Animation and Anime

Capone Reviews BEE MOVIE And Likes It! Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That...

Published at: Nov. 2, 2007, 3:59 a.m. CST

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. ... I guess I’m just surprised. I thought the trailers were pretty bad. I guess I sort of wrote this off, but it sounds like Capone really dug it. Which means I’m going to have to give it a chance. But... more than RATATOUILLE? Really? Bold words, my friend. Bold words.
Hey all. Capone in Chicago here. Alright, I'm just going to say this out load, and you can all pounce on me like an angry swarm of…well, whatever. I liked Bee Movie even more than RATATOUILLE, the film I thought was going to be the gold standard for animated films in 2007. I'm in no way knocking the Pixar masterpiece; in truth, that film had a more interesting story and stunning animation. But, dammit, BEE MOVIE entertained the hell out of me and made me laugh throughout. It just never stops being hilarious. Sure there are 101 dopey bee puns and jokes, but there are also some seriously funny set pieces and visual gags that are as inventive as they are side-splitting. My guess that if you've heard anything about the plot of BEE MOVIE, you probably think this is about a bee named Barry (Jerry Seinfeld, who co-wrote the screenplay) who longs for more than a lifetime of repetitive work in his hive community. He meets a human woman named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger, giving as expressive a performance as I've ever seen her give in a film set in the real world), who teaches Barry about the world outside the worker bee environment. When Barry discovers that humans "steal" honey from his people and sell it for consumption without paying the bees for their trouble, he sues the human race and forces food companies (represented by a rotund Southern attorney, voiced by John Goodman) to stop making products out of honey. That's about as much as I knew about this movie going in. But the winding screenplay goes on from there to show us the consequences of a world in which bees don't feel the need to make honey anymore, and Barry is forced to undo much of what he's done. Casting famous names in animated features can sometimes have disastrous results, but here it works beautifully. Matthew Broderick as Barry's best friend Adam; Kathy Bates and Barry Levinson as Barry's parents; the incomparable Rip Torn as the commander of a pollen-collecting squadron of bees, who are the only ones in the hive who regularly leave it; Chris Rock as a mosquito named Mooseblood; and Patrick Warburton as Vanessa's boyfriend Ken, who gets jealous of the relationship between Barry and his woman. Warburton's performance made me laugh harder than anything about this movie. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ray Liotta playing himself in the film's most inspired running gag. Co-directors Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith do a fantastic job of keeping things moving. But more importantly, they (along with Seinfeld and his writers) do a creative job bringing to life the world the bees inhabit, and showing us what the human world would look like to creatures as tiny and isolated as they are. The animation style isn't meant to look realistic, and that's fine by me. There's a surreal quality to everything, especially the hive's honey production line, the looks of which kind of blew my mind. I never grew tired of watching this movie, and I often found myself marveling at the intricately realized backgrounds and other things going on around the main action. I'll admit, there was a small part of me that wanted to believe there was one realm of entertainment that maybe Jerry Seinfeld wasn't able to conquer, and maybe there is. But he's got the animated movie world sewn up. BEE MOVIE is solid entertainment that in no way panders to the kiddies, but is still loads of fun for all ages. All the film's over promotion may have already made you predisposed to hate it. You can try and resist, but this is just one of those films that's going to win you over. Capone

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 2, 2007, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Patrick Warburton is God

    by Pipple

    At least if God ever had human form, he'd look and sound exactly like the man.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Well since you're saying it...

    by meatygoodness

    "out load". Is it safe to assume anything covered in Capone's load is worth avoiding?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Best DWA movie since Antz, but no Ratatouille

    by filmcoyote

    I liked Bee Movie it is very funny. After years of sinking to ever lower depths of awfulness (the last DWA film i liked was the first Shrek) this one is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. But Capone's lost his marbles if he thinks it matches Ratatouille. Sure, if you only go for the laughs (and there's nothing wrong with that) then i suppose it's probably got more gags but the sheer beauty of characters, storytelling and animation in Ratatouille is something Bee Movie doesn't come close to touching. Still if all DWA movies were this good i'd be happy, they'll never be Pixar but they don't have to be a CGI version of early 1980s Disney either.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    better than ratatouille ?

    by Astrosquall

    I guess you're not going to say it sucks after those interviews but I will say it, it sucks. (I haven't seen it btw, but it looks like a video game)

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 7:01 a.m. CST

    This is better than Ratatouille?

    by council estate scumbag

    You have to be having a laugh. I'm sure it'll be as good as Antz (which it reminds me of) or the earlier DW animations, but I wouldn't put in in the same league as Ratatouille, and I say that without having even SEEN Bee-Movie yet! Come on, behave yourself, fella. Next you'll be saying Bluth's Rock-A-Doodle is better than Pixar's Incredibles. Can't believe the review I've just read. And I'm not even high yet. Whats the world coming to?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Ratatouille...

    by Osmosis Jones

    ...when did Pixar start cheaping out by releasing 1-disc versions of their movies without even any commentaries? I *still* don't own Cars because I was sure a 2-disc set would have come out just before Ratatouille.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    a Jew suing somebody

    by c4andmore

    how original

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Please read a little more carefully

    by ShadowMaker

    All the man is saying is: "I liked Bee Movie even more than RATATOUILLE" - that's not the same thing as "it's a better movie" The next line is:" in truth, that film had a more interesting story and stunning animation" So all he is saying is that he had a better time while watching it. Relax a little, it's almost like you guys have got a bee up your pants or something.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST

    pipple...

    by greyspecter

    if he's God why can't he find a better sitcom than one populated by David Spade?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 9 a.m. CST

    "it sucks. (I haven't seen it btw..)"

    by scumbag

    lol. If there's a quote more representative of aintitcool talkbackers I'm yet to read it.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The Critics have spoken (and it aint great)

    by Fish Tank

    See RottenTomatoes.com

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    WHATS THE DEAL WITH BEE MOVIE?

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 9:21 a.m. CST

    I liked Ratatouille

    by Vergil

    I really did. The animation was, indeed, perhaps the best ever created. Nice little story too. But people seem to think it is one of the greatest movies ever made. Entertainmentwise, I'd put it on par with The Incredibles, but on a lower tier than Toy Story II or Finding Nemo. I thinks it's one of those movies where, since it is universally well liked, people automatically increase the retoric on how MUCH they liked it. Yet in later years, I think it will become less memorable and settle in its correct place in the mental rankings of moviegoers.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Osmosis

    by Frijole

    Special Editions ARE forthcoming... but they may be a little while. Apparently Disney did research that showed that less than 10% of people that purchase animated movies in the first month of their release on DVD are even interested in the extras. Sad truth is that most sales are from parents who just want something new to plop their rugrats in front of for 90 minutes. So, the initial releases of all new Disney animated and Pixar movies will now be bare-bones. 1) to facilitate an earlier release to meet the market demand and 2) to give the filmmakers (who, without fail, want to make the special editions of their babies as packed and thorough as is humanly possible for the actual adult animation fans and collector's markets)time to pull out all the stops.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Shocking!

    by christian66

    Whoda thunk Capone would like this cookie-cutter soulless joke fest?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Would a "trailer" for TV's Seinfeld show seem funny

    by eraser_x

    to someone who hasn't seen the show before? I don't know the answer. All I know is that the trailers for "Bee Movie" do not seem funny at all. Hopefully, that's just because Seinfeld's humor is un-trailerable (although I'm kind of skeptical about that hope).

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST

    So, the bees become "masters of their own domain?!?"

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Sounds painful!

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    The bee takes the humans to court?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Because kids love movies about litegation. We need more courtroom comedies.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I AM SO GLAD TO HEAR THIS

    by dr sauch

    I had high hopes for this movie from the fist live action trailers with Spielberg (btw, my computer auto-corrected my misspelling of spielbergs name, the guy is in the fucking dictionary) and Seinfeld. I've heard nothing but people saying how this was going to suck , and I am so happy that Capone (who I've never disagreed with) loved it. Can't wait to see it.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Patrick Warburton ROCKS

    by Mike_D

    they need to make a "The Tick" feature with him in it.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Fish Tank

    by AdrianVeidt

    Rotten Tomatoes also said that The Descent was a 91% and I've never seen a shittier movie. If you listen to Rotten Tomatoes for all your movies, then you aren't thinking for yourself one fucking bit.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    plant.

    by JacksonsPole

    i've heard nothing. i mean, nothing. that says this film is anything more than a confused pile of crap. those mini tv spots jerry seinfeld has been running in connection with bee movie have been horrible. and i don't care what capone says, i won't be watching this movie any time soon...

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST

    cinematical review: bee movie

    by JacksonsPole

    Here's the biggest problem most folks will have with Bee Movie: It's not Ratatouille. Both films have a lot in common with one another, except the latter is far greater in terms of story, character and overall charm. And if Ratatouille hadn't arrived only a few short months ago, I might have felt differently about Bee Movie. Instead, I walked away feeling a bit jaded, expecting more from a man who had entertained me for so many years on one of my favorite television shows of all time. But that's not to say Bee Movie is a bad film; it will most certainly entertain the youngsters with its colorful, larger-than-life spirit, and there are enough adult-orientated gems scattered throughout to make it worthy of your family's hard-earned cash. But when your kids turn to you and whisper, "I liked the one with the rat better," don't say I never told you so. If you're not aware of this film by now, then I'd seriously take a look around because you might, quite literally, be living in a bubble. The film is co-written by, produced by and stars the voice of Jerry Seinfeld, and the man has been buzzing "Pssst ... Bee Movie -- pass it on ...) in our ears for months. When he wasn't dressed up in a giant bee costume, hanging from a construction crane in France, he was promoting the film through commercials, television shows. From what I hear, several people claim the man actually entered their dreams at one point to promote Bee Movie. It's been nearly a decade since Seinfeld (the television show) ended, and it might take another 10 years for the man to do something else. Problem is, after Bee Movie, I'm not sure we'd mind. The weakest part of Bee Movie is its story (penned by Seinfeld and Spike Fereston). Like so many of the animated animal characters that have come before him, Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld) is an ordinary bee who longs to learn about life outside the hive. Upset that he's graduated college with one job prospect (and only one, for a bee that is) -- making honey -- Barry, against the advice of his best neurotic pal Adam (Matthew Broderick), decides to risk one flight with the pollen jocks (a group of hard-edged, macho pollen collectors) and sets out into the world of New York City. But Barry soon gets thrown off his path -- in a dizzying, yet magnificent-looking flying sequence -- only to wind up in the apartment of Vanessa (Renée Zellweger) and her "I YELL WHEN I SPEAK FOR SOME REASON " boy ... friend Ken (Seinfeld alum Patrick Warburton, doing the exact same voice he performs on Family Guy). Following your standard "human freaks out when the animal speaks" sequence, the two become best buds, share a few awkward (and creepy) sexual tension silences, and ... that's about it. When Barry discovers that humans steal honey for mass distribution, he gets pissed, gets help from Vanessa and sues the entire human race. But does he have a case? The problem with Barry and Vanessa's relationship is that, unlike Ratatouille, they don't need one another. Vanessa isn't anything special -- she's confident in being a florist, loves what she does -- and Barry's arrival is more of a headache than a blessing in disguise. You'd think Barry might need Vanessa to help him sue the entire human race, but the film never shows us that -- before you know it, we're in a courtroom filled with bees and humans, and Barry argues his case to a sloppy, Southern cliche-ridden prosecutor (John Goodman) and room full of people who, conveniently, have no problem with the fact that these bees all talk. But it's a cartoon; we get that, and so these little tidbits just annoy those of us who expect more from folks like Seinfeld. But he does give us some fun stuff in between, enough to rise this little flick up near the top of the year's best animated films (though its competition wasn't all that strong). The most enjoyable scenes to watch take place inside the hive, in a world popping with pastel, where Barry argues with his parents (Kathy Bates and director Barry Levinson), clowns around with Adam and explores the inner-workings of Honex; the hive's honey-producing corporation. Seinfeld manages to sprinkle a fair amount of bee-ish humor throughout (including one exchange where his parents wonder if Barry is dating a wasp -- get it?), and, surprisingly, it's a cameo performance from Chris Rock (playing a blood-sucking mosquito on a never-ending quest to find his next fix) that steals the show. Rock should stick with animation; he's ten-times funnier at it than in live action flicks. Visually, the film looks good but it still doesn't shine as bright as Pixar. One scene in particular, in which Barry is stuck to a tennis ball that's smacked across a court, stands out as one of the best, but there's nothing here we haven't seen before in a variety of other animated flicks. Still, Bee Movie will entertain, it will make a lot of money at the box office, and it will teach the little ones a little something about mother nature. Interestingly enough, Vanessa's flower shop in the film is located on 67th street and Columbus Avenue in New York City. On that same corner, in real life, stands a building that houses ABC, who are owned by Disney. Is there a message there? Was Seinfeld trying to say that he wished his film could've been made by Pixar? I'm sure we'll never know ...

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I guess Capone is Kyle...

    by tme2nsb

    and this movie is Cartman's balls. Everything imaginary is real.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Osmosis Jones-about the 1-discs

    by tme2nsb

    One word: Blu-Ray. Read the article at http://www.jimhillmedia.com

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    WHATS THE DEAL WITH 1 DISCS?

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 3:37 p.m. CST

    WHATS THE DEAL WITH CARTMANS BALLS?

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

    THEY WERE DRY AND NOW THEIR WET! WHATS THE DEAL WITH THAT?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    WHATS THE DEAL WITH AINT IT COOL NEWS?

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

    HALF THEIR NEWS ISNT COOL! WHATS THE DEAL WITH THAT?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    WHATS THE DEAL WITH AINT IT COOL NEWS?

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

    HALF THEIR NEWS ISNT COOL! WHATS THE DEAL WITH THAT?

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    IM PRETTY SURE THIS IS CALLED TROLLING

    by aicndoesntwantmorecowbell

    so maybe i should stop

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more...

    by bswise

    ...the over marketing has predisposed me to hate this film, now and forever.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST

    What bswise said.

    by Harry Weinstein

    Just say no to saturation marketing.

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST

    JacksonsPole

    by Jonas Grumpy

    Apparently you missed Gene Shalit's review on NBC's "Today" this morning. The man loves his puns, and this review was no exception. (BTW, he liked the movie - for what that's worth.)

  • Nov. 2, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Barry B. Benson

    by Jonas Grumpy

    I'm assuming Jerry's character in this film has the last name "Benson," simply because Jerry was on that old Robert Guillaume sitcom (the name of which escapes me)? Or am I overthinking this?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:02 a.m. CST

    As long as Brock Samson is in this

    by Napoleon Park

    I'm down with it.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Overadvertised to the point of consumer apathy

    by gruntybear

    Because of the 10 kajillion ad spots touting this stupid Seinfeld animated movie that have been coming at me nonstop for the past 4 weeks, my interest in "The Bee Movie" is now absolutely fucking zero. Congrats, ad geniuses - you officially oversold me straight into total apathy. I don't feel as though I EVER need to see this movie, since I've had at least 90 minutes of my life stolen already from Seinfeld's softly cynical anthropomorphic bee vehicle. F-to the-UCK you, very much.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST

    This One Kinda Stings

    by Maui

    Not that great and enough of Patrick Warburton already. Geez! Simply can't compare Ratatouille to this flick. Ratatouille is a masterpiece, Bee Movie, well it just buzzes along in a very boring fashion. Story is incredibly lame. Kidlets will enjoy - but the adults, bleh.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Did you see the Today Show?

    by tme2nsb

    That---was---unbee-able---.

  • This gets better every day. Has Jerry "Jumped the Couch?"

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 9:14 p.m. CST

    But in 20 years, will 'Bee Movie' still hold up?

    by Det. John Kimble

    PIXAR is playing the long game.