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BEE MOVIE ($40) is a very cute and rather funny computer animated film that offers up an important eco message on the contributions of these tiny creatures, in addition to featuring the talents of Jerry Seinfeld. In BEE MOVIE, Jerry Seinfeld takes on the role of Barry B. Benson, a young, recently graduated bee looking for his place in the hive. However, the thought of picking a single job that he will have to face for the rest his life leaves Barry wary of the entire process, and longing to see the great big world outside the hive. Fortunately, Barry gets his opportunity to journey beyond the confines of his community, when he goes on a fly along with the superstars of the hive- namely the pollen jocks.

Of course, Barry becomes separated from the pollen jocks and encounters a human woman named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), who saves him from being swatted by her boyfriend Ken (Patrick Warburton). A relationship blossoms between Barry and Vanessa, but it becomes sidetracked, when Barry discovers that the human race has been stealing the honey that bees work so hard to produce. This leads Barry off on a wild legal tangent, where he sues the human race for their theft of the fruits of the bee’s labor. Courtroom capers feature a blustering John Goodman, as well as a hilarious self-parody from actor Ray Liotta. BEE MOVIE also features the wonderful vocal talents of Matthew Broderick, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Larry King, Sting, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Miller, Megan Mullally, Rip Torn and Michael Richards.

Dreamworks Home Entertainment has made BEE MOVIE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation represents a really nice upgrade from the SD DVD. CGI animation tends to look quite beautiful when rendered in high definition and BEE MOVIE is no exception. As expected, the image appears crisper and I far more detailed, especially as far as the texturing of the 3D objects are concerned. Colors here are more deeply saturated and better defined than on the SD disc. Blacks are pitch perfect, while the whites are completely stable. Contrast is excellent for computer animation. There are no flaws or apparent grain in the image.

BEE MOVIE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Sonically, the differences between the DVD and the Blu-ray Disc are not as pronounced as they are visually. There are improvements in overall fidelity, but my opinions of overall sound design remain unchanged. By the nature of the storyline, BEE MOVIE is dialogue driven affair. Much of the time, the outlying channels are limited ambient sounds, musical fill and other incidentals. However, the flying sequences are well rendered and very engaging. Musical music fidelity is generally very good, plus the sound effects come across in a convincing manner. The bass channel adds weight to the soundtrack. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with actor/co-writer/producer Jerry Seinfeld, plus directors Simon J. Smith & Steve Hickner, producer Christina Steinberg, editor Nick Fletcher and co-writer Barry Marder. The Animators Corner provides a storyboard to completed film look at the movie (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Barry’s Trivia Track offers pop-up info on bee & movie related topic. The World Of Bees offers some interactive character/actor info. My Menus offers the viewer a choice of menu style for the disc. Three Lost Scenes, six Alternate Endings are presented in rough form.

Inside The Hive: The Cast Of Bee Movie is a fourteen-minute look at the faces behind the animated characters. Fifteen TV Juniors (short skit/promos), two Trailers and Jerry’s Flight Over Cannes (Jerry in a bee suit) and Previews for other Dreamworks/Paramount titles are also included. Meet Barry B. Benson is an interactive Q&A session. The Tech Of Bee Movie is a seven-minute interview based program. A Music Video for We Got The Bee, plus a Dreamworks Animation Jukebox close out the standard supplements section.

Under the Dreamworks Kids section one will find Build A Bee, create your own personalized bee Avatar from different part choices. The Buzz About Bees is a seven-minute look at actual bees, while The Ow! Meter looks at getting or not getting stung. That’s Un-BEE-lievable! offers bee trivia.

BEE MOVIE is a definitely a very cute and fairly funny computer animated film. Dreamworks Blu-ray release looks wonderful and sounds just fine. Just for the visual experience alone, this reviewer enjoyed second helpings of BEE MOVIE.



Bee Movie [Blu-ray] (2007)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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