Lionsgate // 2006 // 50 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 18th, 2006
I have nothing witty say here. It's a movie about talking bugs.
Kristin Davis (Sex and the City) provides the voice for "Miss Spider," a benevolent, maternal arachnid who watches over a corner of the woods, populated by cute little CGI bugs that talk. This 50-minute film is carved from the mythology of the animated television series called Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends.
In The Prince, the Princess and the Bee, Shimmer, the young beetle, gets it into her head that she may be a long lost princess. Visions of royalty dance in her mind and she begins to create a slight chip on her shoulder when interacting with her Sunny Patch comrades. But her friends support her, and Miss Spider, Shimmer's adopted mother, encourages her to go to the royal ball at Mushroom Glen, where she will have the opportunity to discover her true heritage. With that, an adventure begins that takes Shimmer and her pals on a cross-country trip stuffed sideways with lessons about being nice to people, staying true to yourself and not judging others based on appearance alone.
The Prince, the Princess and the Bee is a decent little jaunt into a colorful world that is particularly geared to the young, young kids. The themes are basic "be nice to one another" ilk and there are zero tense moments to be found (aside from one close call with a hot air balloon).
The story is charming enough and the characters are all sickeningly cute. For example, there's this one purple bug that looks like a grape with legs. I don't know what it's supposed to be, but it talks in a funny voice, so that's pretty cool. This movie is flush with silly voices and whimsy up the wazoo, and though there's not much conflict or drama (even for toddler standards), the brief runtime and the attractive visuals should keep diminutive viewers engaged.
The computer animation is bright and robust, though obviously a few generations back. Of all the characters, the frog looks the most impressive. The other inhabitants of the Sunny Patch were simplistic designs with collision and jaggie issues. But that's being a nitpicking geek-ass. This little movie is harmless and sweet, and parents won't hate themselves for parking their offspring in front of it for about an hour.
Full frame and 2.0 stereo all the way. It's all decent and appropriate for the release. Supplemental material includes an interactive game called "Mission: Mushroom Glen," the making of the "You Are Much Richer than You Know" theme song, some sing-alongs and "A Sticky Situation," a bonus episode from the television series.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Mission: Mushroom Glen" Interactive Game
* Theme Song Feature
* "A Sticky Situation" Bonus Episode
* Official Site