Here is a terrific, animated movie that focuses on love. This is rare, and the film does a remarkable job. We have the delightful characters of Beezbee the bee, Peanut the giraffe, and Brooklyn the lion. The voice work is stellar, and the animation is executed nicely. Although many characters are prepping for the big day, Valentine’s Day, the three friends are a bit confused as they don’t understand the history or meaning of Valentine’s Day. Beezbee talks about how everyone is “buzzing” about the big day, and Peanut confesses to not knowing anything about it. In a funny moment, Beezbee and Brooklyn confess to Peanut that they don’t know anything about Valentine’s Day either!
Peanut says, “You do realize that we’re all silly heads, right?” Brooklyn replies, “Well, how do we find out what it’s about?” Peanut is afraid of being embarrassed but Brooklyn thinks that one of the neighbors in Sunnyville will be able to tell them. Peanut suggests they do a quick dance before they go, and the dance is on!
Featured is a romantic song about “being at my side, baby,” and that it’s a brand-new day. The friends talk to Lolly the dragon, and they tell her they want to confide in her, but they don’t want her to laugh. She says she won’t laugh, that she’s their friend, and then, just to prove it, she says, “Let’s do the Friendship Dance.” There’s a song with a verse of “Be my valentine,” and soon Santa shows up. “Ho, ho, Happy almost-Valentine’s Day, everybody,” he says. When Beezbee asks Santa what the day means to him, he replies that to him it means to celebrate the ones that are closest to you.
“You mean like Mommy and Daddy?” asks Peanut. “You should celebrate your parents and your grandparents every day,” says Santa. “Not just on holidays.” He tells them to celebrate their friends too. Santa appreciates his close friend and helper, Mittens, and he says they treat each other extra special on Valentine’s Day. “We play games and eat candies,” adds Mittens. “It’s so much fun!” Valentine’s Day fills Mittens’ heart and he has the urge to dance a new dance titled “I have a big heart.” One of the moves is to make a big heart with your hands and to beat it on your chest!
Another song features an important theme, and it’s about everybody helping to clean up the room! Picking up toys is also included in the song, which is a nice lesson for the kids who watch the movie. Santa suggests to the three friends that they ask others about the joy of Valentine’s Day. More music and dances are featured, and Peanut, in a humorous moment, says he’s all ears and that’s saying something since he’s usually all neck!
The character of Buttercup says she is going to share Valentine’s Day history with them, but first she wants to do a dance titled, “The way back.” Soon she shares that in 270 A.D. a ruler named Claudius 2 commanded a great army and refused to let his soldiers marry brides. He believed the soldiers wouldn’t reach their potential. “But doesn’t love make you stronger?” asks Peanut. “Exactly,” says Buttercup. The soldiers wanted to be with their sweethearts so the soldiers would go to the bishop, named Valentine, who would secretly marry the men to their brides. “Now that’s a hero!” declares Brooklyn. Unfortunately, Claudius found out about the secret weddings and punished Valentine, jailing him. “Boo! Boo! I say hiss!” responded Peanut.
Bishop Valentine passed away on Feb. 14 and, many years later, in 1537, King Henry the 7th declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day. Peanut wanted to know why people send cards and buy gifts, and Buttercup says it’s been said that Saint Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and signed a love letter to her, “from your Valentine.” “And the rest is history!” exclaims Beezbee.
A few dances follow the history lesson, including the Smarty Pants dance, and a cool dance called “But first.” A line from one of the songs is, “It’s true, just wanna be with you.” How others celebrate includes a story of Africa and how many wear paper hearts on their sleeves, and they write the names of people they like on them. “So much for being anonymous!” laughs Peanut. The gang also visits with Fritz the monkey who runs the local ice cream place.
The idea of love and friendship are nicely illustrated, and the history of St. Valentine’s Day gives this animated movie some real props and depth of meaning.
Think About It: Wonderful examples are included in this film, including comments of loving those closest to you. And a good discussion topic for parents with their children includes the sacrificial love of the brides and soldiers, not to mention the sacrificial love of our Lord. The history of St. Valentine is a worthy topic to discuss, and how he made sure the people in love were able to be married. Also, confiding in one another, as the three friends did with Lolly, and the importance of pitching in to clean up the room or pick up the toys is a timely topic for many parents. This film has earned our Dove seal for All Ages.
THE DOVE TAKE: Combining history, practical lessons, and fun, this dynamic movie shows the importance of loving others, and celebrating the people you care about.