jokes, the return of that Seinfeldian wit brings animation up a level."[28] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It's on the easygoing level of Surf's Up, and a full tick up from, say, Over the Hedge or The Ant Bully. But given the Seinfeld pedigree it's something of a disappointment."[29] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three out of four stars, saying "At its relaxed best, when it's about, well, nothing, the slyly comic Bee Movie is truly beguiling."[29] Desson Thomson of The Washington Post said, "Bee Movie feels phoned in on every level. The images, usually computer animation's biggest draw, are disappointingly average. And as for the funny stuff, well, that's where you were supposed to come in."[30] A.O. Scott of the New York Times gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "The most genuinely apian aspect of Bee Movie is that it spends a lot of its running time buzzing happily around, sniffing out fresh jokes wherever they may bloom."[29] Claudia Puig gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Bee Movie is certainly not low-budget, but it has all the staying power and creative value of a B-movie. The secret life of bees, as told by Seinfeld, is a bore with a capital B."[29] Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film three stars out of four, saying "Bee Movie is not Shrek, and it is not Ratatouille either (by far the standout computer-animated feature of the year). But it has enough buzzing wit and eye-popping animation to win over the kids—and probably more than a few parents, too."[31] Richard Roeper gave the film a positive review, saying "This is a beautifully animated, cleverly executed, warm and funny adventure."[29]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying "All of this material, written by Seinfeld and writers associated with his television series, tries hard, but never really takes off. We learn at the outset of the movie that bees theoretically cannot fly. Unfortunately, in the movie, that applies only to the screenplay. It is really, really, really hard to care much about a platonic romantic relationship between Renee Zellweger and a bee, although if anyone could pull it off, she could."[32] Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film three out of four stars, saying "The vibe is loose-limbed and fluky, and the gags have an extra snap that's recognizably Seinfeldian. If I believed in a sitcom afterlife, I'd swear the whole thing was cooked up by Kramer and George's dad."[33] Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Watching this pun-filled cartoon is like falling into a tray of children's watercolors—the warm end, where oranges and yellows and ambers wave."[34] Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "The movie has some pretty pictures and a few good jokes, but not nearly enough. And the story suffers from sitcom attention-deficit disorder, veering off in a new direction every half-hour or so."[29] David Botti of Newsweek said, "What I like about Bee Movie is its comfy, off-the-cuff charm: unlike a lot of animated family entertainment, it's not all Thwack Smash Kaboom."[35] Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Bee Movie doesn't touch the bar raised so high by Pixar, but it creates a little buzz of its own."[36] Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Bee Movie is a cute movie. Not that there's anything ... well, you know the rest. But cute is not what adults expect from Jerry Seinfeld, although children will be delighted."[37]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in second place to American Gangster, but its gross of $38,021,044 had it more in line with the studios' lowest-grossing features, such as Shark Tale. The film had an average of $9,679 from 3,928 theaters.[38] In its second weekend, the film held well with a 33% drop to $25,565,462 and claiming the top spot, resulting in a $6,482 average from expanding to 3,944 theaters.[39] Its widest release was 3,984 theaters, and closed on February 14, 2008 after 104 days of release, grossing $126,631,277 domestically along with an additional $160,963,300 overseas for a worldwide total of $287,594,577.[2] Produced on a $150 million budget, the film was a moderate box office success worldwide, but it was a disappointment in the United States and is DreamWorks Animation's third lowest-grossing computer-animated film to date.[40] It was #3 in the UK Box office (behind Enchanted and The Golden Compass).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Bee Movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 65th Golden Globe Awards.[41]

Barry B. Benson was the announcer for Best Animated Short on the Oscars for 2008. But beforehand, he showed the audience some of his "prior" roles, including every bee in the swarm in The Swarm.[42]

Awards
Award Category Name Outcome
35th Annie Awards Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Nominated
Annie Award for Best Animation Production Artist Michael Isaak
Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production Rupert Gregson-Williams
Annie Award for Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Athanassios Vakalis
Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Patrick Warburton
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Animated Feature
Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing - SFX, Foley, Dialogue & ADR for Feature Film Animation Michael Silvers
Will Files
Luke Dunn Gielmuda
J.J. George
Scott Guitteda
Kyrsten Mate Comoglio
Robert Shoup
Shannon Mills
Steve Slanec
Kevin Crehan
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie
Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie Jerry Seinfeld
Producers Guild of America Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Jerry Seinfeld
Christina Steinerg
Young Artist Awards Best Family Feature Film (Animation)

Lawsuits[edit]

Beebylon vs. DreamWorks[edit]

Bee Movie is alleged to be similar to a concept developed in 2000 by a team of Swedish animation students, which they claim was presented to DreamWorks in 2001 under the name Beebylon. The animation students say DreamWorks rejected the idea, on the basis of it being "too childish." When Bee Movie was announced in 2003, the students claim they once again contacted DreamWorks to make sure the movie was not similar to their original concept, and was given a reassuring answer. When one of the members of the Beebylon team saw a trailer of the movie in 2007, he found it to be extremely similar and attempted to find a U.S. lawyer who could represent them. Jerry Seinfeld rejected the plagiarism claims during his PR tour for Bee Movie in Sweden. "I'm doing my best not to laugh and I'm taking it as serious as I can. But it's a little bit hard. It is entirely possible that somebody else came up with an idea about making a movie about bees. I knew nothing of this until this very morning and I hope they are not too upset."[43][44][45][46][47][48]

Beeceuticals vs. DreamWorks[edit]

A Florida-based cosmetics company called Beeceuticals filed a lawsuit over the use of their trademarked phrase "Give Bees a Chance".[49][50] The suit between the parties was settled out of court.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCarthy, Todd (October 28, 2007). "Review: ‘Bee Movie’". Variety. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bee Movie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ NBC 2010 Holiday Programming Announced. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
  4. ^ "Bee-Movie - Cast, Crew, Director and Awards - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Bee Movie (Music from the Motion Picture) (Bonus Track Version)". iTunes. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Apple, Inc. "Apple - Trailers - Bee Movie - Teaser 1 - Large". Trailers.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Bee Movie Trailer #2 Revealed | /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  8. ^ Ziebarth, Christian (September 14, 2007). "Bee Movie Fun Facts". Animated Views. Retrieved September 11, 2014. Vincent the bear from Over the Hedge appears in both a trailer for Bee Movie and in the courtroom scene in the film. 
  9. ^ Apple, Inc. "Apple - Trailers - Bee Movie - Trailer 3 - Large". Trailers.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  10. ^ Franich, Darren. "'Bee Movie TV Juniors': I mean WHAT is the DEAL with THESE?! | PopWatch | EW.com". Popwatch.ew.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  11. ^ Forum :: Main Index | Gaia Online
  12. ^ Bee Movie: The Movie Storybook - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  13. ^ Bee Movie: The Honey Disaster - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  14. ^ The Art of Bee Movie - Jerry Beck - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  15. ^ "Bee Movie: Deluxe Sound Storybook by Justine Fontes | 9780696233845 | Interactive Book | Barnes & Noble". Barnesandnoble.com. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  16. ^ "Bee Movie Ultimate Sticker Book by DK Publishing | 9780756632144 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  17. ^ Don Curry (Editor) (2007-10-02). "Bee Movie (I Can Find It): Don Curry: 9780696233852: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  18. ^ a b &#8250 Stacia Deutsch (2007-09-18). "Bee Movie: The Junior Novel: Susan Korman: 9780061251788: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  19. ^ Bee Movie Mad Libs - Leonard Stern, Roger Price, RICHARD PRICE - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  20. ^ Bee Movie: Bee Meets Girl - Scout Driggs - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  21. ^ Powell, John (October 24, 2007). "'Q&A with 'Bee Movie Game' producer". G4 Canada. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
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  28. ^ Smith, Kyle (2007-11-02). "Jerry 'Bee' Good". NYPOST.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Bee Movie - Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  30. ^ "Bumbling 'Bee Movie' Needs More of Jerry". Washingtonpost.com. 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
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  34. ^ "Bee Movie is bee-dazzling!". NY Daily News. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  35. ^ David Ansen (2007-11-01). "Ansen on Bee Movie – Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  36. ^ Macdonald, Moira (2007-11-02). "Entertainment & the Arts | A little bit of buzz for Bee Movie | Seattle Times Newspaper". Community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
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  42. ^ Franich, Darren (2008-02-25). "PopWatch Petition: Enough 'Bee Movie' product placement already! | PopWatch | EW.com". Popwatch.ew.com. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  43. ^ Translated from Swedish (original quote not given): "Jag försöker att inte skratta och tar det så allvarligt jag kan. Men det är lite svårt. Det är fullt möjligt att någon annan kommit på en idé att göra en film om bin. Jag visste inget om detta imorse och hoppas att de inte är alltför upprörda. De borde försöka göra en egen film." Seinfelds skämt blev film (Swedish)
  44. ^ "Seinfeld förnekar plagiat av filmidé (Swedish)". Sydsvenskan.se. 2007-11-27. Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  45. ^ "Har Stephen Spielberg stulit en svensk filmidé? (Swedish)". Sr.se. 2005-06-03. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  46. ^ "Svenskar anklagar Spielberg för stöld (Swedish)". Aftonbladet.se. 2005-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  47. ^ "Henrik anklagar Spielberg för stöld (Swedish)". .aftonbladet.se. 2005-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  48. ^ "Seinfeld ler av svensk søksmål (Norwegian)". Aftenposten.no. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  49. ^ 9:19 am EST November 7, 2007 (2007-11-07). "'Bee Movie' Makers Sued Over Use Of Slogan - Entertainment News Story - WRTV Indianapolis". Theindychannel.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  50. ^ ""Bee Movie" Hit With Not-So-Sweet Lawsuit // Archives // ecorazzi.com :: the latest in green gossip". Ecorazzi.com. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  51. ^ Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Settle `Bee Movie' Slogan Suit Retrieved September 20, 2008

External links[edit]