Australian Council on Children and the Media

Bee Movie

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Bee Movie
  • a review of Bee Movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 December 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to slapstick comedy and violence.
Children over the age of 8 Should be ok to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Bee Movie
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Barry B. Benson (voiced by Jerry Seinfeld) wants to be no ordinary bee. The thought of working himself to death doesn’t appeal to him much and so he goes beyond the bounds of his hive and out into the world where he encounters Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), a florist, who saves him from being swatted by her angry boyfriend, Ken (Patrick Warburton). Barry breaks a cardinal rule of bees and talks to Vanessa and the two become firm friends.

Barry’s life takes on a new dimension however, when he discovers that humans steal bee honey and enslave bees to produce honey for them. He takes his righteous anger to the high court but when he wins his case, Barry is unprepared for the disaster it unleashes.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

None of concern

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Bees get swatted and sprayed at with insect repellent.
  • A boss bee hits a worker bee.
  • Barry slaps his friend Adam (Mathew Broderick) across the face.
  • The Pollen Jock bees behave in a bullying and aggressive fashion.
  • Barry gets hit with a tennis ball. He attaches himself to it, and then gets hit from player to player.
  • Barry lands on a windscreen and gets into the car engine, is hit by the fan blades, attacked by a dog and causes cars to crash.
  • Barry flies repeatedly into a window, into a light globe, is nearly swallowed and attacked by humans.
  • Vanessa stabs herself with a fork to see if she’s imagining things.
  • A man gets a shock from an electric light.
  • Bees get shot against a wall.
  • In a dream, Vanessa flies a plane into a mountain which explodes.
  • Ken swats Barry and Vanessa hits Ken over the head.
  • A threatening looking man slashes at Barry with a box cutter and tries to stab him with a drawing pin.
  • Bees in the beehive are smoked out to knock them out.
  • Montgomery, a lawyer hits out at his fellow lawyers.
  • Ken attacks Barry with an aerosol spray, which he then sets alight with a cigarette lighter, hurting himself.
  • Vanessa and Ken fight verbally.
  • Adam stings Montgomery who goes berserk.
  • Guards shoot into a crowd and police put a gun to an old lady’s head.
  • A pilot bashes the other pilot over the head, knocking each other out.
  • Barry and Vanessa slap each other around the face.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • dead insects on the windshield.
  • a vicious, growling, grizzly bear is brought into court on a chain.
  • Adam is shown in hospital dying, after stinging Montgomery, but he survives.
  • Montgomery is shown in a neck brace and a baby walker.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children over five are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over eight are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over thirteen are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some mild sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Adam tells Barry’s parents that Barry and Vanessa are “making out”.
  • Montgomery asks Barry if he’s Vanessa’s ‘bed bug’.
  • Barry’s uncle talks about when he 'made out' with a cricket.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Bees are smoked out to drug them.
  • Barry chokes on someone’s cigarette smoke.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

Bee Movie is an animated comedy, which will appeal to older children and adolescents. Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include community spirit and co-operation. Parents could discuss with their children the way that upsetting the balance of nature can have catastrophic results.

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