Picks and Pans Review: The Ant Bully

updated 08/07/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2006 01:00AM

Voices by Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage
CRITIC'S CHOICE
ANIMATED

It's always wonderful to see a child suddenly get a joke, gleefully comprehending why it's funny. In the delightful Ant Bully, such moments come repeatedly when six-legged insect characters refer to everyday items in the human world by their ant names. Jelly beans are "sweet rocks," a street is "the Great Flat Rock," and cars are "metal cocoons." In telling how Lucas, a boy shrunk to ant size, comes to understand why he was wrong to turn a water pistol on the anthill in his front yard, Bully is about seeing the world from another perspective. It's also about letting such performers as Roberts, Cage and Meryl Streep fly high, imbuing their invertebrate cartoon characters with vivid personalities. (PG)

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