Picks and Pans Review: A Bug's Life
Is Hollywood run by entomologists? Less than two months ago, DreamWorks released Antz, a computer-animated fable about a smart little ant who saves his colony and woos the queen-to-be. Set mostly in dimly lit caverns swarming with insects, it ultimately felt like a long night spent in an unfashionable disco.
Now comes A Bug's Life from Disney and Pixar, the team behind Toy Story. It too is a computer-animated fable about a smart little ant who saves his colony and woos the queen-to-be. But this is the better cartoon—actually, a great cartoon. Visually, A Bug's Life is perfect, a fully realized, richly colored world seen from the level of a blade of grass. Here there are ants of lavender (the girls) and pale blue (the boys), a monstrous orange bird that rampages across the landscape like a beaked giant, a gorgeous butterfly with Tiffany-lamp wings and a male ladybug plagued by gender problems. These last two are members of a fleabag circus that the hero, an inventive but feckless bug named Flik, mistakenly hires as a samurai army to fight off grasshoppers.
The humor is whimsical and quick—look away and you might miss the beetle doing mime—and the actors providing the voices (including NewsRadio's Dave Foley as Flik and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as his princess) are nicely dry in their delivery. A Bug's Life should delight everyone—young, old or six-legged. (G)
Bottom Line: Make a beeline for it