Bee Movie is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures.[a] Directed by Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner, the film stars Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger, with Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, and Chris Rock in supporting roles. The story follows Barry B. Benson, a honey bee who sues the human race for exploiting bees, after learning from his florist friend Vanessa that humans sell and consume honey.
Bee Movie is the first motion-picture script written by Seinfeld, who co-wrote the film with Spike Feresten, Barry Marder, and Andy Robin. The film was produced by Seinfeld, Christina Steinberg, and Cameron Stevning. The production was designed by Alex McDowell, and Christophe Lautrette was the art director. Nick Fletcher was the supervising editor and music for the film was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams.
The cast and crew include some veterans of the long-running NBC sitcom Seinfeld, including writer/producers Feresten and Robin, and actors Warburton, Michael Richards, and Larry Miller.
Bee Movie was theatrically released on November 2, 2007 to mixed reviews, with primary criticisms aimed at the premise, and grossed $293 million worldwide.
An idealistic honey bee named Barry B. Benson has recently graduated from college and is about to enter the hive's Honex Industries honey-making workforce alongside his best friend Adam Flayman. Barry is initially excited to join the workforce, but his ambitious, insubordinate attitude emerges upon discovering that his choice of job will never change once picked. Later, the two bees run into a group of Pollen Jocks, bees who collect pollen from flowers outside the hive, and they take Barry and accepts. While on his first pollen-gathering expedition in New York City, Barry gets lost in the rain, and ends up on the balcony of a human florist named Vanessa. Upon noticing Barry, Vanessa's boyfriend Ken attempts to squash him, but Vanessa gently catches and releases Barry outside the window, saving his life.
Barry later returns to express his gratitude to Vanessa, breaking the sacred rule that bees are not supposed to communicate with humans. Barry and Vanessa develop a close friendship, bordering on attraction, and frequently spend time together. While they walk through inside the grocery, Barry is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bees' honey for centuries, and he decides to journey to Honey Farms, which supplies the grocery store with its honey. Incredulous at the poor treatment of the bees in the hive, including the use of bee smokers to incapacitate the colony, Barry decides to sue the human race to put an end to the exploitation of bees.
Barry's mission attracts wide attention from bees and humans alike, and hundreds of people show up to watch the trial. Although Barry is up against tough defense attorney Layton T. Montgomery the trial's first day goes well. That evening, Barry is having dinner with Vanessa when Ken shows up. Vanessa leaves the room, and Ken expresses to Barry that he hates the pair spending time together. When Barry leaves to use the restroom, Ken ambushes Barry and attempts to kill him, only for Vanessa to intervene and break up with Ken. The next day at the trial, Montgomery unleashes an unrepentant character assassination against the bees leading a deeply offended Adam to sting him; Montgomery immediately exaggerates the stinging to make himself appear the victim of an assault while simultaneously tarnishing Adam. Adam's actions jeopardize the bees' credibility and put his life in danger, though he manages to recover. The other day, Barry wins the trial by exposing the jury to the torturous treatment bees are subjected to, particularly the smoker, and humans are banned from stealing honey from bees ever again.
Having lost the trial, Montgomery cryptically warns Barry that a negative shift in the balance of nature is imminent. As it turns out, Honex Industries stops honey production and puts every bee out of a job, including the vitally important Pollen Jocks, resulting all of the world's plant life slowly begins to die out, without pollinating them. Before long, the last remaining flowers on Earth are being stockpiled in Pasadena, California, intent for the final Tournament of Roses Parade. Barry and Vanessa travel to the parade and steal its float, which they load onto a plane to be delivered to the bees so they can re-pollinate the world's flowers. When the plane's pilot and co-pilot are knocked unconscious, Vanessa is forced to land the plane, with help from Barry and the bees from Barry's hive.
Armed with the pollen of the last flowers, Barry and the Pollen Jocks manage to reverse the damage and save the world's flowers, restarting the bees' honey production, with Barry becomes a member of the Pollen Jocks, and they fly off to a flower patch. Meanwhile, Barry and Vanessa now runs a law firm at her flower shop, titled "Insects at Law", which handles disputes between animals and humans, and certain brands of honey are now "bee-approved".