Review #4 A Bug’s Life

Review #4 A Bug’s Life

Rated U

Directed by- John Lasseter

Starring- Kevin Spacey, Dave Foley and Julia Louis-Dreyfus

It really is a bug’s life. I kind of generally review and compare the Pixar movies in this, as well as obviously discussing A Bug’s Life. This movie had a lot to follow, that being Toy Story (one of my favourite movies of all time). It was also released a bit before Antz, amid waves of controversy given the similarity between them. I watched this movie yesterday, and I think it’s one of the first times I’ve watched it as an adult (or the excuse of a grown up that I am). I enjoy doing this, there are certain movies (usually Disney-Pixar ones), which I loved as a child, and can now get the grown-up references made. A Bug’s Life is full of them, an excellent example being after the bugs have a heated bar argument, they pile on top of each other and take the form of the famous Les Miserables poster.

For 1998, the graphics are excellent. There are no humans whatsoever in it, something I think Disney-Pixar should have stuck to really. I think Up is a brilliant movie, and The Incredibles is a good movie, but they were lucky. Toy Story and A Bug’s Life are colourful and vibrant, and with the latter especially, the attention is in the detail. Looking carefully at the plants and the different lights and ‘buildings’ in the ‘city’ (cans and rubbish which the bugs, unsurprisingly, inhabit). I like the hat-tip to Toy Story (you may have guessed, I really like Toy Story 1 and 2, not 3, but I will most probably review them and explain at a later date).

The cast is also brilliant and well known, Kevin Spacey makes a very good scary grasshopper. His brother Molt (Richard Kind- who I constantly refer to as Paul from Spin City) brings comic relief and gives you a bit of faith in the fact that not every follower of evil is a believer of evil. That’s one thing about this story, as with every Pixar movie I’ve seen (all but Wall-E and Cars 2), the plot delivers. Something I only found out recently was that it’s actually based on one of Aesop’s Fables. It’s heartwarming, and gives you (but more importantly, kids) faith in the individual. One thing about this movie is that I started off analyzing it thinking it’s about the collective and the power of the group, but it’s not. It’s about the actions of one individual ant, with the help of others, but through his determination he frees the ants from their grasshopper oppressors. Deep stuff!

Another aspect of Disney-Pixar movies I love and think they should continue doing is the short clips beforehand. Geri’s game is something that as a child, I don’t really get, and as a (reluctant) grown-up, I still don’t get it. But I think that’s the point, I’m not supposed to get it. It’s there for my own amusement, to watch an old man play chess.

If you want a heart-warming story for all ages, and maybe to remind you of not being so old, then A Bug’s Life is for you. Four stars.