If you’re an avid Twitter/Tumblr member like I am (or if you use some sort of social media platform in general), you have probably seen the multitude of Bee Movie memes floating around, ranging from members posting the entire script of the movie in unique ways to the Bee Movie being replayed where it gets sped up when a word is spoken by a character or a scene is replaced with something entirely different.
Some examples that I’ve seen (and loved) are: “Bee Movie Trailer But Every ‘Bee’ is a Monsters Inc. Character Getting Injured”, “The Entire Bee Movie Backwards But Every Time They Say Bee It Gets Slower” and “The Entire Bee Movie But Every Time They Say Bee It Gets Faster”. But why has this Jerry Seinfeld 2007 movie, with an outrageous plot line where the antagonist, Ken, is the only real sane person at the end of the day, captured the hearts and attention of many Americans to this day?
First of all, it addresses the urgent problem about bees dying at an alarming rate around the world. The bee phenomenon of Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (HCCD) has increased in the past few years and honeybee populations have been dying at an increasingly rapid rate due to drought conditions, persistent longer winters in states that house a majority of honey bees, pesticides, disease, etc.
According to Marla Spivak of CNN, “Since 2007, an average of 30% of all colonies have died every winter in the United States.” Though the movie does not go into depth about the many causes or urgency of HCCD, it does present the underlying theme of the importance of bees and that the world would be in danger if honeybees disappeared.
Without bees, flowers would wilt, as shown in the film and ultimately die because they would not be pollinated which in turn leads to “lower availability and potentially higher prices of fruit and vegetables.” Because of this scientific background and relevant problem, the Bee Movie is shown occasionally in elementary schools as an educational film and many kids are exposed to it from the get-go, like I was.
The everyday knowledge that bees need to be saved has been drilled into kids’ heads when the film was first released in 2007 and continues to bring much needed awareness today, prompting the movie to not only deliver humor but perpetuate change.
Moreover, the film, though intended for children, is littered with adult references and indirect remarks about the issues in our society. For example, Vanessa, a human female, and Barry Bee Benson, a bee, were very flirtatious towards each other throughout the movie with a lawyer even going to the extent of asking Barry whether he was Vanessa’s “bed bug”. The movie surprisingly contains a large amount of sex innuendos and although we, as a human race, often correlate sex with the “birds and the bees”, we never meant for the bees and the humans to intermix. This causes the film to not only be a children’s movie but something adults can enjoy along with them.
Additionally, besides the inappropriateness of sex innuendos littered throughout, the movie manages to squeeze in incest jokes, a “suicide pact” joke, racial interference and lots of moments of comical violence. All of these are taboos in society and teenagers and audiences alike like to grapple with any movie that is bold enough to hint at any of these topics. And despite the fact that the movie is animated, elements of Seinfeld can be seen throughout the movie and that has made it all the more entertaining.
Finally, the movie is just plain absurd. America, specifically teenagers and the millennial generation, are still rattled that the movie ever made it to Hollywood. At first glance, the movie is just… weird. A woman left her fiancé for a bee, for Pete’s sake. A bee sued the entire human race for stealing honey… and won. But let’s also not forget to talk about how the courtroom had furniture made specifically for a bee, and that after the initial shock, people accepted the fact that Barry B. Benson could talk.
Despite all of its absurdity, inappropriateness and questionable material, the movie is overall inspiring. The Bee Movie seeks to show that: bees and humans alike do not have to stick with a lifelong vocation and can explore their options and interests. Parents often have our best intentions at heart but we must at some point determine what we want out of life, even if it means disobeying them, stand up for what you believe and no matter how small you think you are, you can still make a difference.
Because of all of this greatness this movie has ensued, I am here for more Bee Movie memes and I hope the Bee Movie continues to be shown for generations to come.