Seinfeld brings buzz to Cannes festival

Published May 20, 2007

CANNES, France - Forget the tuxedo. Jerry Seinfeld made his big appearance at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a fuzzy bumblebee suit and black tights.

"You know, one thing I hate is any kind of movie promotion that smacks of desperation in any way, " the 53-year-old comedian said, before jumping from the roof of an eight-story luxury hotel, arms and legs flailing, and heading down to the beach on a cord.

Seinfeld's Bee Movie is the latest DreamWorks Animation film to dramatize the secret life of a pesky insect (following "Antz"). It doesn't open until November, but Seinfeld was in Cannes last week showing 30 minutes of highlights. He has spent the past four years developing the film, writing the script and giving voice to its leading role.

His character, Barry B. Benson, is an ambitious young bee who dreams of life beyond the hive. After discovering that humans have stolen honey from bees through the ages, he takes the human race to court to try to right the injustice.

Other voices include Chris Rock as a mosquito trying to avoid being squished on a truck window; Renee Zellweger as a human florist who inspires a cross-species crush in Benson; and Matthew Broderick as Benson's best friend.

"This one has a singular vision, that's what I really like about it, " Rock said. "Most animated movies are made by committee, and the comedy is scattered. They're great, but this one feels like a handmade suit."

In one hilarious courtroom scene, Benson berates Sting (voiced by the singer) for stealing his moniker from the bee community. He narrowly escapes death at the hands of humans who swat at him with magazines - and he proclaims hefty Italian Vogue to be especially perilous.