Jerry Seinfeld’s Sorry For Bee Movie Being So Horny

Jerry Seinfeld’s Sorry For Bee Movie Being So Horny
Vanessa strikes a pose... for a bee. (Screenshot: Dreamworks)

Though the official line on 2007’s Bee Movie has always insisted that there was never any sexual energy humming between its two leads — Vanessa, a human woman voiced by Renée Zellweger, and Barry, an anthropomorphic bee voiced by Jerry Seinfeld — anyone who’s actually seen the Steve Hickner-directed film knows that Vanessa wanted the bee, and the feeling was quite mutual.

While Bee Movie was a comedy aimed at somewhat younger audiences, like many animated features meant for kids, it also found the time to slip in a few gags whose significance would really only be apparent to older viewers — like the ridiculousness of a grown human trying to show off their goods for an insect. That sort of humour’s pretty common in the animation space, and has always been far from unique to Bee Movie specifically, but that hasn’t stopped people from playfully pretending to be scandalized by Barry and Vanessa’s obvious attraction to one another. During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show, Seinfeld sat down with Jimmy Fallon to reflect on his legacy, and officially “apologise for what seems to be a certain uncomfortable subtle sexual aspect of The Bee Movie, which really was not intentional.”

Seinfeld explained that while Bee Movie was in production, nothing about its story jumped out at him as being particularly egregious, but it wasn’t long after the movie’s premiere that the reality began to set in.

“After it came out, I realised, ‘This is really not appropriate for children.’ Because the bee seems to have a thing for the girl,” Seinfeld said. “We don’t really want to pursue that as an idea in children’s entertainment.”

Again, when you actually sit down to watch or recall Bee Movie, the claims that no one on the creative team foresaw audiences interpreting it as a racy spin on My Girl are rather dubious. Barry breaking bees’ rules about not revealing that they can speak to humans is one of Bee Movie’s central plot points that kicks in after Vanessa saves him from being squashed by her boyfriend Ken (voiced by Patrick Warburton). The romantic love triangle between between Barry, Vanessa, and Ken takes a back seat to Bee Movie’s story about humans’ exploitation of bees, but it’s present enough to leave little question about how Vanessa and Barry feel about one another.

The two wanted to get it on, and while the mechanics of that coupling might have been more than a bit complicated, it’s no more scandalous than Shrek and Fiona, Howard the Duck and different human women, or Greg Universe and Rose Quartz. We all know what’s going on in these stories, and it’s perfectly fine to have a little chuckle about them, because we’re all adults here.

Bee Movie happens to be streaming on Netflix right this moment.

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