A Bug’s Life parents guide

A Bug’s Life Parent Review

Overall B

Flik (Dave Foley), an overzealous ant, tries to take his hill into the future with some new technological gimmicks. But instead of speeding up their annual harvest, the visionary inventor gets the colony in trouble with a group of bullying grasshoppers. Now he must think up his most innovative plan ever to save his fellow insects from destruction.

Violence C+
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use --

A Bug’s Life is rated G

Movie Review

Pixar and Disney Studios collaborate on this big screen movie about those tiny creatures that are found everywhere. A Bug's Life follows the tale of a worker ant named Flik (Dave Foley). This overzealous guy tries to take the hill into the future with his new technological gimmicks. Yet instead of speeding up their annual harvest of food (which they surrender to the bullying grasshoppers each year), the visionary inventor accidentally dumps the colony's work into a lake. When Hopper (Kevin Spacey), the leader of the grasshopper gang arrives, he angrily demands even more food from the ants -- giving them only until the last leaf falls from the tree above their home.

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Flik, however, sees a solution to the impossible task: Go find some really tough bugs to come and scare the grasshoppers away. The queen thinks he's crazy but, undaunted, the little-ant-that-could sets out for the city and returns some time later with what he thinks are a group of warrior bugs. (We know they are discarded performers from the second-rate P.T. Flea Circus.) Of course, Flik's folly will be discovered, but not until he and his buggy friends have figured out a plan.

Although A Bug's Life is aimed at a broad audience, it includes some frightening scenes. Most of these are a result of the grasshoppers that are modeled after a motorcycle gang. As well, the insects are often in life and death situations and, amazingly, there are no cute musical numbers to help break up the tension. Parents may want to accompany their youngest children if they decide to explore this anthill.

Slightly older viewers will appreciate the moral to be gained from Flik's discovery that working together is the best way to achieve a common goal. They are also likely to enjoy the film's credits which contain "out takes" -- a great spoof on this popular movie trend.

Running time: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus minutes. Theatrical release November 13, 1998. Updated

A Bug’s Life Parents Guide

A Bug’s Life illustrates the idea of many “small” individuals coming together to overcome a much larger obstacle. With this in mind, ask your children how they can make positive changes as individuals in their communities.

A Bug’s Life is based on the Aesop’s fable about the ant and the grasshopper. You may find it interesting to check your local library for a copy of the original story, and then compare it to the movie adaptation.