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The best you could say of this drippy sequel to Maya the Bee is that it’s better than its predecessor by the finest of fuzzy bee hairs. Unfolding once again in a geographically nonspecific ground-level terrain, rendered in a palette of hot pastels and curdled whimsy, the plot posits young worker bee protagonist Maya (voiced by Coco Jack Gillies) signing up for an athletics tournament with her best bee buddy Willi (Benson Jack Anthony). Not only is the honour of her home turf, Poppy Meadow, at stake, but also its seasonal supply of honey, recently levied by the avaricious Empress of Buzztropolis. The antagonist function is filled by Violet (Linda Ngo), a pretty, purple-eyed, mean-girl bee from Buzztropolis, and her dastardly dad, Drago (Sam Haft), who is supervising the game and making sure it’s rigged in the home team’s favour.
As you would expect from the sporting theme, the big didactic takeaway here is the importance of teamwork and how it’s bad to be a showoff like Maya, who is at one point more interested in winning than in supporting friends. Needless to say, she learns her lesson with the help of Willi and the supporting cast of new minor characters, which includes a glum emo spider girl and some boisterous, slapstick-generating army ants.
Admittedly, the film is clearly aimed at a much younger demographic, regardless of the Hunger Games nod in the subtitle, and that’s not a bad thing given the paucity of movies serving the under-10s market, who aren’t mature enough to handle Isle of Dogs or Black Panther.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Maya the Bee: The Honey Games review – family animation lacks buzz | Animation in film