the studio gate

the backlot

the screening room
The Screening Room
bee movie 

Count me out as one of Jerry Seinfeld's followers. I don't say that to be mean to Jer. I wasn't one of the many who followed his show on a regular basis. The show was very funny the few times I watched it. But I wouldn't say it was a favorite of mine. When it went off the air with a pathetic final show (which I did watch), I wasn't sad. In fact, my life went on. So did Jerry's. The press wondered what Jerry would do next. He laid low for a while, it seemed, and now we have "Bee Movie."

"Bee Movie" is now on DVD in a special 2-disc set and single DVD.

Jerry Seinfeld is a funny guy, doing a schtick that reminds me early Woody Allen. Very New Yorker. So it's unusual to see Seinfeld not only acting as a voice character of Barry B. Benson, but also act as one the screenwriters and producers on "Bee Movie." I would've thought that perhaps Seinfeld would go the early Woody Allen route and make comedies for the big screen. Instead, he became animated.

In the tradition of "Antz," another DreamWorks movie that emphasized the stars over story, "Bee Movie" casts Seinfeld as a bee who wants something more than being just an ordinary worker bee. He finds himself leaving the hive and meeting a pretty flower girl named Vanessa Bloome (Renée Zellweger). One of the bee rules is never let a human hear you talk. Well, Barry is a talker.    

This is a movie where you simply sit back and watch. There are no heavy messages, no crude humor to distract you from the story. You won't dislike "Bee Movie" because it tries to be too clever and cute. It works at just telling a story with some good voicing and good animation. You don't come out of the movie thinking about it afterward like you would "A Bug's Life" (1998). None of "Bee Movie's" characters grab you or make you remember them like "A Bug's Life."  

Similar to "Antz," and yet a million miles different, the characters in "Bee Movie" are much more appealing and drawn better. The roundness and softer overall look to the film makes it easier to watch. I always found myself turned off by the roughness of the "Antz" characters, not to mention the fact I kept paying attention to the star talent on the soundtrack. This movie is not much different. I kept pinpointing the star voices a lot during the film, rather than focusing on the story. Patrick Warburton, for instance, is now the go-to guy for character voicing in animation. His voice is so distinct. I'm sure that kids don't care who's doing the voices. They care about a good time, and this movie does provide it. Being a grown-up sometimes takes the fun out of movies like this, but I'm not the target audience for "Bee Movie."

So Jer does a respectful job in "Bee Movie." It won't set your world on fire, but it'll entertain you for 90-minutes.

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photo: © DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved.

Quick Glimpse


Jerry returns to the public eye in a breezy animated movie

Directors: Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith

Cast: Jerry Seinfeld,
Renée Zellweger, Chris Rock, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Larry King


Music video, games, alternate endings, etc.



Picture: Excellent
Sound: Very Good

Impressive animation

Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

March 11, 2008