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Children’s movie has flare for inserting adult humor

It has been a rough year for animated films. Of course, it’s always hard when Pixar Animation Studios releases another flawless gem. Their latest film, “Ratatouille,” along with an impressive list of others, has been leaving other animation studios in the dust for years. Always a few steps behind is Dreamworks Animation Studios. So far this year, they have produced two films; the first being the less than stellar “Shrek the Third,” and now a movie focusing on the life of bees, written by Jerry Seinfeld simply called “Bee Movie.” A film featuring fresh comedy from a classic comedian poses new interest for Dreamworks. But can it stand up to the challenge?

In “Bee Movie,” Seinfeld voices Barry B. Benson. After graduation, Barry is unsure on his sole decision to spend the rest of his life making honey. In a spur-of-the-moment trip outside the beehive, Barry discovers humans enjoy honey as much as bees and intends to sue them for their unfair use of it. With help from a growing relationship with a human friend, Vanessa Bloome (Ren’eacute;e Zellweger), Barry sets out to be unlike any other bee. The film’s humor, however, stands a different test.

The Seinfeld sitcom format has long been known as “the show about nothing.” This leaves room for random uses of humor to cleverly grab the audience’s attention. Some attempts are better than others, but you can essentially think of “Bee Movie” with that same humor in mind. It becomes hard to determine how much of it was intended for adults. Attempts are clever, and the ride can be fun, but the film takes its time in getting the humor to completely mesh with the story.

“Bee Movie” is a children’s movie with a simple environmental lesson, but seems unnecessarily interspersed with sections of adult humor. Sure, it makes the film more marketable, but it does cloud the overall effect of the film. It is impossible for Dreamworks’ “Bee Movie” to leave as much of a lasting impression as Pixar’s highly praised “Ratatouille,” but it still stands as one of the more entertaining movies to currently buzz your local theater.

THE BUZZ ABOUT “BEE” Grade: B-

Rated PG for mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.

Runtime: 90 min.

Voices by Jerry Seinfeld, Ren’eacute;e Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, and John Goodman.

Directed by Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner

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