Jerry Seinfeld Buzzes His Way to the Big Screen

Audiences watched Jerry Seinfeld on the small screen in his famous "show about nothing" for nine years. Avid viewers fell in love with Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, the "Soup Nazi" and Junior Mints.

But with the "Seinfeld" TV series years behind him, many fans have been longing to see the comedian bring his wit and humor to the big screen.

Answering his fans' prayers, Seinfeld is finally back in the limelight. This week he'll be flying from the small screen into theaters with the animated feature "Bee Movie."

The Buzz

Fans have been waiting for the much-hyped animated feature ever since the first movie trailer with Seinfeld and Steven Spielberg appeared in theaters.


Seinfeld said he had to learn everything about the animation business before jumping into the movie, which might have driven lesser talents crazy. But Seinfeld has bigger problems on his plate.

"It's a way of life for me. Everything just drives me nuts," he said. "The OnStar system -- how sad is this country that we need a satellite hookup because we can't work out the keys and the door?"

Watch Peter Travers' full interview with Jerry Seinfeld on "Popcorn," which airs exclusively on ABC News NOW.

Well, maybe the stress of making "Bee Movie" and worrying about the OnStar system's effect on America actually did drive Seinfeld off the edge -- literally. The star jumped off the roof of the Hotel Carlton in a bee costume during the Cannes Film Festival to promote "Bee Movie."

"They told me that's the only way French people will go to your movie. That all movie makers come to France and jump off hotels in costumes," Seinfeld joked about the stunt.

In addition to his role of promotional stuntman, Seinfeld also acted as the co-writer and co-producer of the DreamWorks film and voiced the main character, a bee named Barry B. Benson.

Meeting Barry the Bee

A member of his hive's graduating class of 9:15 a.m., Barry encounters a bit of a problem with the job he receives after finishing school.

"He's just not sure the honeybee field is the right area for him and that's all they have … and this is a bee that goes, 'I don't know about the honey thing,'" Jerry Seinfeld said of his alter-ego. "So he ends up going outside the hive, which is only for very special bees [and] he's not one of the special ones."

The special ones are the pollen jocks, big buff bees that go out into the human world and collect pollen for the hive. Barry gets to go out with them one day and see what the world is really like.

"[The pollen jocks are] big and they've got leather jackets and helmets. And he gets to go out with them. They take him out," Seinfeld said. "So he sees what the outside world is like and he gets seduced by it -- the human world."

While in the outside world, Benson meets and falls in love with a human florist named Vanessa, voiced by Renee Zellweger.

"It's a more of a fantasy romance. It's not a real romance," Seinfeld said of Barry's relationship with Vanessa.

Not Another Animated Movie

What sets "Bee Movie" apart from other animated movies is that the stars like Seinfeld and Zellweger recorded their scenes together.

"I did every recording session, every actor, every session for the whole … I don't know, we were recording for about three-and-a-half years, and I just like doing it. I like playing with the people," Seinfeld said. "What's the point of getting Renee Zellweger in the movie if you don't get to play in with the scene with her?"

Seinfeld credits DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg for letting him make this movie and record scenes in his own personal style.

"There's been a tone in animated movies that has been a little homogenous. [Katzenberg's] feeling was that we need some more clear voices, original voices in this medium, and he and I talked about it, and I said I couldn't do this unless I had complete control of the movie," Seinfeld said. "He said he was comfortable with that, and so that was the deal that we made. He was fantastic, but he helped me with everything and he never said, 'This is the way it has to be, you can't do this, you have to do that.' We never had a relationship like that."

Although the voice recording techniques were different from other films in the same genre, viewers can expect the usual adult-themed jokes in this animated film. One of which is Ray Liotta-pitched honey.

"All these celebrities have these food things they do," Seinfeld said. "I thought, 'Who would be the last guy you would expect to see in an animated movie for children -- hostile and spiting?' and then saying, 'Ray Liotta.'"

The Same Jerry

Despite entering into the movie medium with "Bee Movie," Seinfeld is still the same comedian we've laughed with over the years and who continues to point out the humorous side of everyday life.

"Here is the most embarrassing thing about the OnStar system, people let their voices go into the commercials about how they screwed up and how they can't get in their car," Seinfeld continued. "'Thank you OnStar.Thank you for letting me back into my car because I'm such a ninny. I couldn't work out the coffee and keys and which side of the glass my kid's supposed to be on when I leave the car.'"

Thankfully the star says Barry B. Benson doesn't have that signature "Seinfeld" rage.

"That's the acting challenge for me … I softened [Barry] up for the family audience. It's the New Age me, New Age Jerry, not so cranky," Seinfeld said.

Click here to read Peter Travers' Rolling Stone review of "Bee Movie."