Bee Movie (2007) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Paramount, DreamWorks || PG - 90 minutes - $39.99 || June 3, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-05-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

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

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: 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:
  • Jerry & Filmmaker Commentary
  • The Animator's Corner
  • Barry's Trivia Track
  • The World of Bees
  • My Menus
  • 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
  • Tech of Bee Movie
  • Music Video
  • DreamWorks Kids


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Synopsis (back cover): Everyone is buzzing for Bee Movie, the hit comedy from creator and comic icon Jerry Seinfeld. Ambitious young worker Barry B. Benson soars out into the world with the high-flying pollen jocks in search of nectar and adventure. But when he breaks one of the cardinal rules of beedom and speaks to humans, Barry sets off a un-bee-lievable chain of events that proves even a little bee can make a difference.

Bee Movie is an absolute gem of a movie.

The film, created by Jerry Seinfeld of the "Seinfeld" TV Show fame, stars as Barry, a young Bee who after graduating for school is forced to pick a job for himself that he must do for the rest of his very short bee life. There is no quitting, and no way to change jobs so you must pick carefully and make sure itís the thing you want to do. For Barry, none of the jobs at the Bee factory seem to suit him so he sets out with the Pollen Jocks who appear to welcome our little friend into their group, even if itís just for a day. While out on an adventure, Barry gets lost and when it starts to rain, he makes a bee-line (I promise, that's it with the bee jokes) for some flowers on an apartment ledge. Barry quickly makes it inside and finds himself in danger when the human Ken (Patrick Warburton) tries to kill him only to be saved by the very pretty Vanessa (Rene Zellweger).

Soon after, Barry decides to speak up and say thank you to Vanessa. Little do we know that Bee's and other insects can in fact speak to humans, they are simply told not to. After this happens Barry and Vanessa quickly become good friends and form a relationship that is almost as unique and Beauty and the Beast. On a trip to the local grocery store together Barry discovers that evil humans have been stealing honey from Bee's and sets out to... sue humans. Yes, the third act of the film is Barry the bee suing the huge conglomerates that produce and sell honey.

Bee Movie follows in the footsteps of another DreamWorks picture, Shrek, where it not only appeals to kids, but to adults as well. While there is plenty of kid humor and slapstick comedy, there are many jokes that adults would only understand. Not only are there a few sexual references in the film, but a few digs at religion and race. I was floored to find the movie actually spoofed one of my favorite films, The Graduate, which is pretty amazing considering the film is now 40 years old.

The film stars many actors and actresses who have lent their voices for the film. This includes Oprah Winfrey as the Judge, John Goodman as the evil lawyer Layton T. Montgomery, Matthew Broderick as Barry's good friend Adam, Chris Rock as Mooseblood, Ray Liotta as... Ray Liotta, and even Larry King stops by to play a Bee version of himself on BeeNN.

I simply cannot say enough good things about Bee Movie. I came into the film with low expectations due to previous reviews I had read, but was blown away by the humor and charm of the film. I have always been a big fan of "Seinfeld" and found a lot of his humor he used in his TV Show present in this film. He seemed to incorporate a lot of his mannerisms into this movie, and even a few cast members here and there (Patrick Warburton played David Puddy on ďSeinfeldĒ). If you enjoyed Shrek at all, purchase Bee Movie.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in HD.

Commentary with Jerry Seinfeld - A wonderful listen if you are a fan of the movie. Some of the things he discusses are already covered in some of the other Special Features below, but Jerry is still a joy to listen to. Recommended Listen!

The Animators Corner - This is a PiP feature that runs alongside the film. It will show the film in its storyboard like phase. Recommended Watch!

Barry's Trivia Track - If you select this, while watching the movie a few Bee's will buzz by carrying a banner filled with trivia. Some of it has to do with the film itself while the others may be on a certain character or anything in the scene. One of the most enjoyable trivia tracks I have seen on Blu-ray. Recommended Play!

The World of Bees - This is an interesting new feature that gives a small Biography on the characters in the film. It appears to mix the real actors or actresses with their Bee Move counterpart. You can use this feature at any time by pressing the Red button on your Blu-ray remote control. My Menus - This is a cute little extra that lets you change how the Menu's look while browsing the special features. Lost Scenes (5:00) - Here we are presented with 3 storyboard scenes that did not make it into the film cut of the film. Optional Commentary by Seinfeld is also included. Recommended Watch!

Alternate Endings (14:39) - This feature gives us 6 alternate endings that were not used in the film once again using animated storyboards. A few of them appear to be the same with the exception of a few lines of a dialogue being changed. I really enjoyed the "Moon" one. Optional Commentary by Seinfeld is also included. Recommended Watch!

Inside the Hive: The Cast of Bee Movie (14:41) - You're typical making of feature. Since this is an animated film itís mostly the actors recording dialogue mixed in with a few short interviews. Recommended Watch!

TV Juniors (23:20) - 16 Mini-commercials that ran on NBC many, many times during the Theatrical release of Bee Movie. Only a few of these were actually on NBC, so many of these are new. Recommended Watch! Live-Action Trailers (4:13) - Before the actual film trailer came out, Jerry was garnering interest in the film by getting into a Bee Costume. I remember downloading both of these from Xbox Live and enjoying them because Steven Spielberg is actually in one of these. Recommended Watch!

Jerry's Flight over Cannes (3:02) - Jerry once again gets into a Bee Costume to, well, "fly" down to the premiere of his film.

Meet Barry B. Benson - A small feature that lets you (well, kids) ask Berry a question. All the responses come from the movie...so itís kind of a useless feature.

Tech of Bee Movie (7:33) - An idea on how long it took to make the film and general information. I was impressed they actually built an office within an office for Jerry to work close to his family.

"We got the Bee" Music Video (2:00) - An embarrassing parody of "We got the Look"...

DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox - A ton of trailers (all in HD) of some DreamWorks Animated films. Included is Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek 3, Flushed Away, Over the Hedge, Madagascar and Sharks Tale. Recommended Watch!

Trailers - Also included is Trailers for Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: The Crate Escape and Spiderwick Chronicles.

DreamWorks Kids: All of these are interactive (except Buzz about Bees) and obviously meant for the little ones:
Build-A-Bee - This feature allows you to design you're very own Bee
The Buzz about Bees - Gives kids an idea on why Bee's are so wonderful.
The Ow! Meter - Let's you select a Bee or Human and tell you how much something hurts. Also tips to not get stung by a Bee.
That's Un-Bee-Lievable - Answer Trivia Questions

This disc is JAM PACKED with stuff to do. I went through every option possible and I'm not even sure I was able to get everything. You can literally watch the film 4 different times with all the different special features Paramount/DreamWorks has included. Simply an amazing release and the inclusion of "DreamWorks Kids" is a great feature to get young ones interested in the films they watch.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Bee Movie is presented in 1.78:1 (AVC/MPEG-4)1080p on a 50GB disc. Letís just start off with this... this is not only the best animated release on Blu-ray to date but the best looking Blu-ray disc pressed. All the colors are rich and vibrant and blacks look amazing. This movie is nothing short of a visual treat. I had seen a few minutes of the DVD before and that even looked amazing so I had no doubts the Blu-ray edition would be nothing short of spectacular.

In its first release after the demise of HD DVD, Paramount has included a English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track as well as a normal Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English, French and Spanish. While not as impressive as the picture quality, the TrueHD track still packs a very impressive punch. Being a kidís film I was not expecting much from my rear speakers... but I was wrong. Lots of sound coming out of every speaker possible and dialog couldn't be cleaner.



.::OVERALL::.

Bee Movie is easily one of my favorite animated releases in the past 10 years. Itís simply a delight to watch and I found myself laughing more times at this movie then any I had seen in the past few months. Not only is the film great for kids, but adults will enjoy it as well. The Picture and Sound quality is nothing short of amazing, and the disc is packed with hours of special features that not only you can enjoy, but you're kids as well. Itís Gold, Jerry! Gold! An absolute MUST BUY!

Note: Images do not represent the true picture quality of the film. Also, picture and audio ratings are on a high-def scale.