Humanity has always clashed with nature. Most films present the battle between humans and wildlife as they try to outdo each other and claim their territory. Yet, in some films, the conflict doesn’t have to be a ferocious grizzly bear or sneaky raccoon; it can be a simple bee.
Man vs. Bee debuts on June 24, 2022, on Netflix, a comedy series starring Rowan Atkinson as Trevor, a house sitter hired to watch over a mansion. From the moment he opened the door to the home, a pesky annoying bee followed him in and didn’t want to leave. While there have been plenty of movies of swarms of bees attacking people, Trevor only has to handle one bee. Before viewers can stream the film and see how much damage a bee can make, there are plenty of other movies to watch as man confronts nature.
‘Over the Hedge’ (2006)
A hedge separated El Rancho Camelot Estates from the rest of the world. This hedge blocks any creatures from walking on any of the resident’s property. However, when a raccoon named RJ (Bruce Willis) finds tasty, delicious snacks on the other side of the hedge, he organizes his crew of animals to find a way to get over the hedge.
The residents are determined to eliminate any animals from ruining their lawns or stealing their food. So the residents call for the exterminator to remove them. The exterminator invents different ways to remove the animals. Over the Hedge is available on YouTube.
‘Open Season’ (2006)
Raised in the comforts of a human caregiver, Boog (voiced by Martin Lawrence) enjoyed snuggling up in a dog bed inside a garage each night. He didn’t have to worry about his next meal, where he would sleep, and if hunters were out to get him. One night, Elliot (voiced by Ashton Kutcher), a deer with only one antler, convinces him to join him in the woods.
Boog’s transition from living in the comforts of a home to the unpredictable wilderness aligns with hunting season. As he adjusts to being a wild bear and to the behaviors of the other forest animals, he has to learn how to outsmart the group of hunters, especially since he is on one particular hunter’s radar. Open Season(2006) is currently available on Vudu.
‘Bee Movie’ (2007)
Set from the point of view of a honey bee, Barry B. Benson (voiced by Jerry Seinfeld) hoped that there was more to his life than working as a honey bee. As he traveled outside the hive on one of his tasks, he saw that humans had been stealing honey from bees and profiting off it. He befriended the florist Vanessa Bloome (voiced by Renée Zellweger), who agreed to help him fight for the rights of bees.
Bee Movie presented the ongoing conflict between humans and bees, where humans feared bees and often resorted to swatting at them. Whereas bees feared humans but only intended to sting humans if they felt harmed. However, humans can’t live without bees because if bees are eliminated from fulfilling their essential functions, this can have devastating consequences on the rest of nature. Bee Movie is enjoyable for parents and children and is available on Hulu.
‘Furry Vengeance’ (2010)
Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) and his family live in Oregon, surrounded by nature. Dan Sanders recently moved to Oregon after seeing the land as an underutilized development opportunity for a department store. The forest would need to be cleared for this project, but that doesn’t seem to worry Dan too much.
Dan is the leader of this project and soon begins suspecting that the animals are aware of this too. Many of the characters learn during this film that these animals wanted to defend their home in the only way they knew how: driving Dan as crazy as possible to make him abandon the project altogether. Furry Vengeance(2010) is available on Hulu.
‘Yogi Bear’ (2010)
Created by Hanna–Barbera, Yogi Bear has been a classic cartoon for all ages. In 2010, the popular cartoon was developed into a live-action film under the name Yogi Bear. This time, Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) and his sidekick Boo-Boo (voiced by Justin Timberlake) their home, Jellystone Park, is up for sale by the mayor as fewer visitors attend the park.
As a lifelong resident of Jellystone Park, Yogi feasts on picnic baskets of unwary guests at the park while inventing alternative ways to avoid being caught by Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh). Ranger Smith holds conversations with Yogi to act like a normal bear. If Yogi Bear keeps up his troublemaking antics, there might have been no hope of saving the park at all. Yogi Bear is currently available on HBO Max.
‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ (2011)
Surprises can come in many forms. For Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey), they come in the form of live penguins gifted by his father. His father traveled the world but unfortunately passed away while on a business trip to Antarctica. Before his passing, he mails a crate to his son, Mr. Popper, with a live penguin.
Mr. Popper has an entirely different career. As a real estate agent, he never had any interactions with wild animals, let alone penguins. At first, he didn’t know how to control the animals but learned that he needed to adjust his life to their needs to find common ground between the animals. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is available on Hulu.
‘Peter Rabbit’ (2018)
Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden) and his family have stirred trouble for Mr. McGregor, their next-door neighbor. After Mr. McGregor’s passing, his nephew, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), inherits the home and moves from the city to the countryside. Little does Peter Rabbit know that Thomas doesn’t plan to have his garden overrun by wildlife that easily.
Every gardener tends to their gardens to protect them from wild animals that might sneak in to nibble on the crops. For Thomas, he was out to eliminate the creatures even if Bea (Rose Byrne), his next-door neighbor, adored the rabbits. Peter Rabbit is currently on Hulu, and the sequel Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway(2021), with all the cast reprising their roles, is available on Netflix.
Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), a veterinarian, isolates himself from the world to live among animals. Dolittle has this gift that allows him to communicate with animals. He’s pulled out from isolation when asked to find the magic fruit to cure Queen Victoria’s illness. This fruit can only be found on an island.
Dolittle is the third film adaptation of the Dr. Dolittle character and is not a remake of the 1998 adaptation starring Eddie Murphy. Not all animals are friendly toward Dolittle and gravitate toward their instincts to eliminate predators. Dolittle is available on Amazon Prime Video.
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