You may have heard some of the buzz around Bee Movie over the last few years, as the internet collectively realized how strange a kids’ movie about a sort-of romantic relationship between a bee and a human woman really was. Now, the film’s co-writer and star Jerry Seinfeld is finally owning up to the bizarre nature of the 2007 DreamWorks flick.
Appearing on The Tonight Show on Friday (to promote the long-awaited debut of Seinfeld on Netflix), the comedian offered up a mea culpa for the animated film. “I apologize for what seems to be a certain uncomfortable subtle sexual aspect of the Bee Movie,” Seinfeld said. “[It] really was not intentional, but after it came out, I realized this is really not appropriate for children. Because the bee seemed to have a thing for the girl, and we don’t really want to pursue that as an idea in children’s entertainment.”
In case you’re unfamiliar (and we envy you if you are), Bee Movie stars Seinfeld as a bee named Barry B. Benson who befriends and briefly seems to harbor romantic feelings for a human florist named Vanessa Bloome (voiced by Renée Zellweger). That’s partially what it’s about, anyway; the film eventually becomes a legal thriller (seriously) as Barry sues the human race for exploiting bees for their honey, and then kind of a straight-up thriller in the last act as Barry and Vanessa have to safely land a plane full of flowers. Yeah, the movie’s a little strange.
DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. ‘Bee Movie’
That strangeness, however, has fueled a second life for Bee Movie as a series of internet memes, including the popular YouTube video “The entire bee movie but every time they say bee it gets faster.” As Inverse’s Gabe Bergado aptly summed it up in 2017, “This was a reaction not just to the movie itself but to the realization among millennials that they’d been shown a truly odd movie as children and thought nothing of it. The Bee Movie memes are all, on some level, expressions of disbelief.”
Bee Movie is currently available to stream on Netflix (where, by the way, some show called Seinfeld is also streaming) if you’d like to see and disbelieve it yourself.