Beloved animated character Maya the Bee and friends will be making their big screen debut in South Africa in 3 languages, in 3D – and on 18 September, just before Heritage Day! The inhabitants of the hive get local voices in Afrikaans and isiZulu, with the international cast providing English voices.
A host of talented local actors have lent their voices to the film, and were delighted to be able to give a local spin to characters generations of South Africans grew up with, thanks to television broadcasts of the original animated series. Christine Voorendyk voices Maya in Afrikaans, while Sylvia Kgoadi does the same, in Zulu. The rest of the cast features a host of talented local actors, including: Leandie du Randt & Jessie Palmer (Juffrou Cassandra / Miss Cassandra); Elma Potgieter & Gcina Mkhize (Royal Advisor); Franci Swanepoel (Spies); Karen Wessels & Bonginkosi Buthelezi (Willie); Magda van Biljon & Cindy Dlatu (The Queen); Lochner de Kock & Philip Mathebula (Kriewel / Crawley); Richard van der Westhuizen & Moses Zimu (Flip) and Francois Stemmet & Hamilton Dlamini (Henk / Hank). The English-language cast includes Coco Jack Gillies (Maya); Richard Roxburgh (Flip); Kodi Smit-McPhee (Willy) and Miriam Margolyes (The Queen).
Maya the Bee was created over 100 years ago and brought to life in print and on the small screen in a popular animated series. The big-screen adventure, follows Maya, a young bee who leaves the hive and embarks on a new adventure to discover the beauty and mysteries of nature. Freshly-hatched Maya is a little whirlwind who won’t follow the rules of the hive. One of these rules is not to trust the hornets that live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are suspected and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. No one believes that she is the innocent victim and no one will stand by her, except for her good-natured best friend, Willy. After a long and eventful journey to the hornets’ hive, Maya and Willy soon discover the true culprit and set about bringing him to book.
The local dubbing was overseen by Presto Post, with dubbing direction by Aubrey Madlala (Zulu) & Rina Nienaber (Afrikaans).
Maya The Bee is distributed by Black Sheep Films and will be available in 2D and 3D at cinemas across South Africa on 18 September 2015, available in all three languages on DStv’s ‘Box Office’ on 4 December and will be broadcast on M-Net Movies Family (English), Mzansi Magic (isiZulu) and kykNET (Afrikaans) early in 2016.