go, Bee Movie couldn't hold a candle to the Alum
Rock earthquake. Even that event wasn't that great, but
it did bring the San Jose press screening of Jerry Seinfeld's
animated film to a halt. Not even Jerry has much power in
the face of nature.
a cute enough movie, missing the second half has left no
appreciable narrative hole. Walking out of the cancelled
screening, I knew my kids would want to see it, and if nothing
else, we'd catch it eventually on DVD. Maybe that's not
the effect Seinfeld would like.
praise or not, Bee Movie is pleasant enough. The
worst pun in the movie lies in its title. Though the temptation
had to have been great, Seinfeld and his writing team rely
on their jokes coming more from genuine wit and building
a believable environment for their apian characters.
score, they have mixed results. Bee lives seem much like
our own, though thankfully the movie doesn't draw that connection
too painfully. After twenty-four hours of education, the
bees find their place in society, a job that they will follow
for the rest of their lives. Yes, they work to death, but
hey, they do.
only slightly to such actual bee realities, Seinfeld's bees
still have social live and personal relationships. Though
locked in for life, they still have some career choice --
except for being a "pollen jockey," genetically
bred superbees that go out and gather nectar. That they
also make the world go round seems immaterial to them. Of
course, they're bees. Despite their education, what do they
Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld) longs for something more, and
it's his discovery of how the world really works
that makes the story run. Befriending a human florist (Renee
Zellweger), Barry determines that humans exploit bees, and
vows to put a stop to it.
the humor fights itself. In order for an animated film to
be successful (in this country, anyway), it has to have
something for adults, and no kid should understand the references
to The Graduate. Most of the jokes walk a fine
line between family friendly and sailing high over kids'
heads. Yet occasionally a savage streak of black humor jars
the rhythm of the movie. It's funny, but could be upsetting
to younger ones.
be concerned about that? Well, Bee Movie clearly
wants to draw in the kids. Finally, someone has done insect
character designs that are cuddly and bright. Barry's big
eyes will draw in kids emotionally. The Happy Meal toys?
The McCaw household has already caught the bug.
bees have a fairly high mortality rate on top of a short
lifespan. One of Barry's first conversations is about whether
or not he'll attend the funeral of a classmate. Funny for
adults, but kind of cavalier for a society we're meant to
end -- and I haven't seen the end -- Bee Movie
will probaby keep families' attention this weekend, but
an earthquake would still be the most exciting part about