Bee Movie: A Very Jerry Two-Disc Edition Steve Hickner & Simon J. Smith

Bee Movie: A Very Jerry Two-Disc Edition Steve Hickner & Simon J. Smith
Overachiever Jerry Seinfeld didn’t exactly succeed with his adult-oriented, animated kids feature but this Very Jerry edition of Bee Movie is a valiant effort to bring grown-ups and children together again. Packed full of cultural references and humour that most people under 20 won’t appreciate, Bee Movie is a cute, clever, detail-oriented comedy for those who enjoy and appreciate Seinfeld’s perspective as a comedian. Like his revolutionary sitcom so often did, this film inadvertently serves as a far-fetched moral tale heavily disguised in a series of jokes and observations. Seinfeld plays a young bee named Barry B. Benson who escapes the status quo hive work ahead of him by immersing himself in the human world and falling in love with florist Vanessa Bloome (Renée Zellweger). When he discovers that people use and abuse bees for their honey, Barry launches a courtroom battle against humanity and, upon winning, realises that he’s disrupted the delicate balance of nature that bees play a huge role in. Divided into two discs, "More Jerry” plays up the film’s real-life human input, while "More Barry” is aimed at edutaining kids. As he’s proven before, Seinfeld enjoys audio commentaries and, joined by directors and writers here, he revels in turning them into riff sessions. The gathering view the final film for the first time and besides marvelling at the colours and scale of the film after post-production, they ream off the multiple alterations in the script with gales of laughter, recalling lost scenes and dialogue, some of which appear in storyboard extras. Beyond amusing featurettes like "The Cast of Bee Movie,” where Chris Rock, Patrick Warburton and Matthew Broderick are seen recording their vocals opposite Seinfeld, and "Jerry’s Flight Over Cannes,” which documents the elaborate publicity stunt pulled to launch Bee Movie during film festival season, the most bizarre feature is "Jerry’s 16 TV Juniors.” These short films are mostly absurd skits involving the writers deliberating over ideas, faux behind-the-scenes reports and mock tantrums by Ray Liotta. Introduced by Seinfeld in some central office full of sight gags, the "Juniors” are oddly silly with no apparent point but they’re certainly amusing. The central motif of the stacked "More Barry” disc is to highlight the plight and importance of bees and how humans are affecting the environment. Similar to Sharkwater, Bee Movie intends to dispel myths about creatures we fear and provide insight as to how we can all get along. After viewing "The Buzz About Bees,” children have been exposed to the importance of pollination to environmental equilibrium and can take quizzes about bees or study "The Ow! Meter” to determine which bees have the ugliest stingers. Features like "Meet Barry B. Benson” also aim to personify bees and help people relate to them somehow. Again, the lessons in Bee Movie are taught almost accidentally but the film is hilarious and this edition speaks to the relentless ambition of its star and his crew. Plus: "We Got the Bee” music video, trailers, more. (Dreamworks/Paramount)