Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (2013) Poster

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8/10
Wow...this film is so original in style!
MartinHafer28 May 2014
Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo wrote and directed this highly unusual French film. Although the subject matter is rather familiar (with prior CGI films like Antz and A Bug's Life), the style and content is like nothing I've ever seen before—and this is, by far the biggest strength of this cute little film. However, I must warn you that initially I hated this film, as the beginning was loud and not especially enjoyable— but keep watching…it will grow on you!

When the film begins, it begins with a normal setting out in the countryside. This is not CGI but real film. However, throughout the film the two are integrated together. When you see the world from a human's point of you, it's standard film. When it goes to the micro world of insects, the CGI is used. It's a very clever way to do the movie and it works very well. However, what did NOT work well for me were all the sound effects for the racing bugs. Using automobile sound effects seemed a bit heavy-handed and silly. Fortunately, this soon gave way to a strange sort of world where instead of voices (like you'd hear in films like A Bug's Life), you hear a combination of odd whistles and chirps. It's strange but works—especially since this makes the film much more universal than a typical animated film. There's simply no need to re-dub or caption the movie! I should also note that I did NOT see this in 3D—and assume that would have improved it…at least a bit.

The plot to Minuscule is not so childish or anthropomorphic as the other insect films I mentioned. In fact, the plot is amazingly simple. A group of black ants (along with their friend, a lady bug) find a lunch box filled with sugar and take it back to their colony. However, a group of red ants are NOT pleased—it should be their sugar and if the black ants take it, it's war!!

What follows is a very surreal war between the colonies—and the film improved tremendously. This is because all pretext for realism goes out the window and the movie really won me over! After all, MOST insect battles do not involve bugs bringing cans of insect spray, slingshots and firecrackers to the conflict! Who's going to win? See the film for yourself.

The best thing about the film is simply how different it is from everything else. Too often films are derivative and familiar—something that bores me to death. However, here the filmmakers manage to create something wholly new and clever. The CGI is lovely—and different from what you'd see from Dreamworks, Disney or Pixar. More noticeable is the music. It's almost magical and so unlike the typical child-oriented CGI film. It's instead very classically inspired and perfect for the film. Finally, the film has a cute sense of humor. While I don't think it's a comedy or is meant as one, I loved the expressions on the faces of the red ants. Despite a few slow moments here and there and the rough start, this is really a film to see. Will it appeal to little kids? Maybe not. But for older kids, teens and adults who want something different and not cloyingly sweet but still family-friendly, it's well worth seeing. Vive la différence!
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10/10
What a treat ........
cekadah8 June 2014
........ for anyone anywhere on earth!

Part of the beauty of this film is the fact that not one word is spoken! It's insect buzzing and beeping that tells the messages. So anyone can understand this story.

The story includes two ant colonies - one black ants the other red ants and in the mix is one lonely disabled ladybug! The black ants have something the red ants want. The blacks ants friend the disabled ladybug! The red ants prepare to attack the black ants - the story takes you to the finish!

A remarkable treat for the eyes and ears! You cannot tell where real photography ends and the computer graphics starts - it's that well merged!!

Bravo!!!
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8/10
funny sad and brilliant looking
wayne-robb31 May 2014
its a shame people won't watch this because they think its foreign. there is no dialogue just a great score and sound effects, the insects do speak in there language which anyone with half a brain can work out! the cross animation with real world looks stunning! this will slowly become an all time great when the masses slowly catch on. great fun for children and adults alike,having said that young children may find bits a bit too sad! its a clever story of kindness,bullying,friendship,and war! all i can say is give it a chance and you will be very glad you did! its not cheaply done and could be compared to the outstanding visuals of a pixar movie! enjoy!!!!
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8/10
No dialogue - but perfectly understandable
markleachsa-12 March 2015
When I started watching this charming film, I was surprised not to see the usual list of stars who would be voicing the various parts. However, once the film got going and went to ground level I realised that there are no human stars - because there are no words. And yet I understood every conversation with no difficulty whatsoever.

This is the brilliance of this film - one which puts cgi (and not a lot of cgi really) over real filmed scenes in an effortless, flowing way to create completely believable cinematography. That is not to say the film is believable, in the same way that Tinkerbell and A Bugs Life are unbelievable. And yet it is completely riveting to watch a ladybug take a meandering, drifting, wonderfully entertaining journey to save the day for new friends.

There are no words spoken, and yet there is plenty of perfectly understandable dialogue - a mixture of toots, peeps and growls that need no translation, along with a mass of subtle and not-so-subtle sound effects. The humour of realising that the buzz flies are the insect equivalent of a motorcycle gang, and the smile at hearing the oh-so-faint sounds of sawing and hammering as the ants build their nest - these are some of what make the-film-with-the-impossibly-long-name so satisfying, even as an adult. And my children were completely engrossed and living the story along with the minuscule hero all the way through.

Great movie.
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10/10
A film you will remember
mindset7812 June 2014
Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants

I came across this amazing movie by accident.

All I can say is that it captures you right from the start.

I watched the 2D version of it and the effects are very well done.

At first I was not sure if a non-verbal film will work, but hell yeah it so much does!

Cannot wait for a proper Blu-ray release here in Germany to check out the 3D effects.

If a cinema near you shows this gem, you should definitely check it out.

You will absolutely fall in love with the ladybug ;-)
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8/10
Cute little film that will lift you up.
For a movie that blends CGI with real world shots, this is a very well done venture. The landscape is very beautiful, the music is delightful and there is a serene quality to the movie that would sooth your senses in the long run. As another reviewer mentioned, there was no real point to putting up racing car sounds to flying bugs but this is brief. There is no dialogue at all so its just sit back and follow the way these bugs communicate though whistles and chirps. Its a nice tale of friendship and I have to commend the director for this innovative venture. The final war scene between the red and the black ants is hilarious so I would highly recommend watching till the end.
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8/10
An insect film that won't bug you!
jilconway25 September 2014
Totally loved this movie, didn't know what to expect but was thrilled, charmed and amazed throughout. Cinematography is beautiful and the attention to detail astonishing, a lot of hard work has gone into this production and it really shows. Loved the personality's of each insect and although you need to suspend complete disbelief at what they achieve during the course of the movie it doesn't detract from a visual treat that is accomplished with zero dialogue from beginning to end, yes, no words from beginning to end and still a brilliant movie. Simply put, the best real film footage with CGI animation that I've ever seen - Kudos to the makers of this highly original film.
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9/10
The adventures of the fellows of the Sugar Cubes.
Reno-Rangan9 June 2014
I am the big fan of the television short-video series 'Minuscule'. I watched all of them like a kid when it was aired in my country on Nickelodeon. Along with me everyone in my family loved it and each of us like different characters. So we all expected this movie from the very beginning when they announced the project. The wait is over, I saw it a couple of days ago and I totally loved it.

It was the best choice of characters for the movie over plenty of tiny creatures are desperate to debut on the silver screen. They chose ants and ladybugs and their adventures filled with lots of humour. This was the story of a young ladybug who got separated from his parents. He meets a pack of black ants who are on a hunt for food, then they team up and help each other to face the challenge that coming in their way to home. Especially red ants who are on the trail to snatch their finds. This running and chasing between two small groups of creature becomes a crucial war between those races.

If you are familiar with this TV series, then you will clearly understand the characters and their behaviour. Not much deviated, they kept as much the original except stretched to 90 minutes runtime. The story was largely inspired from 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Each section of the story telling reminds different episode of 'The Lord of the Rings'. First, it begins with 'The Fellows of the Sugar Cubes', then 'The Single Tower' and ends with 'The Return of the Queen'. All the way it was so much fun like you had for the TV series.

No need to worry for the first time watcher, especially who are unfamiliar with these little characters. It was more like another version that you had seen in the Hollywood animations 'Antz', 'A Bug Life' 'Bee Movie' et cetera. The best part of all of it was this movie was dialogueless. No speaking, no names and no hard-coded subs. It only features amusing sounds created by the bugs and the wonderful background scores. It's a universal theme and presentation without any language barriers.

A specially made movie for children with fine story. In company of them adults as well can enjoy it equally. One of the best animation movie, in fact the best children's movie of the year. Hope this title continues with many sequels in which each of the installments should brief different bug's or insect's tales. A must show to the kids and must see by the animation movie fans. Have this and have a great time.
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10/10
Perfect. Absolutely brilliant.
Lambysalamby15 May 2015
This film is simply wonderful! I loved it, and I'm certain you will too...

The animation is done via a technique I haven't seen before, whereby animation is used over real backdrops and though it is done simply, it looks fantastic, absolutely gorgeous.

There is no dialogue at all, only sounds and music. But how cute these characters are and how smart this movie is. It really has everything from heartfelt, sad moments and dreams, to very funny laugh out loud moments. I actually smiled and laughed my way through this movie form the very beginning. I actually can't remember the last time I saw a movie which made my smile so much.

The story is very simple and as mentioned, there is no dialogue, but the film is so captivating and fast moving and full to the brim with so many beautiful and funny scenes.. and the greatest thing about it all is any age group will love it. You could watch this with everyone in your family, regardless of age. They will all love it.

Overall Opinion: An absolute joy to watch! Faultless. You need to get on it asap!
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6/10
There are some surprisingly big laughs in this small, amiable film.
shawneofthedead23 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Does the world really need another animated movie centred around the inner worlds of bugs? After all, we already have quite a few of those: in 1998 alone, Pixar produced the effervescent A Bug's Life, while DreamWorks dreamt up the more acerbic Antz. But there's something to be said for the simple, sweet charms of Miniscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants, a French effort which eschews the wisecracks and anthropomorphism that helped audiences warm up to the insectoid protagonists of the aforementioned films. Instead, by mixing ingenious sound effects and lovingly-shot real-life footage into its slight plot, Miniscule conjures up a cheerful, cheeky world that's steeped in both realism and fantasy.

The film opens on an idyllic picnic in the French countryside, before it zooms down to the miniscule level of its protagonists. A ladybug is forcibly separated from his family when one of his tiny wings is clipped. Lonely and unsure of what to do, he hides out in a tin box left in the forest by humans. Before long, he finds himself in the company of a troop of black ants, who decide to bring the box and all its sugary treasures home to their queen. Together, ladybug and black ants begin a perilous trek across pastures, hills and rivers, pursued all the while by a host of ravenous red ants. When war breaks out between the two ant colonies, it's up to our little ladybug friend to save the day.

It's easy to see why Miniscule was such a hit in France. With nary a word of dialogue, the film nevertheless manages to be surprisingly witty and genuinely funny. Much of its humour is physical, of course: the eye of the red ant leader twitches in anger, and the black ant archivist tries but fails to figure out a numerical slider puzzle. But the gags are also enriched by a welcome burst of surrealism: for instance, the red ants carry not just bug spray but a fork into battle. The character design is delightful, with the ladybug and ants being particularly endearing to kids and adults alike. It's beautifully animated to boot (at least when focused on its smaller friends), with its protagonists dancing through gorgeous outdoor footage of Provence's pastures and forests.

But, although a generally charming, pleasant watch, Miniscule is not without its problems. Sometimes, one gets the feeling that the film's story and style would be better suited to the small screen - and, indeed, Miniscule is the feature-length version of a popular French TV series, in which insectoid adventures unfold in six-minute segments. It's clearly pushing it for its plot to be expanded to almost 90 minutes. As a result, parts of its narrative positively drag, particularly when the ladybug makes his valiant bid to save his ant buddies. He experiences so many detours along the way that one can't help but wonder why the ants haven't already been massacred by the time he finally returns.

All in all, Miniscule is undemanding animated fare for all the family. It might bore older viewers in parts, and puzzle younger viewers at others (no, ladybugs can't re-generate lost wings!), but it's so quaint, charming and well-meaning that it's hard to dislike anything about it.
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10/10
A sheer gem in the goldmines of animated movies!
srimoy-bh13 September 2014
I first heard of "Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants" just after it was shown in some film festival in late 2013. The article where I read about this spoke highly of the movie. As animated films always have this special place in my watch list , I added the movie to it without a second thought.

Now , after I finished watching the movie I was speechless for at least a couple of minutes. This is not your regular animated movie in the sense "Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants" is shot in beautiful real French locations . The blend of CGI with real life locations/characters is so amazing that you almost start to empathize with the little lady bug & his adventure.No dialog only sound effects & background scores make the movie ideal for audience across the globe. This movie shows why cinema is a visual medium & how.

Struggle , friendship , adventure , dreams ,challenges & hope : "Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants " has all it takes to make it a cult classic in the animated film genre.

Little insects can have such big hearts after all! 10/10 .
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10/10
Wonderful movie
carlos7279 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I give this movie a 10 because I simply find it perfect. We have a simple story, but it's told to us by genius storytellers. We see a great adventure in a micro cosmos and we get a lesson on values such as friendship, loyalty, family, courage and love, FROM A BUNCH OF ANTS AND A LADYBUG!!! With not one word spoken. It's amazing that there is no dialog. Today all animation movies have all of the animals and insects speak. It's nice, I'm not against it, and it helps the movie makers a lot, to take this license. But it has much greater merit, to achieve such excellence with just some funny sounds and such PERFECT MUSIC. The music is a VERY IMPORTANT part of this movie, because it sets the mood for each scene perfectly. This movie will make you laugh, will keep you interested and you will come out of the theater feeling good. Isn't that enough?
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7/10
Very charming and entertaining
Imdbidia17 January 2017
I was a fan of the series Minuscule, so I was looking forward to watch this feature film. Miniscule and the Valley of the Lost Ants has the same charm, visual impact and sense of humour as the episodes of the series, but there is a well-developed story here.

A young ladybug loses track of her family and, by accident, pairs with a group of black ants trying to carry a big case of sugar cubes to their hive. There is a considerable distance, and the weight of the case makes them take a detour through the forest. The adventure commences when the aggressive red ants get interested in the treasure.

Minuscule offers a very simple story, but it is very charming and engaging. Clean universal humour, for both children and adults, for people all over the world no matter their culture. If you haven't watch the series, it will surprise you see the character bugs being just bugs, not talking humans masked as bugs. However, they are enjoyable because they feel real bugs but also have situations that are basically human.

There are so many lovely scenes in the movie, so is difficult to choose one. However, my favorite is the one involving the spider, which is adorable! And the battle of the ants is absolutely epic!

The animation is great, a mix of natural backgrounds and 3D characters fused together as one. The filming of the backgrounds is fabulous because during the walking, flying or racing scenes the viewer feels that the magnitude and movement of the background is that a bug experiences.

The sounds of the different characters are wonderful and so very funny!

Some of the things that made Minuscule the series most appealing to me were the domestic environments in which many of the bugs' stories occurred, so I would have loved a bit of that also in the movie. That is a personal preference, of course.

Personally, I thought the film could have been shortened and some unnecessary scenes edited out and the film would still be as good.

Great fun, clean humour, very entertaining.
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10/10
just perfect
geniousmal5 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film is simply wonderful! I loved it, and I'm certain you will too...

The animation is done via a technique I haven't seen before, whereby animation is used over real backdrops and though it is done simply, it looks fantastic, absolutely gorgeous.

There is no dialogue at all, only sounds and music. But how cute these characters are and how smart this movie is. It really has everything from heartfelt, sad moments and dreams, to very funny laugh out loud moments. I actually smiled and laughed my way through this movie form the very beginning. I actually can't remember the last time I saw a movie which made my smile so much.

The story is very simple and as mentioned, there is no dialogue, but the film is so captivating and fast moving and full to the brim with so many beautiful and funny scenes.. and the greatest thing about it all is any age group will love it. You could watch this with everyone in your family, regardless of age. They will all love it.

Overall Opinion: An absolute joy to watch! Faultless. You need to get on it asap!
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7/10
Cute, heartwarming journey
rosaliesummers22 April 2017
Minuscule is about a baby ladybird who gets lost and befriends some ants. I went into this expecting it to be some happy little film with cute creatures, but it's so much more. There was so much peril in store for the ladybird and his friends, I began to wonder if there was even going to be a happy ending! I love the characters, even with the minor ones like the spider you still get a good feel of their personality.

The wide mountain shots were absolutely stunning, and paired beautifully with the soundtrack. I love that although the creatures were animated, they still used real backgrounds. I also love the insect noises being like traffic, which I thought was very original. It also helps make a distinction between the red and black ants, as the black ants have a calming whistle whilst the red ants sound like angry dogs in my opinion.

Parts of the film were a bit unrealistic. Obviously the big fight at the end was and I was okay with that because it was funny and it's an animated film so what else would you expect, but the beginning with the pregnant lady is a bit stupid. She starts going into labor (I assume this anyway, we only see some light gasps) and plays with her husbands leg to wake him, then they both gaze at the scenery before he knows what's up. If you have time to gaze at the scenery, you have time to pick up your picnic and not be litterbugs. I guess they had to set up the film somehow though. I also think it's crazy they had a whole box full of sugar, that's gonna be one hyper baby she gives birth to.

Overall, Minuscule is a cute little film with some original touches and it's definitely worth watching.
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6/10
Somewhat different animated movie
Horst_In_Translation12 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Minuscule - La vallée des fourmis perdues" or "Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants" is a 2013 animated film that runs for 85 minutes only and that already includes a fair share of credits. So a fairly short film by writer/director duo Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo. The two already worked on the television series that came before this film. Their work with the movie got them an impressive deal of awards recognition, also at fairly prestigious events. And I can see why. We basically follow a ladybird that starts an unusual friendship with an ant and is treated as a friend afterward by the ant's colony. However, not everything is harmonic as the fight for food and daily survival gets our heroes into battles with dangerous fish and red ants, who are the main antagonists in here.

It took so long for this film to finally hit theatres in Germany here, but now the movie is there. And they did not even had to dub anything as the film is completely silent in terms of dialogue. It is not silent in terms of animal noise and music though and the music is one of the areas where this film really delivers. But the biggest area is the animation. They managed a nice mix of cute and stunning here, but mostly stunning as the ladybug is really almost the only cute character in here. If you love ladybugs as much as I do, then this is certainly worth checking out. The story is not 100% convincing, but there are enough quality moments in terms of comedy and drama to let me recommend this film. If your kid does not get bored by animation movies in which the animals aren't speaking than it's a good watch for him/her too. To me, maybe because of the lack of language, this film had a very documentary aspect to it. I enjoyed the watch. Thumbs up.
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4/10
Sorry
bombersflyup19 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Valley of the Lost Ants is a different film, that has its moments. Certainly would of benefited from some dialogue in spots.

I feel like some ogre bashing on a cute little kids film, with all these glowing reviews. I did like the perspective of experiencing the world through the assortment of insects, amphibians and reptiles, without the personality attached. There were cute and humorous moments, but I feel so many spots could have been funnier with some dialogue, the red ants getting angry for example. Just because it's different doesn't make it better.
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10/10
Lots of Fun
duddlebug-964033 July 2018
A movie with no dialogue is tricky to pull off correctly, but the makers of this movie knew what they were doing. Very enjoyable and heart warming movie for those of all ages.
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9/10
check out the tv series too
xfiles_trust_no113 May 2018
This movie is akin to the tv show of the same name. No dialogue but highly enjoyable. If you like the movie checkout the show
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7/10
Funny, original and gorgeous.
axapvov10 February 2018
Sorry, I´m going to state the obvious here. Comedies should be funny, horror movies should be scary, family movies should be a family experience. In that regard, this is a masterpiece. I watched this with my son and we both had a terrific time. Funny, original and gorgeous, the story-telling is brilliant and had him interested until the end. For a silent film to keep me, meh, but to keep a six year-old... that is some accomplishment. The mix of CGI and real life shots is a triumph and this will most probably still look amazing 20 years from now. It´s a feast to the senses.
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8/10
Well made and original but wastes its potential
demhier21 October 2017
I'm glad I followed this recommendation from a IMDb list. This movie is really something out of the ordinary. For once, there is no dialogue. None at all. But it doesn't matter, because everything is either told visually or through animation and sounds. In that matter it is very consistent.

It is beautifully shot, lid and scored. The fusion of real environments and animated animals go well together. I liked the sound design in particular, although it is very cartoonish.

There are some creative bits that made me laugh out loud. Some of the humor is a little juvenile for my taste, though.

The first act is flawless. Unfortunately the narrative gets messy in the last 30 minutes with scenes that go nowhere and a finale that lacks any emotion and is tonally inconsistent. For that sole reason I cannot give this film a higher rating.
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