A Bug’s Life Parent Guide
Parent 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.
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 February 13, 2012
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.
The most recent home video release of A Bug’s Life movie is May 26, 2003. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 27 May 2003
With as many bonus extras as ants in a hill, A Bug’s Life comes to DVD in a collector’s edition. Director John Lasseter, co-director/co-writer Andrew Stanton and supervising film editor Lee Unkrich provide audio commentary. Pixar presents its Academy Award-winning animated short Geri’s Game. The film’s background is extensively excavated with an early presentation reel called Fleabie, the original story treatment and pitch boards, character designs, concept art and color script, as well as production tests. Unearth the behind-the-scenes secrets with featurettes on the creation of A Bug’s Life, a look at the voice talent, the technical details on how the movie was recomposed from its original widescreen presentation to a full frame presentation for home video release, the demonstration of production progressions, a discussion with sound engineer Gary Rydstrom, and a storyboard-to-final film split-screen comparison. For fun viewers can access A Bug’s Land activity games and deleted sequences. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1), with subtitles in English.
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Comparing Disney’s A Bug’s Life to DreamWorks’ Antz is unavoidable, because both were released within months of each other. (In fact the two films have so much in common, you have to wonder if the studios weren’t “bugging” each other’s offices!) A family of children gets a bug’s eye view in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. A young boy finds out what life is like in the hill in the movie The Ant Bully.