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BEE MOVIE

About The Production
There's an adage in Hollywood that has become accepted as gospel — it's who you know. The genesis of "Bee Movie” is proof positive of this maxim although, in this particular instance, it could be stretched to "It's not only who you know, it's who they know … you know?”

For more than a decade, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation, has been trying to lure comic icon Jerry Seinfeld, who triumphed as a stand-up comedian and co-creator and star of the acclaimed sitcom "Seinfeld,” into the world of feature animation. Seinfeld's busy schedule — extensive on-the- road stand-up tours, a long-running television series and the duties of fatherhood — prevented him from even considering the offer. Besides, the comedian says, he had never thought of the right subject to mark his foray into animation; that is, until the day he was having dinner with Steven Spielberg and came up with the idea almost by accident.

Seinfeld was having dinner with Spielberg in the Hamptons. At one point in the evening, there was an unexpected lull in the conversation, and to fill the silence Seinfeld nervously blurted out an extemporaneous idea about making a movie about bees, which he would call "Bee Movie”— a riff on the less-than-flattering term for low-budget movies from Hollywood's golden era. Spielberg was immediately taken with the title and telephoned Katzenberg, his DreamWorks partner. The next morning, Katzenberg contacted Seinfeld to say that he wanted to move forward with "Bee Movie.” "And the next thing I knew, well, they had me doing it,” Seinfeld recalls. "But I really didn't have an idea for the movie. All I had was the title. Luckily, it worked out.”

While his remark to Spielberg may have been off-the-cuff, the thought process behind it was not. Seinfeld has always been fascinated by the bee world: "I find the hive very interesting. I find their social hierarchy very interesting, their work process, their geometry. Honey is a pretty amazing product for a bug, you know? So when it came up, it seemed like something that I could have fun with, and that's the way it turned out.”

For Seinfeld, "Bee Movie” would explore the hidden lives of these somewhat misunderstood insects. The hook, however, would be the honey. Says Seinfeld: "If you want to tell a story about bees, what are you going to talk about? And I thought the big thing that seems to be going on is that humans are stealing their honey. They work so hard to make this stuff, and we just take it without them really knowing. They think they're making it for themselves. And we just take it away from them and put it in jars with labels. Here we are making money off of it while they're just slaving away. So, I thought that's what it should be about. That's the story.”

While he had spent many years working in filmed entertainment, in the world of animation Seinfeld was a relative novice. Again, it paid to have connections in high places, one of whom happened to have been behind the creation of the most successful animated franchise in film history — a trio of movies (with a fourth on the way) starring a giant green ogre named Shrek.

Once "Bee Movie” was given the go-ahead, Seinfeld received what could be described as an advanced placement course in Animation 101 from Katzenberg, who served as an advisor throughout the film's production. As Seinfeld explains, "I didn't really know anything about how these movies are made. I had to learn the whole thing. Jeffrey taught me everything…he kind of mentored me throughout the entire process. I know how to write funny things, but I had no idea what to do with them in this kind of project. So he put me through a crash course of ‘Here's how you make one of these movies,' and he pushed me to make it myself. So, I really give him all the credit for this movie getting made at all. The level o

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