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Bee Movie is like its Dreamworks Animation predecessors Antz and Shrek since it makes animals seem more like humans and it has razor-sharp wit that will be understood by more adults than children. Kids will still enjoy Bee Movie (I heard giggling throughout the screening I was at), but there will be a good chunk of laughs going over their heads. As compared to the past animated movies from Dreamworks, Bee Movie is just as intelligent and enjoyable as any of them.

The movie is about Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld), a bee unwilling to conform to his bee society. Bees only live so long (he finishes grade school through college in nine days), and he doesn’t want to spend the remainder of his life working in the same boring job. Surely, we’ve all been there.

One day, he ventures out the hive and interacts with the real world and its people, mainly through a florist (Renee Zelwegger). I don’t want to say much more, because seeing the way the movie zigzags its way through its story (like a bee) is half the fun. (If you’re a cynic, you’re not going to buy into the movie. At all.) To give away anything else plot-wise would be to ruin an experience of joy and humor unlike few movies this year.

It’s pretty simple, and maybe a little obvious: any fan of Seinfeld’s comedy will love Bee Movie, and unfortunately, anyone who hates his comedy will hate it. Actually, the film is only a three-star movie in the technical sense, but the humor elevates it to the level of four-star hilarity. I get a great kick out of Warburton’s voice work, his best for a movie since Emperor’s New Groove, and I also love Seinfeld’s one-liners. I felt at times as if the movie was tailored to my personal tastes.

One critic has complained that the movie won’t be enjoyed by both children and adults. Well, who says an animated movie has to be enjoyed by young ones? Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic are surely not for kids, but they’re art pieces intended for a much older crowd. Hayao Miyazaki’s movies (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) are not rated G for a reason. And what child in its right mind would like Triplets of Belleville? (It’s good but definitely not kid-friendly.)

So if you’re an adult on the outside and a child within (or vice versa), I don’t see why you would dislike Bee Movie. It’s cute, funny, clever, and any other adjective you would use to describe a cartoon you adore. This isn’t the best animated film of the year (the honor of which no doubt goes to the masterpiece Ratatouille), but I loved it in a care-free, forget-what-the-world-is-like-for-a-few-minutes kind of way, which is more than enough to please me.


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