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The Ant Bully HD DVD

| HD DVD

An all-star cast--including A-list stars such as Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep--lend their voices to The Ant Bully, from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker John A. Davis (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) and producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (The Polar Express). Social misfit Lucas gets bullied by the bigger boys in his neighbourhood, so he takes out his frustrations on the only things around smaller than him: an ant hill on his front lawn. After being flooded and stepped on, the ants fight back when ant wizard Zoc (voiced by Nicolas Cage) develops a potion that shrinks Lucas down to bug-size. But Zoc's thirst for revenge gets foiled when the ant queen (Meryl Streep) decrees that Lucas must learn to live like an ant, and Zoc's girlfriend Hova (Julia Roberts) takes up the task of teaching the unhappy boy how to value others over himself. The animation of The Ant Bully makes good use of scale as Lucas grapples with the gigantic world around him, but the writing is not so imaginative; the name actors are thrown away on bland characters and lackluster dialogue. The lessons Lucas learns are admirable (and amusingly Communist in flavour), but the way he learns them feels contrived and uncompelling. It's too bad, because there probably won't be many other movies featuring the combined talents of Meryl Streep and Bruce Campbell. Also featuring Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan), Lily Tomlin (Nashville) and the much-underrated Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as a sleazy exterminator. --Brett Fetzer

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