This super cute movie, geared towards a 5 to 7 year old audience, is wholesome fun for the whole family. The film sends a great message, to “bee” yourself! The story idea is not new, in fact, it has a hundred year old history. Originally a German silent film with live bees, it passed through a short stint in 1970s anime on it’s way to becoming the modern version we see today.
Maya (voiced by nine-year-old Coco Jack Gillies) is a young bee who is sick and tired of hearing all the restrictive rules from the adult bees. They are always telling her what bees don’t do. Bees don’t sing. Bees don’t have fun. Maya definitely does not agree and wishes she could make up her own rules. Well, Maya has no choice but to strike out on her own when she gets banished by the evil Buzzlina, who will do anything to be queen, including stealing the royal jelly!
The hornets are blamed for the crime and poor little Maya is suspected of being their accomplice. On her adventure to the hornet hive with her best friend Willy, Maya meets up with all sorts of insect creatures. From dung beetles to a young emissary of the arch-enemy hornets, Maya holds her own and proves that being an individual can produce great results! In the end, she is able to end the long standing rivalry between the bees and the hornets, making the air currents more peaceful for all flying creatures, especially the yellow and black ones.
I like to watch movies like this one with my boys. I feel like the more they are exposed to stories with a moral, the more they can wrap their young minds around sometimes conflicting topics and emotions such as honoring individuality while still looking out for the team or community. Even the youngest viewers will have no trouble getting the messages of acceptance, individuality and friendship that this sweet animated film conveys.
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