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What to know: Delighted animated film with great lessons to share with your younger kids.
Recommended age 4-12
89 minutes
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MAYA THE BEE MOVIE cover image Click to play video trailer
Maya the Bee is an incredible animated film, written by Fin Edquist and Marcus Sauermann, directed by Alexs Stadermann. Maya the Bee is a very funny movie. I laughed during many scenes and I also cried during a few scenes. I love the movie because the characters are funny and it teach great lessons throughout the film.

The movie takes place in a bee hive located in a colorful meadow full of beautiful flowers. In the meadow, there are many different types of bugs. Inside of the bee hive, there are lots of worker bees. All of the bees have different jobs and the jobs are assigned by the royal advisor, Buzzlina (Jacki Weaver). For instance, one of the jobs is picking up pollen. Another job is watching the adorable little baby bees. This is also where Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) stays until spring. Maya wants to be independent and explore the hive. She does not like staying with the babies, so she sneaks out when she has the first opportunity. When Maya sneaks out, she causes a lot of chaos within the hive because she is very young and does not know what she is doing. She takes you on a fun and exciting adventure.

The movie is well written. Alexs Stadermann draws out remarkable performances from the voice actors and brings out the best in each character. I love how Coco Jack Gillies expresses Maya's feelings. Jacki Weaver makes the royal advisor, Buzzlina seem so real.

My favorite scene is when Willi (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Maya meet. They seem to like each other from the very beginning. Another favorite part is when there is a battle between the bees and another group of bugs. My least favorite part of the film is when something horrible happens to Maya and she finds out a secret about the queen.

The message of the story is, everyone has a role to play in life. It takes everyone working as a team to get the job done.

The movie is fun, fabulous and family-friendly. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18 as well as adults. I give this movie 5 out of 5 gold stars.

Reviewed by Brooke S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Maya the Bee Movie is a cute and funny movie! It's about a young little bee named Maya who is very curious and eager to learn about the beehive. As Maya explores the beehive without permission, she asks a bunch of questions. Maya quickly learns that she is completely different from the other bees. She repeatedly finds herself in trouble by Buzzlena, the queen's assistant. As a result, Maya gets banned from the hive. Her friend Willie does not want Maya to be alone, so he leaves the hive and follows her. As Maya and Willie are out in the meadows, they learn that hornets and the other bugs and insects are not as bad as they have been told. While Maya has been banned from the beehive because of her curiosity, Buzzleana devises a plan to harm the Queen so that she can take control of the bees and the hive.

There are several different messages in this movie. The one that stands out the most to me is, "dare to be different." In this movie, the bees have to follow specific rules, specific directions and they must do as they are told. Maya is different and she is told that she does not belong in the beehive. She works hard to find her place among the bees. She learns that she is an important bee in the kingdom and that her voice is important.

My favorite part is when Willie is mad at Maya and decides to fly back to the beehive. Willie is scared of everything. But, when a frog sticks out his tongue to try to capture Willie for dinner, Willie hits the frog's tongue and flies away without looking back. That's pretty impressive for a fearful bee.

My favorite character is Willie. Willie is a very loyal and a true friend. He supports Maya and helps her when she's down and he's not afraid to tell her when she's not right. Willie is also very funny.

Maya and the Bee Movie is a wonderful movie! It has great messages for kids! I recommend this movie for boys and girls ages 5 to 10. I give this movie 3 out of 5 shinning stars!

Reviewed by Kayla Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.

If you enjoy comedy mixed with great animation, then you will love Maya the Bee Movie. Maya is unlike other young bees her age. Instead of following orders, Maya has a mind of her own. For example, instead of staying within the safety of the beehive, Maya decides to go off on her own to visit the surrounding meadow wish she became friends with Flip the grasshopper. At some point, Maya's curiosity led to her finding out that the Royal Advisor to the Queen Bee had stolen the Royal jelly saved especially for the Queen Bee which leads to the Royal Advisor's kicking Maya out of the beehive. At this point, Maya has to survive on her own in the meadow and is soon joined by her close friend Willy who fears for her safety and cannot let Maya be by herself in the mysterious meadow. Together, the two bees become friendly with a variety of other insects and other creatures. Eventually, Maya and Willie learn that the Royal Advisor has stolen the Queen's royal jelly because she was seeking to make war with the hornets. By the end of the movie, Maya, Willy, and their other young hornet friend Buzzy stop the Royal Adviser's evil plans and, after recapturing the royal jelly, bring it back to the Queen who then makes a complete recovery. For her efforts, Maya is appointed as the Hive Ambassador by the Queen Bee and she and Willy are made responsible for observing the meadow and reporting new friends that arrive.

My favorite character in the movie is Maya (Coco Jack Gillies). Maya is easy to relate to for me because she is very much a free spirit, unable to sit still, who always wants to be in on the action. I also enjoyed hearing from Flip the grasshopper. Flip is always able to provide Maya with excellent advice such as telling her to always "bee positive." The scenery is also colorful and beautiful and will be enjoyed by everyone.

My favorite part of the movie is when Maya and Willy are together out in the meadow attending the Jitterbug Hollow Musical Festival. There, they hear different insects playing a large number of musical instruments while Flip the grasshopper sings "It Don't Matter What They Say, Be Yourself Every Day."

This film has many positive messages that apply to younger audiences. For me, the most powerful message of the movie s that a person should be himself and does not need to follow in the footsteps of others. The movie also show the strong bonds of loyalty between Maya and Willy who have to work together in order to stop the Royal Advisers' plans. I also enjoyed the lesson that young people can make a huge difference in this world. In the movie, many grown-up bees and grown-up hornets are prepared to fight to see who would gain control of the meadow. In the end, it is too young bees and one young hornet who save everybody from being destroyed. I give Maya the Bee Movie 5 out of 5 stars. It is a great family movie. I recommend it for ages 4 to 9. I'm 9 and I enjoyed watching this movie and very much appreciated its excellent messages and wonderful music. Maya the Bee Move opens in theaters May 1 and is available on DVD on May 18. It is well worth the cost of buying it for a fun-filled night of family entertainment.

Reviewed by Adam C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Maya the Bee Movie is one of our new favorites! Maya is an adorable little bee trying to find her place in the world. My children and I were mesmerized from the start. This movie is feature film quality, the voices are all believable, and the story is an adventure worth watching. I personally loved the numerous teaching moments and lessons woven throughout the movie. Themes of being yourself, courage, acceptance, friendship, teamwork, kindness, and creativity are all central to the storyline. I loved having my kids see this little bee refusing to judge others based on appearance, and instead finding best friends in those she was told to judge. Maya has courage to stand up and do the right thing against insurmountable odds. When she feels like she doesn't have a place and doesn't belong, she learns that it's okay to be different and that her differences are needed and valued by others.

Overall, I adored this movie and will show it to my kids again and again. I'm wondering why I've never heard of Maya the Bee before, and I'm hoping we will see more of her in the future.

Reviewed by Karyn A.

Freshly hatched bee Maya is a little whirlwind and won't follow the rules of the hive. One of these rules is not to trust the hornets that live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are suspected and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. No one believes that she is the innocent victim and no one will stand by her except for her good-natured and best friend Willy. After a long and eventful journey to the hornets hive Maya and Willy soon discover the true culprit and the two friends finally bond with the other residents of the opulent meadow.
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