A Bug's Life
(By Gerry Wang)

(Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
Gerry Wang

_____Remember my review for ANTZ, a movie similar to A BUG'S LIFE? My main complaint w/ the former was that it didn't charm me the way TOY STORY did. I wanted to love the characters and be blown away by the whole scope of the movie. But w/ ANTZ, I was disappointed.

_____With A BUG'S LIFE, I was utterly, completely, and entirely satisfied. I was charmed. I loved the personality of the characters. The technology of the computers just blew me away. The story was well written. The script was fantastic. I laughed till I cried.

_____A BUG'S LIFE is a towering masterpiece from the Pixar animation studios led by John Lasseter. Pixar's accomplishments have never ceased to amaze me. Keep in mind they also brought you TOY STORY, and the consistency the studio has shown in churning out quality animation stamps its place in the history of cinema as the forerunner of films generated by solely by the computer.

_____A BUG'S LIFE is about Flik, voiced by Dave Foley of NEWSRADIO, an innovative ant in a colony led by the Queen. He likes to invent stuff, but no one ever takes him seriously. He has eyes for the Princess, voiced by Julia Louis Dreyfus.

_____One day, as the ants finish their annual offering of food to the grasshoppers, Flik screws up and causes the offering to be destroyed. Of course the grasshoppers are pissed off. Led by Hopper, voiced menacingly by Kevin Spacey, the ants are given a second chance to provide the food. Flik urges the colony to fight for its rights against the grasshoppers, and sets off to find warriors to aid in his crusade. But instead he gets a troupe of circus performing bugs, and the fun starts from there.

_____Characters are the best part of the movie. Dot, the little itty bitty princess aunt looks so adorable as she hops up and down and struggles to fly. Flik's character is the one you identify with, because he's geeky and needs to prove himself to everyone. Hopper, the head honcho of the grasshopper has a evil aura about him that resembles Scar in THE LION KING.

_____The addition of the circus bugs is the most outstanding aspect of the film. There such a diversity. Starting with Francis, the ladybug who resents being mistaken as a female, to Heimlich, the fatso German caterpillar, the circus bugs inject the movie with an upbeat energy full of personality and little quirky mannerisms. You won't forget the pill bugs who are Frenchie foreigners. They are hilarious.

_____There are action sequences in A BUG'S LIFE that is better than anything ever done in live-action films. Look for the 2 sequences involving a bird, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Thanks to the miracles of computers, we are held breathless during A BUG'S LIFE's action sequences, and we gasp for oxygen after laughing our asses off at its jokes. Truly a fantastic experience.

_____While its target audience is mainly children, A BUG'S LIFE has something for everyone. The moral message that comes standard in such fables, of standing up for yourself and working hard together as a team is a lesson people of all ages should learn. This movie is definitely worth your money. $3.75 is a bargain. Watch it twice.

Chick-o-meter: 4 (Everyone will fall in love with this film)

*See 9/29/'98 video pick of the week #1 for scale info