Bee Movie (2007) - A Very Jerry 2-Disc Edition

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Paramount, DreamWorks || PG - 90 minutes - $36.98 || March 11, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-03-16


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Steve Hickner, Simon J. Smith
Writer(s): Jerry Seinfeld and Spike Feresten & Barry Marder & Andy Robin (written by)
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Berry Levinson, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Sting, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Miller, Megan Mullallay, Rip Torn


Theatrical Release Date: November 2, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    Disc 1:
  • Jerry & Filmmaker Commentary
  • Jerry's 16 TV Juniors
  • Lost Scenes
  • Alternate Endings
  • Jerry's Flight Over Cannes
  • Original Live-Action Trailers
  • Inside the Hive: The Making of Bee Movie


  • Disc 2:
  • Tech of Bee Movie
  • Music Video
  • Pollination Practice Game
  • The Ow! Meter
  • The Buzz About Bees
  • Meet Barry B Benson
  • That's Un-Bee-lieable (Trivia)
  • Be a Bee


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Jerry Seinfeld’s long awaited animated movie, Bee Movie, finally arrived in theaters late in 2007 and... it’s really a lot like the other numerous animated films that come out every year. These movies are fine for kids but for me, as an adult, I have a hard time staying interested even with these short runtimes (this one is under 90-minutes). But, having said that, there are still the great animation and at least a couple funny lines which carries Bee Movie over the hump and be in the mix with other (primarily) DreamWorks Animation releases.

Bee Movie is about new college graduate Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld), a bee who doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life and also jaded once he finds out he can only choose one job, which he will have for the rest of his life. His best friend (Broderick) is more than anxious to begin work but Barry decides to take a flight with the Bee Jocks, a group of bees who gather honey and pollinate flowers, and gets separated and lands in the home of a florist named Vanessa (Zellweger), with whom Barry strikes up a conversation (course, Vanessa is more than amazed). Soon the two become friends. The story kicks off when Barry, while exploring the human world, discovers that the humans are stealing the honey the bees make and sets out to make things right.

As a kid animated feature, Bee Movie has its moments, though I found myself more entertained trying to recognize guest celebrity voices rather than actual story. There are a couple funny moments like cameos from Ray Liotta, Sting and Larry King (voicing themselves), so it’s not a complete loss.

The main voice talents are find, although it is kind of odd hearing Jerry Seinfeld playing a college aged bee since, you know, he’s now in his 40s... but I digress. Overall, the voices are fine with the highlight coming from the always cheerful Renee Zellweger and a few other comedy actors like Larry Miller, Megan Mullally, Patrick Warburton (aka Puddy on “Seinfeld”) and Chris Rock as a mosquito. You also have Matthew Broderick as Barry’s best bud, Adam.

The biggest problem with Bee Movie is the concept dries up within the first 10-minutes and all the bee puns just get plain old after a while. By in large, this is a film that the entire family can enjoy and has a few little things that will keep adults at least semi-entertained. It’s probably on par with other DreamWorks Animated films like Madagascar and the Shrek sequels, but still doesn’t hold a candle to the Pixar movies... yet.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

In this “Very Jerry 2-Disc Edition”, this DVD has features for both adults and kids, with the stuff for the little one’s housed on the second disc.

DISC 1:
First is a commentary track with star/writer/producer Jerry Seinfeld along with a few others on the crew (directors, co-writers, producers, editor). This is a good track that features some little tidbits about how the film came to be (starting back in 2004) while also commenting on the voice talents gathered.

The disc also has three lost scenes (4:53) and SIX alternate endings (14:32), all accompanied with a voice intro by Seinfeld. All 9 scenes are of course unfinished and when it comes to the alternate endings, they’re not all that different from one another, save for one odd one where Ray Liotta goes nuts on a plane. All the scenes were taken out of the final film for good reason, though.

Next are a series of TV Juniors (23:09), 18 altogether. These were short segments that aired on TV with little sketches meant to advertise for the movie. They each are about 1:30 – 2:00 minutes in length. Along these same lines (advertising), are two Live Action Trailers (4:05) and Jerry’s Flight Over Cannes (2:55) a stunt where Seinfeld dresses up like a bee and flies from the building rooftop to a stage.

Finally there is Inside the Hive: The Cast of Bee Movie (14:35), a little featurette that introduces the viewer to the numerous voices features in the film. It’s really your basic meet the cast, interjected with comments from each. One interesting note, however, is Seinfeld performed his lines with other actors in person (normally they’re recorded separately).

Rounding out disc one are previews for other DreamWorks titles including the upcoming Madagascar: The Crate Escape.

DISC 2:
Tech of Bee Movie (7:28) – This featurette takes you inside as the animators explain the process of bringing the movie to life and compare it to the Shrek series.

The rest of the features are either interactive (for kids) or just plain worthless for everyone else.

Meet Barry B. Benson merely has the character answer questions... sort of. All this does is bring up certain parts of the movie to answer them. Don’t waste your time.

Like they did with Shrek the Third, DreamWorks includes another Animation Jukebox where you can watch videos from other DW animated movies. Fantastic... Staying on the music course is a music video (2:06) for “We Got the Bee” (yeah, yet ANOTHER pun).

Lastly, in a section called DreamWorks Kids, there are some games for the little ones to play including: “The Buzz About Bees”, “The Ow! Meter” (learn about bees and the sting pain factor), “That’s Un-Bee-lieable” (trivia Qs), “Be a Bee” (bee jobs), “Pollination Practice” (game) and DVD-ROM content.

Given this is a kids movie, I don’t fault the studio for laying on more features for kids, but what is there for grownups isn’t all that great.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Bee Movie is presented in a 1.78 AR, and looks excellent. Colors are very crisp and bright while black levels, when there, also look good. I’ll note, like I did in my Gattaca review, that the sources I looked at has the film presented in 1.85, but by my measurement, this is 1.78. Either way, the picture is fine.

The audio is also fine with a standard Dolby 5.1 track. French 5.1 and English and Spanish 2.0 tracks are also available along with English, French and Spanish subtitles.



.::OVERALL::.

As a kid’s movie, Bee Movie is perfectly suitable. But unlike the Disney/Pixar animated features, I’m not sure how much the adults will enjoy it. There’s enough inside humor for the rest but after a while, and after so many “bee” puns, it just grows tired. If you have kids, you can always sit them down in front of the TV while you do other things in the room (multi-tasking is underrated).

As for the DVD, why DreamWorks chose to release a 2-disc version, I don’t know. The features on the second disc aren’t that great, of course I’m not the target audience for those. In any case, if you enjoyed the movie, you can always buy the 1-disc version cheap at some point.