Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tonight's Movie: A Bug's Life (1998)

Until today, there were only three Disney-Pixar films I hadn't seen: A BUG'S LIFE, UP (2009), and CARS II (2011). Now the list is down to just two, as I checked A BUG'S LIFE off my viewing list today. Somehow an overcast day, with an uncharacteristic thunderstorm hitting North Orange County, seemed just right for cozying up with a Disney film.

I think the main reason I put off A BUG'S LIFE is that, well, it's about bugs! But if Pixar could make a movie about a rat in a kitchen appealing, it stands to reason that a movie about bugs would be entertaining, and so it was.

I suspect most readers are already familiar with the plot, which concerns an ant colony under the control of some very mean grasshoppers, headed by Hopper (Kevin Spacey). Flik (Dave Foley), with a help of a group of "circus" bugs, works on a plan to free the ants.

The film isn't one of Pixar's best, but even a lower-tier Pixar film is better than a huge percentage of films released in recent years. Some of the bugs were a little creepy for me to watch, but the film was filled with fascinating visuals, as well as a deceptively simple and thought-provoking storyline.

Besides being visually creative and funny, I thought the film conveyed a rather interesting political theme, the value of freedom versus statism, and the burdens of ever-higher taxation to appease a small but powerful political class. There's a really interesting essay buried in there somewhere!

The voice actors include Bonnie Hunt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phyllis Diller, David Lander, Denis Leary, Richard Kind, Madeline Kahn, Edie McClurg, Hayden Panettiere, and Roddy McDowall, who was just about at the end of his long career. My favorite voice, however, was the great comic actor David Hyde Pierce (FRASIER), who plays a walking stick.

A BUG'S LIFE was directed by John Lasseter. The running time is 95 minutes.

A BUG'S LIFE is available on a 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD with plentiful extras. It's available from Netflix.


Blogger Irene said...

I've always liked this little film.

Because of your aversion to bugs, I'm guessing you haven't been on the Bug's Life attraction at DCA :)

Wait until you see UP! - so, so good.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're right, I've never seen it! When my younger daughter was little my husband took her in it and I'm not sure she's yet recovered, LOL!!!

I've been avoiding UP because I suspect I'm gonna cry (grin).

Best wishes,

1:44 PM  

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