A Bug's Life

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

Year:
1998
5,379 Views

Hopper:
So, where is it? Where's my FOOD?!

Atta:
I-Isn't it up there?

Hopper:
What?

Atta:
The food was sitting in a leaf on top--

Hopper:
Excuse me.

Atta:
Are you sure it's not up there?

Hopper:
Are you saying I'm stupid?

Atta:
No.

Hopper:
Do I look stupid... to you? Let's just think about the logic, shall we? Let's just think about it for a second. If it was up there, would I be coming down here, to your level, looking for it?! Why am I even talking to you? You're not the queen. You don't smell like the queen.

Queen:
She's learning to take over for me, Hopper.

Hopper:
Oh, I see! Under new management. So it's your fault.

Atta:
No, it wasn't me, it was--

Hopper:
Uh-uh-uh. First rule of leadership: Everything is your fault.

Atta:
But-But-I--

Hopper:
It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, Princess, one of those circle-of-life kind of things. Now, let me tell you how things are supposed to work. The sun grows the food, the ants pick the food, the grasshoppers eat the food--

Molt:
And the birds eat the grasshoppers. Hey, like the one that nearly ate you, you 'member? Oh, you shoulda seen it. This blue jay has him halfway down his throat, and Hopper's kickin' and screamin' And I'm scared. I'm not goin' anywhere near, okay? [Hopper approaches Molt] Aw, come on. It's a great story. [Hopper grabs his antennae] Ow! Ow! Ow!

Hopper:
[pushes him against a wall] I swear, if I hadn't promised Mother on her deathbed that I wouldn't kill you, I would kill you!

Molt:
And believe me, no one appreciates that more than I do.

Hopper:
Shut up! I don't want to hear another word out of you while we're on this island. Do you understand me? [Molt whimpers] I said, do you understand me?!

Molt:
Well, how can I answer? You said I couldn't say another word. [Hopper enraged is about to punch him] Ah! Remember Ma!

Hopper:
[turns and punches another grasshopper; calms down becoming reasonable] Hey, I'm a compassionate insect. There's still a few months till the rains come, so you can all just try again.

Queen:
But, Hopper, since it's almost the rainy season, we need this time to gather food for ourselves.

Hopper:
Listen, if you don't keep your end of the bargain, then I can't guarantee your safety. And there are insects out there that will take advantage of you. Someone could get hurt. [snaps his fingers and calls out Thumper who scares Dot so she runs away but is caught by Hopper] What's the matter? You scared of grasshoppers?

Flik:
Dot!

Hopper:
[Hopper picks her up and brings her closer to Thumper] You don't like Thumper? [he brings her up face to face with Thumper and he snarls and growls]

Flik:
[Steps forward] Leave her alone!

Hopper:
[Turns to Flik] You want her? [Holds Dot above Flik] Go ahead. Take her. [Flik stands down in fear] No? Then get back in line. [Flik goes back in line] It seems to me that you ants are forgetting your place. So let's double the order of food.

Atta:
No! But-But--

Hopper:
We'll be back at the end of the season, when the last leaf falls. [pulls a skin flake off Molt and lets it slowly drop like a leaf] You ants have a nice summer. Let's ride!

[The grasshoppers all fly away and the entire colony stares at Flik, who chuckles nervously]

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