Cartoon favourite, Maya the Bee is back for her third full-length cinematic escapade. And don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first two, because this computer animated movie can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the earlier releases or of the hundred-plus 15 minute episodes that are a staple of pre-school television.
Maya (voiced by Coco Jack Gillies) spends her time trying to be helpful and going on adventures with Willi, her B(ee).F.F. However, although Maya’s heart is in the right place, she doesn’t always manage to stay out of trouble.
When Maya nearly destroys the hive after waking early and attempting to be useful on the first day of spring, the Queen Bee decides she has had enough of these mishaps and threatens to split up the two friends.
While out and about the pair can’t help but come to the aid of an ant carrying a golden orb being pursued by a trio of burly beetles. These parkour performing pests, Rumba, Henchie and Boof, provide the mild threat to the heroes as well as a good few chuckles. What follows is a road trip with Maya entrusted to protect the orb and deliver it to prevent an all-out turf war between the ant colony and the beetle brigade.
Their quest also re-unites them with a hapless pair of comedy soldier ants, Arnie and Barnie who join them on their trek and provide some of the laugh out loud moments. Although it wouldn’t be right to class this as a musical, there are some short rock songs to change the tempo. Pretty much every song in the film is performed by the lead beetle, Bumbulus.
This cute and colourful adaptation, in line with Pixar’s A Bugs Life, is a cut above other children’s spin-offs and is enjoyable throughout. The direction by co-writer Noel Cleary (who also voices Henchie) keeps the movie moving at pace and keeping the audience’s attention throughout. This would be a great re-introduction to cinema for all of those children who have only been able to watch films at home for a year. Although predominately aimed at very young children, my 9-year-old thoroughly enjoyed it as we giggled through the movie together.
Maya The Bee 3: The Golden Orb is on general cinema release from 17 May 2021