Pixar Animation Studios review: A Bug’s Life

Pixar Studio's 2nd film.
Pixar Studio’s 2nd film.

http://putlocker.is/watch-a-bugs-life-online-free-putlocker.html

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is a bit underrated. Sure, it is a bit predictable, but so is Toy Story, and no one complains about that. Pixar is genius with how they set up atmosphere and setting, which always benefits its characters. Its characters could have been better developed, but with a well-done story, and a family-friendly sense of humor, it is hard to hate the film.

Production

When Toy Story was finishing up in mid 1994, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft; the head story team for Pixar, met up for lunch to discuss ideas for the next film they wanted to do. This lunch draft meeting is where this film, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo were conceived. They wanted to use this as somewhat of an adaption of The Grasshopper and the Ants, and while they were showing an early draft of Toy Story to Disney in 1995, they approved the idea, and production on the film really took off.

There was an issue with the story in regards to the circus bugs, who were initially in the film to con the ants, but when the grasshopper decided to take the food from the ants, that they would stay and help the ants. It was not really believable that the circus bugs would go through such a rash personality change, so they changed the premise of the circus bugs to what we know them as today.

I could spend a lot of this section talking about how Katzenberg may or may not have stolen the idea for Antz from A Bug’s Life, but I do not feel like it because it is redundant, and I am not in the mood to start a war of the topic in the comments. It became a public feud while both films were in production, and nothing about any of the accusations have been confirmed.

Story

The story starts with a colony of ants collecting food at the cried creek that they reside in. Their queen-in-training Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who is a worryrat, and gets paranoid over every single detail. Her mother (Phyllis Diller) tells her to calm down, and consistently reassures her daughter. Once again, this first scene sets the perfect atmosphere for the ants, how they interact with one another, and how they live. The loner and inventor named Flik (Dave Foley) ends up cutting a grain stock that falls on Atta, who is less than thrilled. No one in the tribe likes Flik’s inventions, and his weird and overbearing personality. The only person who likes Flik is Atta’s little sister Dott (Hayden Panettiere).

Flik returns, and his machine causes all of the food stock to fall into the stream, so when the grasshoppers led by Hopper (Kevin Spacey) arrive, they lose their mind, threaten the ants, and tell them that they will need to double their stock for them when they return in the fall.

Flik is instantly put on trial for his crime, and is given many punishments, but the other ants know he is going to find a way to screw it up. He offers to go find someone to help them with the grasshoppers, and everyone jumps on the opportunity, since no ant has left the island and maintained alive, so he is granted that.
Flik is instantly put on trial for his crime, and is given many punishments, but the other ants know he is going to find a way to screw it up. He offers to go find someone to help them with the grasshoppers, and everyone jumps on the opportunity, since no ant has left the island and maintained alive, so he is granted that.

We are then taken to a circus act, who is……. by all means……. a piece of trash in regards to their performance act. Their greedy and pathetic ringmaster P.T. Flea (John Ratzenberger) makes it even worse when he lights up the circus, and everything gets out of control. The crew are soon fired, and go to a bar to make themselves feel better. Flik goes to a city (which is really a bunch of trash under a trailer, but it is neat how it is all set up), and ends up bumping into a circus crew, who is about to get into a bar brawl. He ends up speaking to them about his dilemma, and they accept, thinking it is another gig.

The colony is struggling with many ants passing out on the job, shocked when Flik returns, and with the people he promised as well. This is not the best for them, since Flik was not supposed to come back. Soon enough, the bugs come to the realization of what the ants expect of them, and everything starts to blow over.

The ants are celebrating and showing off their culture to the bugs, and after the ceremonies are over, they run off, only for Flik to follow them, and overhear that they are CIRCUS BUGS. He rusn tot hem, and tries to come up with a plan, but Atta follows them, since she has been suspicious since the very beginning. After everything blows over, a plan is created to make a bird to scare off the grasshoppers.
The ants are celebrating and showing off their culture to the bugs, and after the ceremonies are over, they run off, only for Flik to follow them, and overhear that they are CIRCUS BUGS. He runs tot hem, and tries to come up with a plan, but Atta follows them, since she has been suspicious since the very beginning. After everything blows over, a plan is created to make a bird to scare off the grasshoppers.

Dott and Francis the ladybug (Denis Leary) end up being chased by a bird, and stuck in a crack, which results in the bugs saving them as the other ants watch. Everyone starts to prepare for this fake birds, and everyone grows close within the next few months. The circus act wants to remain at the colony even after the fall, and Atta starts to get pretty close to Flik to the point of having a crush. It is a bit convenient, but it is not much of an issue, and it is very easy to gloss over.

Meanwhile, the grasshoppers are residing in a sombrero, where there is more than enough food, and they are all having a brilliant time. Hopper tells them that they are going back to the ant colony to get their food, and his brother Molt (Richard Kind) tells him that they don’t have to go back. Hopper loses his mind over this, because he tells them that it is not about food, but about power and keeping the ants in line, since they outnumber the grasshoppers, and could turn on them if it is realized.

Everyone is celebrating, since it is the day that they are finally going to be rid of the grasshoppers, but things go wrong when the idiotic ringleader begs them to come back, since he has no more money, and realizes he is nothing. We are dealt with the liar revealed plot, where everyone is mad at Flik for lying, and they want him to leave, and pretend like nothing ever happened. To be honest, I hate the liar's revealed as much as everyone, and I get their anger, but there is not much they can do, since the grasshoppers are gong to be there any minute.
Everyone is celebrating, since it is the day that they are finally going to be rid of the grasshoppers, but things go wrong when the idiotic ringleader begs them to come back, since he has no more money, and realizes he is nothing. We are dealt with the liar revealed plot, where everyone is mad at Flik for lying, and they want him to leave, and pretend like nothing ever happened. To be honest, I hate the liar’s revealed as much as everyone, and I get their anger, but there is not much they can do, since the grasshoppers are gong to be there any minute.

So you can guess the rest of the film from here. Grasshoppers show up, Flik is convinced to return by Dott (who snuck to leave with them), he stands up to Grasshopper, everyone sides with him, there is an epic battle for a climax, so on and so forth. The plan with the bird almost works until the stupid ringleader wants attention, and decides to light it on fire. The Grasshoppers get some hope until a real bird decides to eat Hopper to death. The circus bugs are making their rounds of goodbyes to all of the ants while Heimlech (Joe Ranft) turns into a butterfly, with the intention of returning to the tribe the following summer. Atta becomes queen, with Dott next in line to the throne, and it is easy to assume that Flik is dating Atta.

Do I think this is one of the better Pixar films? No. Do I think it gets a lot of hate, or some unneeded criticism? Yes I do. There is not much, if anything that is really.... wrong with this film. I do think the main character needed to be a bit stronger, but otherwise, a lot happens in the film, there is good pacing, some enjoyable characters, and it ultimately set the staple of the Pixar charm that is in almost every film, and not just relegated to the Toy Story franchise. It is kind of sad that out of the canon, this is the film that is the forgotten one. Even Cars has a strong reputation, while this film is just smushed in between the Toy Story films.
Do I think this is one of the better Pixar films? No. Do I think it gets a lot of hate, or some unneeded criticism? Yes I do. There is not much, if anything that is really…. wrong with this film. I do think the main character needed to be a bit stronger, but otherwise, a lot happens in the film, there is good pacing, some enjoyable characters, and it ultimately set the staple of the Pixar charm that is in almost every film, and not just relegated to the Toy Story franchise. It is kind of sad that out of the canon, this is the film that is the forgotten one. Even Cars has a strong reputation, while this film is just smushed in between the Toy Story films.

Characters

What I will say about these characters is that as a group, they are great, and pretty brilliant. When you look at them individually, there is some work that can easily be done to make the film better.

If I were to be honest, he is kind of a flat main character. All we know about him is that he likes to invent, no one likes him, and he is an outcast. There is nothing else to him, and I wished there was more to him, so he would be a bit more interesting.
If I were to be honest, he is kind of a flat main character. All we know about him is that
he likes to invent, no one likes him, and he is an outcast. There is nothing else to him, and I wished there was more to him, so he would be a bit more interesting.
He is a poretty good villain. Hopper is the leader of the grasshoppers, and is sick of everything. He is tired of his younger brother, his idiotic allies, and is obsessed with power and control, which is what it comes down to him. I like that there is a tie to the animal kingdom, and the circle of life in this film.
He is a pretty good villain. Hopper is the leader of the grasshoppers, and is sick of everything. He is tired of his younger brother, his idiotic allies, and is obsessed with power and control, which is what it comes down to him. I like that there is a tie to the animal kingdom, and the circle of life in this film.
Princess Atta showed through the film that she is kind of awkward herself. She is always paranoid,un-trusting, and it is kind of refreshing to see a female character like her. She is trying to handle being in control of and managing a lot of people through the film, and learning when to relax.
Princess Atta showed through the film that she is kind of awkward herself. She is always paranoid, un-trusting, and it is kind of refreshing to see a female character like her. She is trying to handle being in control of and managing a lot of people through the film, and learning when to relax.

I simply do not feel like talking about anyone else individually because they have too little of a role, and there is too many people. All of them have their little quirks that add some humor, but that is really it, and nothing to expand on individually.

Animation

What I will say about the animation is that you can tell the company improved a lot in the 3 year time-span between the films. There ate still some slight texture issues, but overall, the insects look (for the most part) like insects, though I do notice that some parts of the backgrounds have been tweaked to make the atmosphere look a bit more appealing. Blockiness is not really an issue in this film.

Music

The music in this film is very similar to the one in its predecessor, and that is because Randy Newman tends to have a very distinct style when he creates music for a film. Very melodic, relaxing, some slight jazzy themes to it. The score is pretty strong.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on November 25th, 1998, it made $162 million domestically, and made $200 million overseas, with a worldwide total of $363.3 million. It outgrossed Antz, all of its animated counterparts for the year (including Mulan), and made roughly the same amount as its predecessor, continuing Pixar’s success, and the company not being a one film success story.

It was well-received critically, though there were naturally comparisons to Antz, since it was released almost two months beforehand. People liked the comedy, adventure, characters, the belief of “what ifs” in regard to non-human objects or beings, and how they tell the story. Many people liked Toy Story more, but it is by no means a shot against the film.

Like Toy Story, the film was nominated for countless awards, and won a lot of awards. It won countless awards for Best Animated Feature (though Iron Giant beat it for the award at the Annies), and won some other awards that included editing, sound, and stuff like that.

Reception Today 

In regards to its reception today, it is quite weak. Pixar has grown exceptionally since the release of this film, and most of their product has been better as well, so it is not shocking to find out that this film is often forgotten, and seen as one of the weaker Pixar films (though most do not see it as the weakest). It is one of the few Pixar films that does not have a sequel that has been released or currently in production. Many compare it to Antz, but otherwise, not many people talk much about A Bug’s Life, though it is not looked at negatively.

Final Score

Story: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7.5/10

= 30.5/40 = 76%

Next time…

Review: September 25th, 2016.
Review: September 25th, 2016.
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15 thoughts on “Pixar Animation Studios review: A Bug’s Life

  1. Even though A Bug’s Life may not be one of Pixar’s best films, it has something that most Pixar films don’t have and that is a great and memorable villain. Pixar may make great films, but just like Walt Disney Animation Studios and Dreamworks Animation, Pixar does have their own weaknesses and one of them is the inability to create really outstanding villains. In most Pixar fims the villains are often the least interesting characters.

    1. I definitely agree that Pixar generally has weaker villains. A part of this might have to do with the fact that they do not like black-and white villains, or scenarios involving villains. Hopper is one of the better villains for sure, and I cannot remember many of the villains from Pixar.

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