A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

October 19, 2008

Bee Movie (2007)


– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)

For a decent synopsis, the reader is referred to the dedicated Wikipedia entry.

The bees in the movie are all interconnected with one another through some internalized communication system. Regarding the real human world, this is analogous to one step beyond the communicativeness offered by the today’s extremely fashionable cellphone networks and it indeed seems more akin to the functionality that seems to only be possible through brain-implants; futuristic little gadgets that open up a whole can of worms regarding ethically acceptable limits regarding its applicability. The bionic interface of man and machine, since long, has been a much favored goal of the military:

Direct neural control of complex machines is a long-term U.S. military goal. DARPA has a brain-machine interface program aimed at creating next-generation wireless interfaces between neural systems and, initially, prosthetics and other biomedical devices.
— Rodney Brooks, “Toward a Brain-Internet Link,” WirelessNewsFactor, 10 Dec 2003.

The demonstrated virtue of the instant communication system of the bees may be interpreted as a predictive programming viewer incentive into accepting brain-implants that are likely to be advertised to do the same thing in the human world but without the grabbing and holding hassle of cellphones. In other words, movies such as Bee Movie, in which instant communicativeness comes off as something that is of great utility, may serve as the basis for future intertextual references by people who seek reasons to help persuade themselves, or others, into accepting brain-implants that promise to do the same in humans as they did for the bees in Bee Movie. Due to its appeal especially to children, the young viewer is most receptive for programming that may only show its payoff later in life. Although in this case, it should be stated that concerning the relative complexity of its plot, Bee Movie is perhaps more of a family movie than a mere children’s movie. As such, the predictive programming then pertains to the entire family unit rather than the less comprehensive adults-only or children-only target audiences.

Right after “graduation”, the life of a bee consists for the most part of doing labor for large corporations. With human corporations growing larger and larger, the prospect of someone ending up working for a large corporation is becoming ever more likely. Therefore, regarding predictive programming, the viewer, especially the younger one, is prepped to meet a future in which it is the norm to be expected to slavishly labor for large corporations and multinationals.[2][3]

The work-ethic of bees is even so profound that those happy little buzzing critters are expected to be industrious for their entire life – no word is even mentioned of retirement or pension. Regarding a possible human parallel, this prospect seems rather ominous but keeping in mind the ever increasing debt of the average world citizen this scenario may seem less bizarre after even the most casual consideration of the ramifications of the current global credit crisis. After all, how many people are there already working multiple jobs merely to make ends meet? How many people are there now who can even afford to reasonably think about a prospect of retiring? With currently the Federal Reserve Bank happily bailing out the fraudulent banksters of Wall Street with state-condoned de facto counterfeit money, which are all hidden taxes as the ensuing wave of inflation eats away people’s savings and buying power, a perpetual state of financial bondage to the credit system may suddenly seem more realistic than fantastical.

This demand for a high standard work-ethic is reinforced with the next Bee quote:

"Bees know that every small job, if it's done well, means a lot. But choose carefully because you'll stay in the job that you pick for the rest of your life... And you'll be happy to know that bees as a species haven't had one day off in 27 million years.

And the virtue of a strong work-ethic, even if a job seems incredibly boring and monotonous, is stressed yet once again:

Son:"Dad, do you ever get bored doing the same job every day?" Dad: "Son, lemme tell you something about stirring. You grab that stick and you just move it around and you start stirring. You get yourself into a rythm, it's a beautiful thing."

Half-way through the movie the theme of the movie becomes apparent. The bee protagonist, after discovering that the main bee produce, honey, is being drawn from bee colonies to serve as condiment for humans.

"How did this get here?"

The bee, horrified by this profound abuse of exploitative human power, manages to file a law suit with the humans and through a crafty and cunning appeal to basic bee-rights gloriously prevails and wins the court-case, all at the expense of the bee exploitation industry, portrayed in the movie as being excessively immoral.

As a result, all honey stored with humans suddenly is now being confiscated and returned to the bees. In addition, all bees held in human captivity for exploitation purposes are released into certain freedom. Notice that these measures are executed by what seems to be a level of enforcement that can only be seen in a police state type of setting. The viewer is prepped for a future in which the police is “to serve and protect” the government rather than the governed.

A nasty artifact to this awkward bee-over-human legal victory quickly rears its ugly head though. As a consequence of winning the class action lawsuit, basically all bees resort to the comfort of taking extended vacations. Therefore, pollination of flowers grinds to a halt and consequentially all flora soon withers away. As such, the entire natural habitat, including the human one, faces a serious survival crisis.

It doesn’t take too long before the bee protagonist painfully realizes the damage he was responsible for setting in motion and together with the human protagonist finds a way to restore the pre-disaster status quo, simply by resuming the pollination business again, a task that of course naturally belongs to the bee, in the first place.

Through the collective pollination effort of the “born-again” industrious bees, the flora, in no time, finds full restoration to pre-crisis stature. The bees, by resuming their expected and natural task, prove to be of vital importance in sustaining the delicate balance between the plant, animal, and the human realm.

"Making honey takes a lot of bees, doing a lot of small jobs. Let me tell you something about a small job. If you do it really well, it makes a big difference. More than we realize, to us, to everyone. That's why I wanna get bees back to what we do best: working together. That's the beeway. We're not made of jello, we get behind the fellow!"

The philosophy expounded by the bee protagonist in the above quote is confirmed through a collective bee effort in which a massive number of bees carry and guide no less of an object than a US airliner and bring it safely to the ground at the destination airfield:

The thematic portion of predictive programming lies with the moral of the story. This being that, although the work that one does may seem of little importance to oneself, its function in helping to maintain society nonetheless is weighty enough to offset its apparent insignificance and monotony, or even unpleasant working conditions (like the bees being subjected to nauseating smoke applied by beekeepers).

The playful portrayal of bees having adorable and clearly recognizable human characteristics thus encourages the viewer to identify with the bees, including the immaculate and supremely industrious workerbee work-ethic. This heroically attractive but nonetheless catoon-ish expression of anthropomorphism will, on average, appeal more to the younger rather than the older viewer. By emphasizing high standards of work-ethics in the service of a higher cause (sustaining the entire habitat), the movie therefore seems to tacitly champion the notion of unconditional servitude of the worker-class to the system, governed ultimately by the ruling class; whereby both classes harmoniously cooperate in a synergistic society.

I think it’s hardly exaggerated to state that Bee Movie may be viewed as being one big rationale and advertisement for a slavish and perpetual workerbee-like work-ethic in which the interests of the corporation are paramount and inherently superior to the interests, including basic rights, of its workers. In other words, although packaged in an attractive entertainment form, the movie shamelessly champions ideals of corporatism while shoving under the rug all those human qualities that distinguish us from a workerbee, such as human individuality and human rights.


  1. Mind Control Microchip Verichip Welcome to the Machines
  2. The corporation (part 1 of 23)
  3. Network – Jensen/Beale Boardroom Scene

"He's a lawyer too? Ma'am I already was a bloodsucking parasite. All I needed was a briefcase."

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib?gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)
Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police
Dark Knight (2008) – Excusing the Rude & Stoic Strongman Crime Fighter

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