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YMMV / Maya the Bee

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: The 3D remake has gotten a very lukewarm reception in Germany, not all of it because They Changed It, Now It Sucks!; the scripts are legitimately horrible and rely completely on Cliché Storm, in no small way because the episodes are so short in order to be cheaper; anything that might be scary for children was removed completely and the music - save for the opening, which was a remake of the original - is completely uninvolving.
    • Meanwhile, the series is pretty much completely unknown in the US; Nick Jr. aired the Saban dub in the late 80s and early 90s, and Sprout has broadcast the CGI series, but that's pretty much it. It's so unknown there, that some have even mistaken Maya the Bee Movie as a Bee Movie rip-off of all things.
  • Awesome Music: "Who's a friendly little bee, playing oh so happily..."
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • The original book was a thinly-veiled screed by a card-carrying proto-fascist and raging anti-Semite on the importance of loyalty to the state over idyllic individual pursuits. Obviously, that's not the kind of thing that flies anymore, and later adaptations have toned down the militaristic undertones severely. The 2nd series of the anime and the CGI series avoid the conforming message by having the Queen give Maya permission to live in the meadow, as opposed to the book where she is asked to return to the hive.
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    • In one episode of the CGI series, Willy is given the job of pollen taster, but there's a mix up with some medicine Ben had made for Maya (which contained dung). Maya and Willy are able to stop the Queen eating the contaminated pollen, but the queen decides it's best that Willy stop his job so the mistake isn't made again. The episode ends with Maya and Willy laughing and saying being lazy is what he does best, making it sound like "If you can't do anything right, don't try to do anything at all."
  • Friendly Fandoms: In Japan, parts of Europe (mainly in Spain, Portugal, and Italy) and South America. Fans of Maya The Bee get along very well with Honeybee Hutch, another anime that also stars a bee and other insects.
  • Funny Moments:
    • In Episode 50 - "Sailing The High Seas", after meeting a crab, Maya asks Willy if he'd be interested in going on a sea adventure with her. Willy's response?
      Willy: Oh Maya, I can't. I've lost my swimming costume.
    • In "Lara's Secret Love", we find out Arnie apparently writes letters to himself because no one else wants to. Even better is he insults himself.
      • From the same episode, Maya's friends first tease Lara about her letters, but when Maya reads them aloud, they're moved to tears.
    • In Germany, Asfalt Hütte made a humorous song about Willy called "Das Biene Willi Lied", which is about Willy singing about Maya and his friends. The lyrics can be found in the video description found in the video link.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Maya is apparently very popular in Portugal and Italy.
    • And Latin America, too!
    • And Spain became very popular. Actually it is one of the few series (together with Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Mazinger Z, Haha wo tazunete sanzenri -a. k. a. Marco- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and Captain Tsubasa) that everybody knows of, including non-anime geeks.
    • The series is also pretty popular in Belgium.
    • The series is also very popular in Poland to the point that Maya's polish actress made cover songs (Mostly polish children's songs) sang by Maya herself. Studio 100's newest indoor theme park was even called "Majaland Kownaty" which opened on September 29, 2018 in Poland. The franchise also has a very dedicated adult fanbase in Poland.
    • The series has been enjoying popularity in Greece since the early 2000's when Modern Times bought the distribution rights to it, getting many books and DVDs, the theme song being featured in "Children's TV Favorites" CDs (as well as an instrumental karaoke version) and being one of the company's biggest franchises in general.
    • On the flip side, the second anime series (made in 1979) is more or less completely forgotten in Japan, where it wasn't even broadcast until 1982.
  • Growing the Beard: Besides Belgium, the CGI series has gained mixed reception in parts of Europe (especially in the series's native country Germany). After the beginning of Season 2 the series started gaining more positive feedback in some parts of Europe. The character animation improved, making the characters more expressive and alive, while the episodes received better writing.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In one episode of the CGI series, Willy eats some pollen that causes him to say whatever he thinks of his friends out loud no matter how rude or hurtful the comment might be. It's made clear he can't control it and can't stop until Miss Casandra makes an antidote for him. Yet throughout the episode he never says anything bad about Maya, meaning he had no negative thoughts about her.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • The Latino Spanish song called "Maya Y Willie" which is dedicated to Maya and Willy's relationship.
    • One episode of the anime involves Maya taking care of a baby bird who appears to have no mother. Maya feels bad for it and decides to take care of it, and goes as far as singing it a lullaby and carrying it around in circles to make it go to sleep. Flip, Willy and the other insects are shocked that Maya is taking care of a baby bird, since birds are predators to them. After Flip finds Maya falling asleep after singing a lullaby to the baby bird, it finally learns to fly and leaves the meadow, with Flip being the only witness. He actually feels proud for Maya being able to take her kindness to a new level, even when it's an animal that is a predator to the others.
    • In episode 102 of the anime, after breaking Willy out of a block of ice, Maya and the others believe he froze to death and begin to mourn. However, after warming up under the sun, Willy wakes up and wonders what everyone is so upset about. Maya quickly grabs him and gives him a smooch on the cheek.
    • In the movie, after Willy wakes up, Maya, who thought he had died, quickly hugs him tightly and apologises.
      Maya: I am so sorry. Are you still my friend?
      Willy: Of course! You must never let a friend go Maya, especially your best and only friend.
    • Pretty much any time Maya gives Willy a kiss on the cheek.
    • This moment from "Dragonfly Express".
    • This adorable song that Maya and Willy sing together.
    • In "Question of Confidence," while it does backfire later, Maya and her friends letting Willy win a game of rugseed and cheering for him because they want him to be confident and happy.
    • From the same episode, Willy saving Maya from both a frog and almost drowning.
    • In honor of the anime's 40th anniversary in Japan, Nippon Animation created two special illustrations of Maya and Willy together.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • In the movie, Willy is angry at Maya for not wanting to return to the hive with him. After he flies off in a huff, he runs into a frog who tries to eat him. However, he's so angry at the time, he just kicks the frog's tongue back into its face and warns it that he's not in the mood.
    • In "Field Trip", Maya is being chased by a bird. Willy is understandably afraid, but when he hears Maya call for help he immediately flies at the bird and jumps on its beak to get it away from Maya. He then torments and attacks it until the bird gets fed up and flies away.
  • Older Than They Think: The British dubnote  actually predates the more familiar U.S. dub by Saban.
  • Periphery Demographic: Maya the Bee is very well-known in Europe. The series is very popular in Italy, Spain, and especially Germany! However in Poland, Maya The Bee is so popular that a Polish singing group called "Akcent" made a song based around Maya and her friends. The group would commonly play this song at popular teenage/adults clubs in Poland.
  • Signature Scene: The brief moment in the intro of the anime, where Maya is seen sitting in a water lily and shedding a drop of tear. It was even used in the intro of the CGI series.
  • Squick: Ben's dung balls. Being a dung beetle, he always has one with him. And he has a habit of kissing them affectionately.
    • Speaking of Ben's dung balls, "Keep Ball Rolling" involved a fly using one of Ben's balls as a nest to lay her eggs in. Granted, she laid her eggs off screen, but still. In fact, it got so bad that Moral Guardians would take to Sprout'snote  Facebook page to complain about the episode because of that scene, with some even begging the network to remove the episode from the airwaves altogether.
  • Tear Jerker: There's one extremely sad moment in The Movie when Maya thinks Willy deserted her, she begins weeping. It first starts out as a high pitch shriek for a second, but it becomes quiet. The somber music playing does not help.
    • Later, she finds the Queen on her deathbed, and Maya is trying to keep the queen alive. Thankfully, the queen gets better.
      Maya: (voice breaking) Oh no, no, no.. stay with me, please! I'm sorry Miss Queen. It's my fault. I just—I just wanted to see the outside world. (sobs) If I had stayed in the hive like a good bee, I could've stopped the Advisor...
    • In the CGI episode "Willy's Bottle", Willy gets stuck in a bottle, rolls into a forest and goes missing. Maya looks everywhere for him as sad music plays. After having no success, she lands on a vine and starts crying.
    • Willy crying towards the end of "Maya Don't Go!"
    • One episode of the anime involves Flip rescuing insects from a fire and injuring himself in the process. Maya is later seen searching for him, but gets notified by one of the bugs that witnessed the event and tells the whole story to her. Maya is seen tearing up and is very anxious about Flip. She is then seen desperately searching for him while crying in the process. She's so worried about Flip that she is unaware that Willy is in front of her and bumps into him. Willy then gets up and asks Maya what is wrong, she says "Willy" and suddenly cries hard while he's holding her in his arms. While Maya and Willy search for Flip they find Alexander, who reveals that he found Flip. Alexander then takes Maya and Willy into his home, where she discovers Flip recovering from a head injury. Maya is so relieved about Flip still being alive that she cries into his chest.
    • The Japanese and Arabic versions of the anime have Cassandra returning to the hive badly injured. When Maya learns from Flip that something very bad happened to her teacher from Flip, she is seen flying as fast as she can in tears until she finds the other students tearfully waiting for her to return. The other students, including Willy, then start crying loudly when they see Cassandra, thinking that she's dead, until she starts talking briefly. Miss Cassandra then starts crying when she hears the other students, including Maya, breaking down at the sight of her. Before Maya leaves the hive, she heads to the room where Miss Cassandra is resting. She decides to talk to her teacher in private and starts tearing up. Once Maya leaves the room, Cassandra sheds a Single Tear. This scene is cut in other foreign broadcasting of the anime.
    • One notably sad moment in the anime is Flip saving Maya and Willy from a Venus flytrap. After Flip rescues Maya and Willy, who got trapped inside the Venus flytrap, Flip quickly jumps inside and opens up its mouth. Maya and Willy quickly escape, but are horrified that Flip is now trapped. Flip is heard yelling (with his hands and legs visible from its mouth) until it stops moving. Willy tries to get Flip out of the trap but notices his limbs aren't moving. Willy then starts panicking until he passes out. After Willy wakes up from his brief panic attack, he starts bawling after thinking that Flip is dead. Maya tries calming him down but starts tearing up herself, thinking he's gone. Suddenly they hear a noise from inside the flytrap and Flip is revealed to have escaped and survived, much to the surprise of Willy and Maya.
  • Toy Ship: There is some implied Maya/Willy.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Starting as early as in the third chapter of the book, we see just how cruel the world of insects really is...
    The dragon-fly regarded Jack Christopher contemplatively.
    “Yes, he is a dear little fellow,” it replied tenderly and—bit Jack’s head off.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The film was live action and was produced in the 1920s. That said, the actors in the film were all live insects.

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