A Bug's Life Reviews
After watching it just recently for this review, I thought that maybe there are some things that I could appreciate more as a movie reviewer. And it's still just as I remembered. A BUG'S LIFE is definitely one of Pixar's weaker films. I don't think it's just the fact that the later Pixar films did so much better than this one, it's also because the characters are not memorable and the story has been done so many times already. The movie is basically your typical story of mistaken identity.
The plot is basically this: a colony of ants is forced to provide food to a group of grasshoppers, but our main character, Flik, is against this and goes out to find warrior bugs to defend the grasshoppers off, but the warrior bugs he finds are actually circus bugs and so are not meant to fight, but the colony doesn't know that. With that, you can predict exactly what's going to happen in the end. Therefore, you can't really become engaged in the story and characters, nor even care. We've seen this so many times before. You could make the argument that this a new animation studio and is just starting to create their own movies. But with TOY STORY that has just been made by them, a movie that has a simple yet innovative and interesting story with fun and memorable characters, you can't excuse them for making a movie that has a complicated and conventional story with boring and forgettable characters.
However, they did at least make the characters entertaining, and that has to go to the voice cast. Really, the whole cast is great: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joe Ranft, Denis Leary, Richard Kind, and Bonnie Hunt. All of them really do they're best to make these dull characters as enjoyable as possible. Okay, maybe not all the characters are boring and forgettable, I really do enjoy the circus bugs. Each of them as their own unique design and way of entertainment, which makes them easily the most memorable characters.
Another great thing about the movie is the animation. The CG looks like it's really starting to improve from TOY STORY with all the neat textures and how many ants they can fit into one frame. Seriously, look at all the ants that they had to put in. I get the feeling that their computers have crashed a lot when animating certain frames of the entire ant colony.
As I said before, A BUG'S LIFE is definitely not a very strong animated film, especially when coming from Pixar. We don't remember it that much because we've seen this concept so many times already and the characters were not all that interesting. Plus, the studio proved to themselves that they could do way better. I still like it though, it's an entertaining film with a great voice cast and fantastic animation for its time. It's just not something I would watch multiple times like I would for most Pixar films. The movie is probably meant to appeal more for kids than adults, and that's fine.
Wonderfully imaginative updating of SEVEN SAMURAI as ants gather bigger bugs to help them defend against raiding grasshoppers. Overwhelmingly clever, funny, and visually opulent. Grasshopper leader Hopper (voiced by Kevin Spacey) is a classic Disney villain; the ending makes the movie. Terrific score by Randy Newman.