Barry (Jerry Seinfeld) is excited, today he graduates and takes his place amongst the workers of the hive. During orientation he and his best friend Adam (Matthew Broderick), along with “the graduating class of 9:15”, are shown around the hive and introduced to all the components of the honey factory…and are told to consider what they see carefully because whatever job they choose is the one they will have for the rest of their lives.
Barry’s not so sure he can live with that, doing the same monotonous job every day until he dies without ever having even left the hive, so he falls in with some pollen jocks for a day out of the hive. By chance he meets a human, Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), who saves his life from her bee-phobic boyfriend. It’s strictly against bee law to speak to a human but Barry feels like he at least owes her an expression of gratitude for saving his life, and so a friendship is born. Everything is going great despite pressure from Barry’s parents to choose a job and the overall illegality of what he’s doing…until he goes to the grocery store with his new friend and discovers a whole wall of shelves filled with various brands of honey.
Well of course the only way these humans can get all that honey is to steal it from bees! Barry is incensed and takes it upon himself to investigate this horrendous crime against beekind and then sue the human race for this injustice! Of course this will require letting all humans know bees can talk and may have some unexpected repercussions.
Aside from the previously mentioned names we also have voices from the likes of John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Rip Torn, and more. If you’ve seen any of Jerry Seinfeld’s standup or watched the show Seinfeld you’ll have a good idea of the kind of humor seen throughout the movie (could have something to do with him being one of the writers) which is good for quite a few laughs.
The story is pretty lighthearted and for the most part great for kids, though it may be just a little fluffy for some adult viewers. I for one enjoyed it but did have to look past some of the elements in the movie that annoyed me…not including the obvious differences between beekeeping and the habits of bees in the movie as opposed to those in real life (yes, I’ve kept bees too!) which I couldn’t help but point out several times throughout the movie.
Overall this was a pretty entertaining, straightforward movie that’s great for the family, especially if your family contains children of just the right age to catch some of the masked humor in such animated hits as Shrek and the like. No masked adult humor, no language of any sort, no scary parts and a very ridiculous villain. There isn’t as much substance in this movie as some would like but some good laughs to go around anyway and a nice break from the raunchy humor that seems to be everywhere now. All-in-all this was a pretty good movie that I have absolutely no qualms adding to my son’s video library.