W hen it comes to Pixar, A Bug’s Life is one of those films that could be taken as entertaining or boring, depending on the viewer’s preferences. Personally, this film was not all that was expected from the movie studio that produced the very successful Toy Story CGI film. It’s a cute, loveable movie with a good heart and good message behind it, but it just does not inspire the interest that makes a viewer want to watch the film more than once or twice a year, at the most.
The basic plot design behind this CGI film is the normal underdog kind of story with the little guy being pushed down and used by the stronger and bigger guys, even when the little guys outnumbers the bigger guys. Flik, the main protagonist, is an ant before his time and more inventive then the rest of the ants of his colony. He has been known to cause many problems around the nest as well as difficulties for the ants who are collecting food for the Grasshoopers, who are the fewer, but the stronger guys in the story of this underdog. The ants see this way of life as they’re only option because that’s all they know. They don’t know any other way, so why change it? But things do change around the colony and the basic idea that the Grasshoopers are the ones who control everything. It only takes one voice to start people talking. When Flik returns to the colony with Circus bugs who thought Flik was hiring them for a show, is when all the laughs really start to take hold but not for very long. After some laughs and jokes, they all are banished as the ants struggle to meet the Grasshoopers needs. In the end, Flik and the Circus bugs return to save the day. The Grasshoopers are beaten and the ants are free. As said before, the typical underdog story where the smaller guy eventually beats the bigger guy.
Kevin Spacey, one of the most talented actors that Hollywood has produced in a long time, plays Hooper, the head Grasshooper. Mr. Spacey has played some excellent villains in the past and portrays the villainous Hooper with his special blend of villainous behavior. Even thou his role is enjoyed for its performance, Hooper does get what’s coming to him in the end. Like most bugs, in real life, he gets eaten by a bird.
In personal experience, while viewing this film, there were more laughs when it came to Francis, Dennis Leary’s character, and the two pill bugs that didn’t speak any English. Mr. Leary is also another excellent actor who has a presence all his own and it comes out quite well in his role as a Ladybug. Not a part that one could imagine Dennis Leary taking on, but still very well played. The funniest reference is that Mr. Leary is not a girly kind of guy, and yet he is playing a Ladybug. When it comes to the two pill bugs, even thou there is no subtitling into what they’re actually saying, they are still extremely funny when they do something wrong. They’re mannerisms are designed to be funny, even thou you don’t understand what they’re saying. While the movie had great heart and a great message behind it, the funniest parts are the outtakes during the credits. There were more chances for comedy in those few moments, than in most of the film.
And like most Pixar films before and after it, this one had a short movie called Geri’s Game. It’s about an old man playing chess with himself. He tricks himself into losing and winning at the same time. It’s a mainly nonsense film, but cute all the same.