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Die Biene Maja - Das geheime Königreich (Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb)
Germany/Australia 2021

Opening 5 May 2022

Directed by: Noel Cleary
Writing credits: Adrian Bickenbach, Noel Cleary, Fin Edquist, Tess Meyer, Adam Rainford
Principal actors: Coco Jack Gillies, Benson Jack Anthony, Jimmy James Eaton, Tess Meyer, Justine Clarke

Maya is a cute little bee, who wakes up to springtime: Now she can fly around with her friend Willi in the sunshine. The Queen bee demands that their beehive be repaired after the long winter. Maya and Willi befriend an ant, which is injured and can no longer carry a mysterious golden egg which must be delivered to a distant ant colony. Maya assumes this responsibility, along with Willi, and halfway there, the egg hatches revealing a baby ant, Princess Mushi (also called Smoosh). She must be delivered to her home, where she can reign.

Maya’s third animated film is a road movie full of adventures. Another bee, Hugo, tries to separate Maya and Willi. Beetles, led by Charlie, try to follow them; a female beetle, Rumba, is most successful in interaction. Maya and Willi’s parents also seek them. Are they allowed just to take off and fly far away? The birds attack all of the ants, which unites hostile groups to work together. Beetle Charlie performs three excellent songs in this fun film with a lesson about the importance of friendship, or “work together, something special has to happen.” Even more impressive than the story, which will appeal to the whole family beginning at age six, is the extraordinary colorful animation. Matt Druery composed five original songs. (Becky Tan)

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