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The computer animation crew at Pixar--the creators of TOY STORY--return with another feature rife with stunningly rendered worlds populated by cute critters you can't help but care about. The story is simple--an ant colony led by Flik (Dave Foley) seeks help from a flea circus and other insects in their struggles against the oppressive grasshopper bullies led by Hopper (Kevin Spacey). However, as with TOY STORY, there is as much for adults to enjoy here as there is for the kids. (In fact, the story is loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's classic SEVEN SAMURAI.) And don't miss the wonderful "outtakes" that roll with the closing credits!

There was such a magic on the screen in 1995 when the people at Pixar came up with the first fully computer-animated film,Toy Story. Their second feature film,A Bug's Life, may miss the bull's-eye but Pixar's target is so lofty, it's hard to find the film anything less than irresistible.

Brighter and more colorful 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 traveling 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 ladybug, Joe Ranft as the German-accented caterpillar, David Hyde Pierce as a stick bug, and Michael McShane as a pair of unintelligible pillbugs. The scene-stealer is Atta's squeaky-voiced sister, baby Dot (Hayden Panettiere), who has a big sweet spot for Flik.

More gentle and kid-friendly than Antz, A Bug Life's still has some good suspense and a wonderful demise of the villain. However, the film--a giant 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.

The video also contains Pixar's delightful Oscar-winning short, Geri's Game. Box art varies. --Doug Thomas

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CastKevin Spacey, Alex Rocco, Christina Milian, Roddy McDowall, Brad Garrett, Edie McClurg, Denis Leary, John Ratzenberger, Madeline Kahn, Bonnie Hunt, Joe Ranft, Richard Kind, Dave Foley, Phyllis Diller, Hayden Panettiere, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael McShane, David Hyde Pierce, Jonathan Harris, David Ossman, Ashley Tisdale, Kelsey Mulrooney
DirectorAndrew Stanton, John Lasseter
Genre:  Animation, Family
Release Date:  November 25, 1998
MPAA Rating:  G
Screen WriterAndrew Stanton, David Reynolds, Bob Shaw, Don McEnery, Geefwee Boedoe
DVD Release Date:  Buena Vista Home Entertainment (May 27, 2003)
Runtime:  1hr 36min
Studio:  Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Studios
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review by . March 16, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"Toy Story" will always be considered one of modern cinema's greatest achievements. Unfortunately, movies like "A Bug's Life" and "Monsters, Inc." will always be brushed by the wayside for the fact that they weren't first. That's a shame, because both movies had better plots and performances. "A Bug's Life" is funny. It has a great cast of characters that are more memorable than "Woody" or "Buzz" and the villain, "Hopper," is one of the best villains in Disney history. His fate is also right up …
review by . September 01, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
"A Bug's Life" is actually my least favorite movie from Pixar. However, Pixar's worst is (at least so far) better than the best many other studios can produce, and "Bug's Life" is still a fun movie to watch.The story of "A Bug's Life" is mainly about an ant named Flik, who is trying to save his ant colony from the bullying rule of a group of grasshoppers. He enlists the aid of a few circus bugs to help the ants fight the grasshoppers, but eventually, it is Flik's ideas which provide the main inspiration …
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