Bessie is a Honeybee Scout who wants to earn every badge ever created so she can become a superhero. SpongeBob is already a superhero to stoners all over the world.
The Mighty B! was co-created by Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler and made its debut in April 2008. The show features a young girl named Bessie (voiced by Poehler), a Honeybee Scout, trying to earn every merit badge ever created so she can one day become the superhero The Mighty B.
The show is a strange mixture of characters, Bessie herself being a nerdy girl who desperately wants to fit into society. She has a dog named Happy who is, at times, very smart and, at times, very devious. She is also annoyed by her little brother Ben while her closest confidant is her finger, named Finger.
The clique she wants to be part of includes a mean girl named Portia, who is very conceited and has a mother who will spare no cost to make sure her little girl is always a winner. Portia’s best friend is Gwen, who remains a lackey to whatever Portia wants. Other characters include Penny, a clumsy awkward girl, and a skater named Rocky. Finally, the adults in the show includes Portia’s mother Mary, who also leads the Honeybees, Anton, a judge of various events, Bessie’s mother Hilary and the very funny Mr. Wu, the owner of a popular Chinese restaurant.
We Got the Bee includes eight cartoons from the series. We get to see Bessie try to learn to play the drums, ride a roller coaster, babysit, go camping, create a robot, party and discover her super secret weakness. The other cartoon is an early one where we learn how she found and adopted Happy the dog. The cartoons are aimed at girls and almost all humor is geared completely towards that gender. Poehler does a great job voicing Bessie and all the characters come across well. As a male, I am not the demographic and question certain aspects of the show.
For one, it seems Bessie wants to be accepted a little too much by the popular crowd, regardless of how badly they treat her. I like how she always ends up on top regardless of the deck being stacked against her and it seems the show teaches little girls that if they are honest and do their best they can succeed. Maybe the life of nine year old girls is indeed about finding acceptance even if it means humiliating yourself at every occasion. If that is true, I’m glad I’m having a son instead of a daughter. It just seems silly and trite.
Not everything is bad. The humor is quick witted and smart. As I said, Poehler does a fantastic job voicing the character of Bessie and makes her very likeable in the end. It’s an above average cartoon in a day where there are really poor attempts at children’s humor on the tube.
For the competition, we get a very familiar face. He is a sea sponge, his name is Bob and he wears square pants. SpongeBob Squarepants has always been a practically perfect cartoon for parents because there is as much, if not more, enjoyment factor for adults in the humor as for the kids. As with most SpongeBob DVDs, there is a main feature and shorter cartoons rounding out the package.
The main cartoon is SpongeBob Squarepants vs. The Big One. Following an accident where SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Squidward and Mr. Krabs crash into Sandy Cheeks, who is surfing, the group becomes lost at sea. Sandy is left alone on a beach and must find her way back. Mr. Krabs is lost under a black sky, surrounded by water spouts of blood with jelly donuts falling from the sky, meaning he has landed in Dutchman’s Triangle right above Davy Jones’ locker. Patrick, Squidward and SpongeBob have landed on an island with surfers who explain the only way back is to surf.
The movie takes some unexpected turns with the trio on the island setting out to find the mysterious and legendary surfer JKL, voiced wonderfully by Johnny Depp. They know he is the only person who can properly train them to surf. Even more humorous for the adults, and guaranteed to fly right over the kiddies’ heads, is the fact that Mr. Krabs is indeed above Davy Jones’ locker. It’s Davy Jones of The Monkees who laughs manically while singing Daydream Believer. I stand by my belief that this show is brilliant, a perfect mix for children and stoners alike.
A Life in a Day convinces Patrick that the only way to live life to the fullest is to “Live Like Larry”, a daredevil risk taker. What results is a lot of pain and suffering for both Patrick and SpongeBob until Larry himself steps in. Sun Bleached brings the tannest man on TV to the island and Patrick and SpongeBob vie to work on their tans as well, so they can get into his exclusive party for tan people only. Giant Squidward introduces a spray that Squidward owns that makes everything grow huge in size which leads to SpongeBob turning Squidward into a giant squid monster. No Nose Knows features Patrick getting a nose job, which unfortunately means he now has a sense of smell. Patty Caper sends Patrick and SpongeBob on a mission to find the missing secret ingredient of Mr. Krabs restaurant. It is a fun little spoof of a police procedural. Plankton’s Regular is the final cartoon on the DVD where Plankton gets its first regular customer who likes his chum. Mr. Krabs, as greedy as he is, wants Plankton’s only regular customer for himself and sends SpongeBob to try to convert him.
As much as I love SpongeBob Squarepants, the secondary cartoons on the DVD never match up to the brilliance of SpongeBob Squarepants vs. The Big One. The cartoons emphasize the ability to fit in, change and lose individuality, before showing at the end that it is better to be yourself. They are all pretty generic and not even the sharp wit of the SpongeBob Squarepants writing team can save the cartoons from being ordinary.
At the end of the day I give the victory to SpongeBob Squarepants vs. The Big One solely for the perfection of the feature episode. Everything about that feature was surprising and fun and had so much for both the adults and kids. The Mighty B! has high points as well. Many of today’s cartoons leave me bored but I was able to sit through the DVD in one sitting and found myself chuckle at certain points. Both are worth the buy if you have kids, The Mighty B! specifically for your girls and SpongeBob for any kid, young or old.
The Mighty B! We Got the Bee has a few goodies on the DVD including a feature where we meet the creators of the cartoon. We hear a little from Amy Poehler and co-creators Cynthia True and SpongeBob Squarepants director Erik Wiese. Also in the feature is Andy Richter, who voices little brother Ben. It is a three-minute feature that was made for Nickelodeon. There is also an original Animatic for “Bat Mitzvah Crashers” which shows the feature in a small box at the bottom and the Animatic next to it in a larger box. Finally there is a Karaoke Music Video called “Running With the Rainbow Unicorn”, a song which appeared in the episode “We Got the Bee.” I really didn’t care for that episode, and the song grates on my nerves, but the lyrics are exactly what you would expect from Amy Poehler’s sense of humor.
SpongeBob has a “Sinister Commentary” track by Plankton for SpongeBob Squarepants vs. The Big One. It is set up like MST3K, with Plankton sitting in the front row watching this on a theater screen. It is not the full episode though, only patched together in a nine minute edited version. It’s pretty funny. There is also a music video called “Ridin’ the Hook.”