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I'm a huge Seinfeld fan, in my book, it goes The Simpsons, then Seinfeld as my all-time favorite TV shows. So I was a little excited when I heard he was finally creating something new, even if it was another computer-animated family film about insects. The film does have some of that Seinfeld humor, but it also has a lot of standard, family style jokes that don't really stand out. The film is the same way, a few stand out moments, a lot of average, forgettable bits. It has the standard kid movie plot of a character figuring out who they are.

Seinfeld plays Barry B. Benson, who has just graduated from Bee college, and is about to go into the only business available to him, Honex, where they make honey. He gets only one real choice in life, which job he wants; he can stir the honey, clean the honey, take care of the drips, and a hundred other things, all revolving around honey. After he makes that decision, he's stuck with it until he dies. While it's nothing for every bee around him, for some reason he can't bring himself to make the choice. He wants to try live more first, but mostly he wants out of the hive, to see the world.

His chance comes, when some of the pollen jocks take a liking to him and decide to take him out with them. After some close calls with a tennis ball, rain and a boot, his whole world changes when he meets a human woman Vanessa, ho after the initial shock of talking to a bee, they form a fast friendship. Through her, he learns about the world conspiracy of humans stealing bee's honey for their own use. He discovers what he believes is his life's mission, to take back what is rightfully theirs; and he sues the entire human race to get the honey back. Of course there is more too it than that, and through it he discovers the true meaning of his life and begins to value his bee community.

Bee Movie has a nice message about finding yourself and your place in the world, without beating you over the head with it. What they do beat to death is the bee jokes, they're constantly throwing them at you, everything from Barry's name, to his wardrobe, to the constant honey references. It's the obvious thing to do, and instead of using them in the right situation to get the biggest laughs out of them, the use them up within 5 minutes and after that get very tired, very quickly. The Seinfeld humor, the simple observations of everyday life, are the best thing about the film, but there's not enough of it; I was disappointed in his script, the film doesn't feel fresh, uses way too many old or obvious jokes that have been seen a hundred times before.

The animation is good enough, it doesn't distract you, but doesn't blow you away either. The voice work by Jerry Seinfeld is fun, Rene Zellweger is fine as Vanessa, though I don't think she's done anything totally worthwhile since the first Bridget Jones Diary. Chris Rock does some really funny work as a crazy mosquito, Patrick Warburton and his deep voice, shows up in about his 10th animated film in as many years, and does his typical reliable thing. There's a few cameo's that work and don't, did we really need another Larry King appearance, might as well have had Jay Leno show up again, the Ray Liotta cameo was a bit more inspired, but the joke will fly over any kid's head, since they won't have a clue who he is in real life.

Bee Movie
might be worth checking out if you have kids, just to see something new, and it's not too bad of a film, and a lot of the humor is aimed at the adults. But it's not very good either, if you don't have kids, and aren't a big Seinfeld fan or animation buff, I can't see a reason to bother with it. - Grade: C+

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