Anthony's Film Review
A Bug's Life (1998)
A charming and cute early entry in Pixar's line of computer-animated films...
After the success of Toy Story in 1995, Pixar immediately established itself as an animation studio that can produce great works of cinematic art. If they could tell a wonderful about toys brought to life, then what else could Pixar do? I eagerly awaited whatever new idea Pixar had in store. When I heard it would be about insects, I smiled. That sounded like something Pixar could easily pull off.
And they did. Here is a story that centers on an ant colony. The main character is an ant named Flik whose main issue in the movie seems to be confidence. The colony is in danger because of grasshoppers that are out to destroy the ants. The situation is obviously scary, because the grasshopper is so much bigger than the ant. Of course, there is strength in numbers, and that's why the grasshoppers must make their move as soon as possible. The ants, meanwhile, must come up with a plan of defense. And quickly.
The various characters are quite likable. Besides Flik, there is a little girl ant named Dot, for whom Flik serves as sort of a mentor. Even the main villain, a grasshopper named Hopper (nice pun), is rather interesting. He's villainous without being overly mean. Other characters include a caterpillar and various little creatures that make up a circus troupe, who, believe it or not, may be the only hope for the ants.
Let's not forget Pixar's primary trademark in its films: lessons, morals, and themes. A Bug's Life is simply a story about determination and working as a team in the face of adversity. The climax of the movie is a battle between the ants and the grasshoppers. I won't say what kinds of tactics each side has, but I will say that the ants come up with a nice method for surviving. It makes watching this last part of the movie worthwhile.
A Bug's Life is nowhere near as great as Toy Story but it's still worthy enough to see. It simply tells an interesting story from start to finish, and the characters are mostly lovable. The last thing I'm going to mention is how, at this time, not one but two animation studios were emerging with similar movies. The year 1998 saw both the Pixar movie A Bug's Life and the Dreamworks movie Antz, which I enjoyed pretty much for the same reasons. I guess it's a sign that movies with anthropomorphic characters and themes can easily have a lasting impression on the audience.
For more information about A Bug's Life, visit the Internet Movie Database.