There was a rare magic on the big screen in 1995, when the people at Pixar came up with the first fully computer-animated film, Toy Story, and their second feature film, A Bug's Life, may miss the bull's-eye but Pixar's target is so lofty that it's hard to find the film anything less than irresistible. Brighter and more colourful than the other animated insect movie of 1998 (Antz), A Bug's Life is the sweetly told story of Flik (voiced by David Foley), an ant searching for better ways to be a bug. His colony unfortunately revolves around feeding and fearing the local... grasshoppers (lead by Hopper, voiced with gleeful menace by Kevin Spacey). When Flik accidentally destroys the seasonal food supply for the grasshoppers he decides to look for help ("We need bigger bugs!"). The ants, led by Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), are eager to dispose of the troublesome Flik. Yet he finds help--a hearty bunch of bug warriors--and brings them back to the colony. Unfortunately they are just travelling performers, afraid of conflict. As with Toy Story, the ensemble of creatures and voices is remarkable and often inspired. Highlights include wiseacre comedian Denis Leary as an un-ladylike ladybird, Joe Ranft as the German-accented caterpillar, David Hyde Pierce as a stick insect and Michael McShane as a pair of unintelligible woodlice. The scene-stealer is Atta's squeaky-voiced sister, baby Dot (Hayden Panettiere), who has a big soft spot for Flik. More gentle and kid-friendly than Antz, A Bug Life's still has some good suspense and a wonderful demise in store for the villain. However, the film--a worldwide hit--will be remembered for its most creative touch: "outtakes" over the end credits à la many live-action comedy films. These dozen or so scenes (both "editions" of outtakes are contained here) are brilliant and deserve a special place in film history right along with 1998's other most talked-about sequence: the opening Normandy invasion in Saving Private Ryan. --Doug Thomas [show more]
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Every year the ant colony of a tiny island are forced to hand over their midsummer grain to a marauding band of grasshoppers, led by the evil Hopper (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Worker ant Flik (Dave Foley) sets off to get help from the big city, where he mistakes a troupe of circus bugs for fierce warriors. After being fired by their ringmaster, P.T. Flea (John Ratzenberger), the bugs accompany Flik back to his home, thinking that he is a talent scout. When all becomes clear, they are less than happy at the prospect of fighting off Hopper and his gang!
On Ant Island a gang of biker-type grasshoppers descend every summer demanding a large chunk of the ants' harvest. This year, Flik, a fast-talking and original ant, decides things will be different and takes it on himself to change the traditional way of life...