Akeelah and the Bee/Pride [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Special Features

  • "Akeelah and the Bee":
  • Making of Akeelah and the Bee
  • Two peas in a pod
  • Inside the mind of Akeelah
  • Keke Palmer "All My Girlz"
  • Music video
  • Gag reel
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Pride":
  • Director commentary
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Music montages
  • Closed Captioned


Akeelah and the Bee
A young girl learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in this critically-acclaimed, family-friendly drama. Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old being raised by her mother, Tanya (Angela Bassett), who was left on her own after the death of her husband. While Akeelah is a very bright girl, she's hardly a star student and seems afraid of acting like a bookworm around her friends and classmates. However, Akeelah's teacher sees genuine potential in her student and encourages her to enter the school's spelling bee, convinced Akeelah has the brains and the talent to win. Akeelah applies herself and emerges victorious in the local competition, but discovers the going gets tougher when she goes to a statewide bee, studying for the regionals under the aegis of strict English teacher Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), who consents to act as her coach A college professor who was a spelling-bee champ as a child, Larabee is a stubborn taskmaster who questions Akeelah's ability and commitment, but in time he develops a respect for his pupil and helps her prove her talent as she climbs the ladder to the National Spelling Bee. Meanwhile, Tanya feels intimidated when she finds the contests are dominated by children from wealthy families and privileged backgrounds, and argues that the competition may not be in Akeelah's best interest, believing instead that homework should be the one and only priority in Akeelah's life. It soon becomes apparent that if Akeelah has any intention of entering the national spelling bee championships in Washington, D.C., she will not do so with Tanya's permission or blessing. This marks the first onscreen reunion of Bassett and Fishburne since their Academy Award-nommed performances as Ike Turner and Tina Turner in Brian Gibson's 1993 biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

A college-educated African-American schoolteacher frustrated by his inability to find a job repairs an abandoned recreational pool hall in hopes of starting Philadelphia's first African-American swim team in this inspirational drama that takes its cue from the true-life story of charismatic 1970s-era schoolteacher Jim Ellis. The year is 1973 and the job market is tight. Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) may have a college diploma, but despite his education he still can't seem to find a job. An aspiring teacher with a lifelong love of competitive swimming, Ellis determines to take his future into his own hands when he discovers a deserted recreational pool hall in the slums of the city. Though he and kindly local janitor Elston (Bernie Mac) do their best to get the crumbling pool hall in working order, the pair find their benevolent efforts thwarted when the building is targeted for demolition. Little do the forces that be know that Jim isn't a man to quietly lie down and admit defeat; despite the racism, violence, and threats made by an unsympathetic city official that all threaten to destroy his vivid new dream, the man who was once without purpose boldly resolves to recruit troubled street teens and transform them into capable swimmers in time for the upcoming state championships. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Laurence Fishburne
    Laurence Fishburne - Dr. Larabee
  • Angela Bassett
    Angela Bassett - Tanya
  • Keke Palmer
    Keke Palmer - Akeelah Anderson
  • Curtis Armstrong
    Curtis Armstrong - Mr. Welch
  • Tzi Ma
    Tzi Ma - Mr. Chiu
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