Let the festivities begin!
The Hive is an animated British import that targets the preschool crowd. It airs within the Disney Jr. block of programming, and each episode runs about 8 minutes long, just enough time to get in, get out, and move on.
Unlike most of its American compatriots, The Hive aims to teach children values like how to react when you make a mistake. Almost every episode features a character making a mistake, a trend in direct contrast to American kids’ shows, which usually feature a lead character who can do anything. I really appreciate the acknowledgment the target audience can and will make mistakes as well as the care taken to show how taking responsibility for those mistakes leads to being a better person. It’s a lesson sorely missing in most programs.
The Hive: A Very Buzzbee Christmas contains ten episodes from the series. They are:
When Postman Spider twists his ankle, it’s up to Buzzbee to carry on with his route.
“Buzzbee the Magician”
Buzzbee’s Pappa gives him a magic hat, and Buzzbee puts on a show for his friends.
When Buzzbee rides Debbie’s scooter, he accidentally breaks it when he tries to ride as well as his sister Rubee.
“Pappa Gets Fit”
Pappa is told he has to exercise more. Buzzbee learns doing good deeds can help you in more ways than one.
Buzzbee hears some secrets, which he accidentally divulges. He has to prove to his friends he can be trusted.
“Lord Bartlebee and the Teddy Bee”
Rubee accidentally sells Buzzbee’s teddy bee to Lord Bartlebee and Buzzbee goes with her to get it back.
“Festival of Light”
When Jasper hears everyone thinks he’s naughty, he tries to find a way to change their perception.
“Babee’s First Christmas”
Buzzbee is sad when everyone makes a huge fuss over Babee’s first Christmas, but his big sister helps him put it in perspective.
“The Night Before Christmas”
Buzzbee isn’t sure Pappa Christmas is real.
“Buzzbee and the Snowbee”
Buzzbee and friends make a snowbee, but the temperature begins to rise too quickly.
The tech specs are definitely up to par on The Hive: A Very Buzzbee Christmas. The video transfer is a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with a clear, crisp CGI palette that leans towards a more golden hue to highlight the bees. The best part of the animation is the texture added to the bees themselves which really mimics the soft outer layers real bees possess. The audio is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track which is definite overkill for the disc but appreciated nonetheless. The British accents are spot on and clear as can be.
There are no special features.
It’s easy to recommend The Hive overall, and this disc in particular. Gentle lessons about how to be a well-mannered member of society are just what little kids need.