29 November 2007
Review by Dena Blakeman
Dirs Steve Hickner, Simon J. Smith
Featuring the voice-overs of top Hollywood A- listers; Renée Zellweger, Ray Liotta, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates and our very own favourite tantric sex counsellor Sting, comes the latest 'DreamWorks' animation.
Ready to roll for all those Christmas cuties off school and nursery, the title says it all really. Pun intended, it is really just an okay film which is funny, cute and entertaining enough in a more than satisfactory way. Yet it is not in any way a classic, or one to remember for longer than its DVD release in six months.
Don't get me wrong, it's a humorous film that all will enjoy - actually adults will probably laugh at this one more than the young ones as the jokes are probably ninety percent way over their little heads. But beyond its great one liners and its great special effects, especially the fantastic aerial scenes, it's just not pertinent enough to be memorable.
What is it with bugs anyway? Well I suppose they're better than rats, although Remy in 'Ratatoulie' is very cute. The story is another fable with a moral revolving around the loss of dignity and respect, in a similar way to 'Bugs Life' and 'Ants', only this time concentrating entirely on bees. Focusing around serious issues of individualism, exploitation, humiliation and disillusionment in a children's film is, I suppose, a perfect vehicle to present a humorous, very PC, parable to us poor mortals, living in a 'live to work' mode, surgically attached to our cars and strapped to our computers.
The narrative revolves around Barry B. Benson, a young college graduate who happens to be a bee but would rather be a human. Disillusioned with his prospects of immediate employment in the colony's' honey production, Barry decides to explore outside the box, which involves falling in love with Vanessa, a human florist in New York City, and a court case involving 'human' rights and the exploitation of bees by humans eating the insects' hard grafted honey.
The film is suitable for kids to not be scared or bored, but paramount to its success is its great one-liners such as the one from a scummy bee who becomes a lawyer stating, 'the only difference between what I am now and what I was, is I used to be a scavenger, but now I have a briefcase.'
If you find that funny go and see and don't forget to take the kids!
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