You can actually tell a lot about Bee Movie from the way the film is being marketed. Just check out the trailers, the promotional spots on NBC, the copious amounts of interviews and splashy newspaper and magazine features. You probably won't find much, ahem, buzz over the computer animation, or the film's plot, or even the family-friendly PG rating. What you will find is that, even after nearly a decade of keeping a low profile upon ending his blockbuster sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld still has it in spades. He hasn't lost his brilliantly observational wit, and his Hollywood clout seems only to have grown. And the Bee Movie marketing campaign won' let you forget it; the whole thing is positively Seinfeld-centric.
And, in many ways, so is the film. Never mind the fact that, after so many years flying under the radar, it seems a bit odd for the superstar comedian to resurface as the voice of an animated bee in a feature-length cartoon that he also had a hand in writing and producing. There's nothing like selling out or cashing in going on here; the entire movie drips with Seinfeld's personality, with his own unique sense of humor, with the subtle sense of subversion that characterized the sitcom at its edgy best. Oh, it's a cartoon all right, with anthropomorphized insects and a mostly family-friendly vibe, but make no mistake: This is Seinfeld's show from top to bottom, and there's nothing here that doesn't bear his mark—starting with the story.
The first third of the film is fairly commonplace, as far as animated films go, working from the same basic blueprint as Monsters Inc. or Finding Nemo—talking critters inhabit a world that bears strong resemblance to the human world, and all of them are happy and content to maintain ...1
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