Tuesday, January 1, 2008


(Voices of Jerry Seinfeld & Renee Zellwegger)

For a cartoon movie that has the appearance & humor of early Saturday morning fare aimed at ‘toddler’s only’ – this isn’t that bad. It has Jerry’s clean-cut humor, but without the edge of a ‘Kramer’ (Though Michael Richards does have v/o role) Most of the laughs come early on, but the best line comes near the end from Chris Rock playing a mosquito who becomes a lawyer. “All I needed was a briefcase,” is the punchline.Jerry plays Barry the Bee, who, after 3 days of elementary school, 3 days of high school & 3 days of college has to pick what job he wants to do for the rest of his life. But Barry doesn’t want to spend his entire existence working inside the hive, so a pair of pollen gathering fly boys decide to let him tag along on a trip to the outside world. There’s just one rule he must adhere to – Don’t ever speak to humans.

After being separated from his new pals, Barry is rescued by Gladys (Renee Zellwegger)Since she saved his life, Barry decides to wait until her bee smushing boyfriend leaves & thank Gladys for saving his life. The two hit it off famously until Barry discovers that people have been stealing honey for ages & he decides to sue the human race. 3 Cameos lead to some of the funniest scenes in the movie – Larry King interviews Barry about his lawsuit; Sting is brought into court because he stole his nickname without proper authorization – the courtroom observers are shocked when Barry reveals his real name is Gordon Sumner; & Ray Liotta is put on the stand to defend his right to distribute ‘Ray Liotta Brand Honey’. Matthew Broderick voices Barry’s best bee buddy & John Goodman lends his distinctive vocal chords to the role of the D. A. representing the humans against those menacing insects who sting first & ask questions later...

If you like your animated movies with dazzling, creative artistic wizardry – this isn’t the cartoon movie for you – it is very simply drawn, but like an episode of The Simpsons, it has some neat little perks – My favorite being a newsstand that boasts the headline; ‘BEE GOES BERSERK!’ Then underneath the headline reads, ‘Stings Seven, Then Self’. & speaking of ‘The Simpsons’ – their movie is still #1 among the 5 animated films I’ve seen this year, but The Bee Movie is a clear 2nd choice. The lamest cartoon movie of the year belongs to the one that’s getting most of the accolades; the exceptionally boring ‘Ratattoulie’. Watch a cartoon rat cook food for 90 minutes, ooo-how exciting! Sorry, I like my cartoons to be funny, I could care less how cleverly drawn or computer enhanced they are.

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