Maya the Bee Movie was an original German children's book written by German author Waldemar Bonsels in 1912, and it was the only children's book he ever wrote. It has long been a series in Germany and my German girlfriend who came along to the advanced screening of the movie with me told me that Maya was much loved by her and was her childhood hero. That had me confused until I found out the origins of Maya and realised what she was buzzing on about.
Maya the Bee Movie has it's own Facebook page and you'll even find a German theme park's Facebook page that has a Maya tribute in their theme park. Maya was famous way before she got to Australia and has been around for over 100 years. I was very impressed by the line up of famous Aussie actor's voices that were used. Calling out some of the Aussies, Willy's voice was Kodi Smit-McPhee whom I loved in his role as the young boy in the Australian movie Romulus My Father, my all time favourite. Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) who needs no introduction does Buzzlina Von Beena's voice, Richard Roxburgh ( Moulin Rouge) is Flip, Noah Taylor (Lara Croft) is Crawley, Justine Clarke (Playschool) is Miss Cassandra and the comedy duo The Umbilical Brothers as Arnie and Barney the Ants.
Maya is a baby bee who is full of beans. She is effervescent and abuzz about the whole wide world. She's curious, brave, daring, can't keep her mouth shut and has a most infectious laugh that got me every time! She is always doing things she is not supposed to do and is not quite sure where she fits in the 'hive'. There are just too many rules and the temptations of discovering what's outside the hive is just too strong. This suits the Queen's Royal Advisor Buzzlina Von Beena just fine as having Maya underfoot just does not suit her plans.
Arnie and Barney; Her Royal Highness the Queen; and Miss Cassandra.
Fly around with Maya as she discovers a whole world out there, making friends as she buzzes around the meadow. One of the lessons she has learned is that hornets are the bees greatest enemy and vice versa for the hornets who have learned bees are dangerous. Join her in her encounter with a baby hornet like herself and the discovery of a best friend, Willy. For him she is his first and only friend. Will Maya finally find out where she fits in, in the hive?
The movie is enchanting and enjoyable. It's a kid's movie that will put a smile on your face and make you laugh, but it's definitely for the younger ones unlike other animated films like The Incredibles which is also adult oriented in its content. The Umbilical Brothers bring out a lot of laughs in the form of Arnie and Barney, the two bumbling ants. They are brilliant and were the cause of my uncontrollable laugh out loud moment. I give this a 6.5 out of 10.
The Author, The Book, The Maya Stamp that was used in Germany and a Maya tribute in a theme park in Germany
After seeing the movie, I'm obviously a bit overzealous as I've posted 3 videos below for you. The first one is the trailer for the movie, the second the German trailer and my way of paying tribute to the origins of this movie and the last one is probably the way my girlfriend saw it when she was a child.
Jackie Weaver as Buzzlina Von Beena and Coco Jack Gillies as Maya