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Akeelah and the Bee (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Angela Bassett , Laurence Fishburne , Doug Atchison  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (565 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Curtis Armstrong, J.R. Villarreal
  • Directors: Doug Atchison
  • Writers: Doug Atchison
  • Producers: Laurence Fishburne, Dalia Phillips, Danny Llewelyn, Helen Sugland, Jaki Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (565 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G1R394
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Akeelah and the Bee (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Making of Akeelah and the Bee" featurette
  • "Two Peas in a Pod" featurette
  • "Inside the Mind of Akeelah" featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Gag reel
  • Music video

Editorial Reviews

An inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee is the story of Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), a precocious eleven-year-old girl from south Los Angeles with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother Tanya (Angela Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contests, for which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne); her principal Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong) and the proud residents of her neighborhood. Akeelah’s aptitude earns her an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and in turn unites her neighborhood who witness the courage and inspiration of one amazing little girl.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have nothing to fear but fear itself. May 1, 2006
Having just returned from this movie at midnight, well after my normal bedtime, I am encouraged. This movie is not just about spelling bees, albieit interesting to me; as I love spelling.

It is more about finding out for yourself who you are and what you are capable of, there will always be issues associated with race, class and a laundry list of other things but what matters more than those things is H-E-A-R-T and where you choose to put yours.

This film is very much about realizing that in spite of all things we must find a cause and dig in deeply until we have satisfied our quest.

Life rewards action, make careful decisions and act!

The choices that we make today have a long reaching impact and recognizing that this film should remind people that life is not a spectator sport; It's meant to be interactive.

Whatever it takes, find out who you are and what you are made of in spite of your fears. You'll be surprised who and what you find on the other side of fear.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll brook no nonsense!" August 31, 2006
By A Customer
Akeelah And the Bee is so warm and heart-wrenching, so full of power and emotion that you can forgive the film for being formulaic and deliberately tugging at the heartstrings. Featuring a truly bravura performance by the young Keke Palmer is Akeelah, this film is one of the best feel-good family movies to come along in years and certainly one of the best films of 2006.

Akeelah (Palmer) is an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Crenshaw Middle School in South Los Angeles, she's bright - she even aces all the class spelling tests - but she has a bit of an attitude problem, partly caused by the unmotivated feeling of those around her, and the idea that to be intelligent is not considered "cool."

But deep down Akeelah loves words and it's something she shared with her late father. Avella's mom, Tanya (Angela Bassett), is too busy trying to keep her life and family together to pay much attention. She has one young son flirting with being a gangbanger and another son is doing well in the Air Force, so Tanya just doesn't want to be bothered with what she views as the foolishness of spelling competitions.

Spurred on by the school principal (Curtis Armstrong) Akeelah is encouraged to enter the Crenshaw school spelling bee, even though she doesn't really want to do it. She of course wins, and but she's going to need help if she wants to make it through other contests. She finds a mentor in the somber Dr. Larabee (Lawrence Fishburne) who is on sabbatical from his position as chairman of the UCLA English department and has a lot of time on his hands.

From the outset these two very different people are destined to clash. He views her as insolent; and she sees no reason to be interested in the broader cultural education he wants her to master in addition to spelling.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I Need to Watch More "Kid's Movies" July 2, 2006
I took my six-year-old to see this at the theater today. I thought it might inspire her to become more interested in word structure and spelling. Wow, I bet it did that and more! I would be willing to say that this movie has a good chance of being life-altering for any kid who goes into it with the slightest curiosity or interest. There are great performances by all, and important principles are illustrated without the slightest trace of preachiness.

This movie shows an extremely nice fatherless young girl overcome a variety of adverse circumstances and push herself to her limit. This is a great film about self-discipline and dedication and taking the risks necessary to achieve personal greatness. Be it spelling, bicycling, piano, ballet or soccer, this film spells out the formula for accomplishment. I think your kids will pick up on the lesson, it penetrates invitingly. It also shows kids being very nice to one another, before biases and social classes have hardened and divided us.

This film was not at all preachy, but it really highlights the tangible nature of some of the disadvantages facing our kids in poorer communities. There are kids in those areas with tremendous academic talent and a willingness to work to accomplish big things. America should be a country where every kid who desires to achieve, and is willing to work hard to do so, receives a fair shot at that on a level playing field. Akeelah got some help from her friends here--and a dedicated school pricipal--but I fear that in real life there may be some Akeelahs falling through the cracks.

An English professor played by Laurence Fishbourne was one of the breaks Akeelah got here. I liked it that he gave her no slack, no "affirmative action" for her hardships.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go See This Film Already! May 11, 2006
After watching the new film "Akeelah and the Bee", I told two of my friends with daughters about the same age as the title character they had to see this film. One of my friends said his daughters didn't want to see it. They thought it looked boring. Well, there are no flying wizards in the film, but "Akeelah and the Bee" is a very good film, something everyone should see. Especially children in the same age bracket as the spelling dynamo.

"Akeelah and the Bee" is a great film for everyone in the entire family. I defy you, or anyone you see this film with to not be moved by the story.

Akeelah (Keke Palmer), a student at Crenshaw Middle School, in South Los Angeles, is bored with her school. Her teachers recognize her intelligence; she gets good grades, but her attendance and attitude are lacking. The school hosts its first Spelling Bee and the Principal (Curtis Armstrong) insists Akeelah participate. After she trounces the competition, she attracts the attention of Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), a professor on sabbatical and former contestant in the National Spelling Bee who agrees to coach Akeelah. But her mother (Angela Bassett) is too distracted to notice her daughter is going to the City Spelling Bee and then the Regionals. Soon, Akeelah has the entire community rooting for her and helping her, pushing her to win the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

Yes, the film is predictable and, at times, a little sappy. But the performance of Keke Palmer as Akeelah quickly makes you forget about the few problems the film has. Akeelah is like many middle school students; afraid to show how intelligent she is because she will be teased by other students, she purposely dumbs herself down in public situations. This is unfortunate, but it happens.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story of triumph over circumstance
A beautiful story of triumph over circumstance, and an excellent example of the mirror principle. Akeelah's determination and generosity of spirit radiates out to everyone,... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Theamarie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie.
Published 4 days ago by 3DogDays
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really liked this movie. Keke Palmer and Laurence Fishburne are outstanding. I recommend it .
Published 6 days ago by Jeffrey Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My favorite classroom film to encourage a love of learning.
Published 10 days ago by S. Moyenda
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!
GREAT!!! I didn't think we would watch more than 5 minutes when I saw it was about a "spelling bee," but we have watched and enjoyed it very much 2 times. Read more
Published 11 days ago by John H. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic American Spirit was Displayed. Marvelous!
Published 11 days ago by Zijia Ke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great inspirational movie!
Published 12 days ago by Charles Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie for the kids valuable lessons taught!
Published 12 days ago by Shaniqua Darby
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, inspirational film for tweens
Without a double, a truly inspirational film, particularly for middle school students, and girls at this age. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Timothy Spring
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by binghao
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