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(originally a response to a movie reviewer who said A Bug's Life was too
much, too fast--he was "dazed and exhausted" by the visuals, and seemed to
ignore the story completely)
Okay, first off, I'm 26 years old, have a job, go to school, and have a fiance'. So maybe I'm nuts and just really good at hiding it...but not only did I NOT come away from A Bug's Life exhausted or dazed, it wasn't until I saw it the second time that I could even begin to truly appreciate the artistry and humour of the spectacular visuals--because the first time I went to see this movie, I got so wrapped up in the story and the characters that I FORGOT that I was supposed to be sitting there being "wowed" by each frame visually. How can you not empathize with Flik and his road-to-heck-paved-with-good-intentions life? "Heck" indeed, I found myself identifying with that little ant (not to mention some of the other bugs) in a lot more ways than one...and that, in itself, says more to me about what an incredible movie this is than a whole book on its beautiful eye candy. Of course, it's beautiful (every blade of grass, the tree, the rain...). Of course, what they can do with technology is amazing (you can read their lips! try it!). But this movie is not just a masterpiece of art and tech, not just an dazzling explosion of movement and color. No, A Bug's Life would be static if it were all that and no story. But, I'm glad to say, it's not! A Bug's Life has real heart. Yes, there's a lot going on, storyline-wise as well as visually, but that's because the story and characters actually have some depth to them! Just because it's a kids' movie doesn't mean you should have to turn off your brain at the theatre door--kids are smarter than you think! Besides that, I think that the PIXAR crew made this for themselves, even before their kids...and it shows, in the amount of heart in has. This movie is moving, touching, funny, intriguing, and generally engrossing. The character development in such an ensemble cast is amazing, there's a major amount of character growth, and not just of the main character--so rare in animation and often in movies in general. It doesn't hit you over the head with its points once it's made them--every scene, every frame has a reason in the storyline for being there, and there are no gratuitous shots. Not always stating explicitly in words exactly what is going on means subtlety, to me, folks; it means not "dumbing down" your movie and assuming the audience is stupid, which it mostly is not. All I can think is, if you can see A Bug's Life and not feel anything at all, then you must have never made a big mistake, hurt your friends, had a crush, fallen in love, been frustrated that no one would listen to you, lied to someone you care about, felt like a social misfit, gotten excited over a new idea, come up with a great idea, had what you thought was a great idea backfire, been awkward one moment and confident the next, felt the pressure of responsibility, stood up for yourself and your loved ones, stood alone against the crowd, felt like a failure, felt like a big success, felt the need to make a difference with your life in the lives of others...well, you get the point. Final words: A+ rating from me; please, if you're going to see it try to see it in the theatre (pan and scan video is NOT going to work for this movie); if you loved Toy Story you'll most likely love this (PIXAR knows how to make movies with heart); if you do love it see it multiple times or you STILL won't know what you're missing (the amount of detail and subtlety here is considerable); and whenever you're feeling really low, just pretend it's a seed, okay?
"A Bug's Life" is like a favorite candy bar -- it's chock-full of great
little bits that add up to something really tasty.
The story couldn't have been better; it's clever, has "heart" (emotion), and every character has a nice "arc" (a growth or change). By comparison, the only characters in "Toy Story" to have an "arc" are Buzz, who learns to love being a toy, and Woody, who overcomes his resentment of Buzz. There are tons of laughs and cute moments in "A Bug's Life". All of the actors turn in great voice work, and the animation, both the motion and detail, is superb.
This serious movie buff doesn't throw around "10"s lightly, but this movie certainly deserves the "10" I gave it.
There is great detail in A Bug's Life. Everything is covered. The film looks great and the animation is sometimes jaw-dropping. The film isn't too terribly orignal, it's basically a modern take on Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, only with bugs. I enjoyed the character interaction however and the bad guys in this film actually seemed bad. It seems that Disney usually makes their bad guys carbon copy cut-outs. The grasshoppers are menacing and Hopper, the lead bad guy, was a brillant creation. Check this one out.
This is a FUNNY film. It has all the usual Disney components (music, great
range of characters, story, appeal), entwined with superb animation and the
excellent voice talents of less well known actors as those in say "Antz" and
"Price of Egypt".
The characters work really well, and have a strong appeal, and the humour is aimed at a wide level which overcomes generational barriers. The movie is also presented in superb cinemascope format, which adds to the cinema experience.
Call me crazy, but I have seen the film three times, and I intend on taking more friends to see it this weekend. Many skeptics have seen this film on my recommendation and not been disappointed. I work in a multiplex, and I can honestly say that no-one has ever walked out of this movie without a sense of satisfaction.
See it, and don't be put off because it is animated. You are sure to enjoy this movie, and make sure you stay for the end credits! The bloopers and out-takes at the end are the funniest part of the film, which is packed with laughs throughout.
Several of Walt Disney Pictures' best animated films of recent years have been released or distributed through Pixar, an animation studio that specializes in computer generated animation and "A Bug's Life", their follow up to the hugely successful "Toy Story" ranks as one of the best and funniest Walt Disney Pictures animated films. Released during the same month as a similar computer generated animated film, "Antz", "A Bug's Life" suffers no bad comparisons because I consider it to be just as good as amusing as "Antz." The main focus of the film is Flik, a worker ant who has a very inventive mind and keen eye for detail. He means well but his attempts at helping his fellow ant colony with his ideas and inventions usually cause accidental disaster. One day, the ant colony set up a tribute display for a bad grasshopper named Hopper and his gang but Flik accidentally knocks it down. Hopper is very upset by this and he threatens to kill off the entire colony if they don't build him another provisions pile by the time he inspects the area again. Flik decides to help. He has only a few days to find some "warrior" bugs that can stand up to Hopper and his gang. He comes across a group of disgruntled bugs that had just been fired from their gigs at a flea circus. Flik decides to bring them back to the colony and recruit them as warrior bugs. An inventive idea for a children's film with much of the same humor and ideas that helped to make "Toy Story" an animated classic.
This animated feature about ants, grasshoppers, and various other bugs is an
inspirational testament of never giving up despite the odds stacked against
The story begins as Flick, voiced by Dave Foley, the ant who always invents things one right after the other. After the grasshoppers come to invade the food supply, Flick comes up with the idea of getting warrior bugs to fight the grasshoppers. Not only will this idea give Flick respect it will allow him to get redemption as he has messed his prior invention up. This epic journey starts as Flick goes in search of the warrior bugs; he finds them in Circus bugs. Consumed for Princess Atta, voiced by Julia Louis Dreyfuss, and her approval, Flick hides the fact that these "warriors" are in fact circus bugs.
I was smiling throughout this film because it was the one of the best animated features I've seen. Furthermore "A Bug's Life" far eclipses "ANTZ" because this film has a point, storyline, and direction.
The ending is no surprise as far as the typical ending goes, but this is definitely a delight worth seeing on the big screen. I recommend this movie because it allows the mind to sit down and relax and without tension watch the movie in peace.
A Bugs Life is a great film that is not just for kids but for adults too. The story is set around a colony of ants and their struggle against the evil Grasshoppers who come back every year and steal their food ( A Mirror of the Magnifiscent seven). There is some wonderfull computer animation and the voices are great too. You will love it!! 8 out of 10
Critically, people say that Antz is better. Antz is a good film, but I enjoyed Bug's Life a bit more. I can't remember a Pixar animation, other than the two Toy Story films, that I was laughing so hard. The animation is clean, the story is original and doesn't preach. The voice overs are what make this movie. Dave Foley is an earnest ant that gets himself into trouble a lot. Hopper is a superb characterisation by the always wonderful Kevin Spacey, as is Haydn Panettiere as Dot . There is also sterling support from Dennis Leary, David Hyde Pierce and Madeline Kahn, and I could go on and on. The script is fantastic, so funny and sometimes even touching. It lacks the social messages of Antz, but what we have is rock-solid entertainment. 9/10. Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Bugs Life" was blasted by the critics upon release, springing from the
bowels of Disney not too long after the almost identical "Antz".
However, as a stand-alone movie, it is difficult to fault. The
characters and backgrounds are beautifully rendered but still look like
computer animations. That might sound stupid but for those who think
computer graphics can equal live-action, this film serves to debunk
that idea. It does look good, no question, but compare this to the
computer wizardry behind Gollum in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy and
you'll see what I'm getting at. This is not much of a criticism though
- it would be akin to disliking Scooby Doo (the series) because nobody
says "Zoinks!" when they're scared.
I must confess, I rather enjoyed this film. It is imaginative and colourful and full of zest and energy - exactly how a kids film should be. The humour is a little on the basic side (dumb insects falling into walls and references to "poop-poop") but again, this is what you would expect. Another reason that "A Bug's Life" got the cold treatment from critics was because it simply wasn't as entertaining to adults as the "Toy Story" films and I'm afraid I agree. But what the film lacks in cross-generational appeal, it makes up for with enthusiasm and story-telling. It does for bugs what The Flintstones did for neolithic cavemen, fitting outsiders into our own everyday lives. Flick, the rebellious ant at the centre of the story, produces telescopes out of grass and water. Piles of rubbish are portrayed as vast cities and the characters, good and bad, behave as we might. Credit for this must go to the top-notch cast of voice actors including Kevin Spacey, David Hyde Pierce, Denis Leary and the others. Probably the only let-down was John Ratzenberger who sounded exactly like Cliff from "Cheers". Still, nice to know he's getting work after all these years.
You will marvel at the incredibly sophisticated computer animation, and the
novelty probably won't wear off on the first, second or third viewing, but
you?ll be drawn in by the characters which are so simple yet intriguing,
that you may find yourself actually caring for them in an unexpected way,
which may or may not make you feel a little childish due to the
Disney continues to firmly hold the title of "Greatest Animation in the World", with "A Bug?s Life" standing as one of their greatest achievements. One of the innovative attachments being the delightful "out-takes" added to the end of the film. The DVD has two sets of these out-takes where as I?m told the VHS cassette has one alternating version per tape. The DVD also features "Gerry?s Game" which is a delightful little PIXAR short that was also shown prior to the film in theaters.
This is by far the superior insect-film in comparison to Dreamworks? "Antz", which in all fairness is pretty good, but lacks something in the animation and in the story development and characters. If you look at the star voices of both films, "Antz" is largely cast with big name "movie" stars with a few familiar "TV" star voices, where "A Bug?s Life" is just the opposite, loaded with "TV" stars with Kevin Spacey as the only stand out exception. But the difference in quality is distinct and obvious.
Dreamworks can?t be blamed or surprised though, when you go head to head with Disney, you have your work cut out for you. This is the kind of film that almost makes me wish I had children to share it with. Don?t think for a second that this is just a movie for kids, though.
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