Bee Movie—Dreamworks Animation (Blu-ray)

Video: 4.75/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3.5/5

Dreamworks brings their first animated film to Blu-ray with Bee Movie. Honestly, this is one of the weaker Dreamworks animated films and aside from the colorful animation I didn't think there was a lot for kids here. The film takes on an environmental approach in some ways and the themes of the film don't seem to take the entertainment of kids in stride. Jerry Seinfeld plays Barry, a young worker bee not content to spend the rest of his life working in the hive. When he journeys out into the real world he befriends a florist and finds out that people have been selling honey. The film then focuses on the slavery of bees and then the catastrophic events that could unfold if bees stopped pollinating. While the film does have a few fun moments, it didn't really appeal to me as a story. The animation is jaw dropping at times with some very cool three dimensional moments, but it couldn't make up for the slow script and dull comedy.

While the film may not have been that great, Paramount delivers an incredible video transfer for this one. The dimensionality on display here was absolutely incredible and I was blown away with how three dimensional some of the sequences are. There are quite a few moments in this film that would have been a trip to see in a 3-D theater. Colors are quite vivid but saturation stays in check with no bleeding or banding to be seen. The animation style isn't quite as detail rich as some other CG based animated films, but its effective in its simplicity. An outstanding transfer here that would is reference worthy.

The 5.1 soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD, which seems to be the new standard for Paramount releases. This is a very immersive mix but the sound design isn’t quite as impressive as some of the Disney and Pixar fare. That isn’t to say this isn't a strong showing, it is just tame in nature. Dynamics are rich in bass and presence when needed and the surround soundstage gives the film a nice atmosphere. The films score is playful in nature and the balance with the main track is excellent. The voice work is obvious and I had no trouble identifying the voice talent throughout the film. Dreamworks really seems to advertise the talent involved with their work more than the other studios.

Bee Movie contains a full picture-in-picture storyboard comparison that runs simultaneous to the movie. You can also turn on a pop-up trivia track and voice over from the cast. A feature commentary, deleted scenes and alternate ending are also included.

While I've enjoyed the majority of the Dreamworks animated offerings I must say this one was a disappointment. I couldn't get into the story at all and the comedy just wasn't really that funny. The animation is still first-rate though and Paramount has done a spectacular job with the A/V presentation.