Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb
There’s no prerequisite of watching the earlier films required to engage with the third entry of the Maya the Bee film franchise, nor is it necessarily encouraged. This middling Australian children’s animation series centres on Maya (Coco Jack Gillies), a jovial bee who embarks on various standalone adventures in her hive world as she grows up.
This time around, Maya and her best friend Willi (Benson Jack Anthony) undergo their own Mandalorian-esque arc when they’re tasked with the responsibility of escorting a precious, unhatched ant princess to her colony. Movie logic prevents them from preserving the original state of the golden egg and, after they accidentally crack it open, they make an adorable little green friend who they nickname Smoosh. Smoosh is surely going to be a popular choice for parents looking for cute toys for the young ones – they won’t even need to see this movie to know she’ll be a hit with the tiny tots.
Despite not having anywhere near the budget of a DreamWorks or Pixar movie, Maya the Bee 3 finds visual magnetism on a smaller scale by exploiting the potential of a fully realised natural world, where fellow creatures, foods and plants are all depicted through strong, vibrant colours. Even the villain, a big beetle named Bumbulus (Christian Charisiou) has an appealing character design, considering the limitations of lighting, texture and other finer details only afforded by more money. The film is pleasant to the eye, even if the hackneyed story occasionally threatens to shut them
This threequel is interestingly positioned for UK audiences because it’s situated amid the first wave of films that will be available for cinema-goers when theatres open on the week commencing May 17th. However, therein lies the feature’s biggest hurdle: whilst it’s harmless, wholesome cinema with a moral at its centre and is guaranteed to distract the small fry, there are better choices for families.
Ideally, parents should show their kids Disney’s gorgeous new epic Raya and the Last Dragon; perhaps they could bank on the Peter Rabbit sequel being a worthwhile endeavour – or the whole family should treat themselves to the showdown of the century, Godzilla vs Kong. Simply put, it’s a fine choice but it’s worth assessing whatever else is available first.
Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb is released nationwide on 17th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb here: