DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie is notable for several reasons, none of which have to do with the quality of the movie. Critically and commercially, it was about as middle of the road as it gets; the family film netted a decent box office haul of $293 million and a bang average Rotten Tomatoes score of 49%, so it wasn’t a smash hit or a flop.
It isn’t even noteworthy for being the one and only time Jerry Seinfeld has ever played a major role in any kind of feature. No, Bee Movie has endured as an internet favorite for almost fifteen years because of the memes. Several screengrabs have become staples of meme culture and videos speeding up or slowing down the trailer for no apparent reason went viral with increasing regularity, while people have constantly mocked the idea that a large part of the plot revolves around the implication a human woman wants to have sex with a bee.
Seinfeld even ruled out a sequel a few years back, based entirely on Bee Movie‘s long-lasting online lease of life. In a new interview on The Tonight Show to promote the entirety of Seinfeld coming to Netflix, the actor and comedian issued a tongue-in-cheek apology to those who interpreted his animated adventure the wrong way.
“I apologize for what seems to be a certain uncomfortable subtle sexual aspect of the Bee Movie. It really was not intentional, but after it came out, I realized this is really not appropriate for children. Because the bee seems to have a thing for the girl, and we don’t really want to pursue that as an idea in children’s entertainment.”
There are many things that happen on the internet you just can’t explain, and the Bee Movie fascination is definitely one of them. At least Seinfeld has embraced the cult recognition, even if he wants you to know the sexual tension between Barry B. Benson and Vanessa Bloome was completely unintentional.