Every Life Has Value
Starring: The Voices of Jerry Seinfeld,
Renée Zellweger, Matthew
Broderick, Chris Rock, Patrick
Warburton, John Goodman, Oprah
Winfrey, Rip Torn, Kathy
Bates, Sting, Ray Liotta,
Barry Levinson, and Larry
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 82 minutes
Director: Simon J. Smith and Steve
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Jerry Seinfeld and Christina
Writer: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike
Ferestein, Barrty Marder, and
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
The story’s protagonist is Barry B. Benson, voiced by Seinfeld, a young bee looking for more to life than just making honey back in the hive. Barry has just graduated from three days of college (after doing three days in high school and three days in grade school – he says he took off one day to travel around the hive). Now he and his friend, Adam, are considering the inevitable bee career in New Hive City. Barry learns, however, that the job he picks is the job he must stick with throughout his whole life, so he rebels.
Barry jumps at the chance to venture out of the hive with the “pollen jocks” who gather the pollen for making honey. Outside in the strange but vibrant big city, Barry accidentally meets Vanessa, a pretty Manhattan florist voiced by Renée Zellweger, who saves Barry’s life from her hyperactive boyfriend, Ken. Barry is determined to thank Vanessa, so he breaks a cardinal rule of beedom: he talks to her. A friendship quickly develops, but Barry is shocked to learn that any human can buy honey at the local grocery store. With help from Vanessa, he sues the human race for stealing bee honey. His lawsuit regrettably has unintended consequences for the whole world.
BEE MOVIE is a clever piece of first-rate entertainment. Though it doesn’t have quite the painterly quality of some of Disney’s Pixar movies, it has plenty of glorious, colorful animation, exhilarating action, and a great story full of fresh, funny characters we haven’t seen before. There is plenty of comedy and action for children and teenagers, and there is also plenty of sharp wit for mature audiences, including parents and grandparents who want to share a day at the movies with their older children and grandchildren.
BEE MOVIE has several positive messages. Barry’s parents have taught him that, when someone does something for you, you have to thank him. That’s what drives Barry to thank Vanessa for saving his life. Though Barry has Romantic desires (he wants to fulfill his personal wishes), he eventually recognizes that there are limits to those desires. In the end, he discovers there is a created balance to life in which the bees, the humans, and every living thing play an important role. Thus, at the climax of the movie, Barry realizes that, though he has his own individuality, he is part of a species that has an important job to fulfill, a job that can only be accomplished by working together. In fact, it can be said that both the bees and the humans come to realize not only that every living thing plays an important role but also that, as Vanessa puts it early in the movie, “Every life has value.”
The content of BEE MOVIE is fairly pristine and winsome. There is no foul language, graphic violence or crude sexual comedy. There is even a reference to the “sweet Lord of bees” and a nod to Christianity when one character makes the Sign of the Cross. At one point, however, a mean character asks Vanessa if Barry the bee is her “bed bug.” There is also a one-word, off-hand reference to “lust” and brief talk about all the bees being related as cousins or distant cousins. Finally, there is a picture of a bee queen with five o’clock shadow, and Barry jokingly refers to that queen as a “drag queen.” Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children.
BEE MOVIE is brilliantly funny family fun for ages 9 to 90. It has glorious, colorful animation, exhilarating action, and a great story full of fresh, funny characters. The movie teaches lessons about gratitude, friendship, working together, and maintaining the balance of nature created by the “sweet Lord of bees,” and of humans. Like the recent family movie THE GAME PLAN, there is no foul language or crude sexual comedy, but a few offhand remarks require caution for younger children.