Lucas Nickle (Tyler) is always getting bullied by the bigger
kids because he is small, so he decided to pick on something that is smaller
than him, the ant colony in his garden. Know to them as the Destroyer, the
Ant Council are at a loss about what to do after his last devastating attack
but Ant Wizard Zoc (Cage) has a radical idea. He has developed a potion
that will show Lucas the consequences of his destructive actions by shrinking
him to the same size as an ant.
Ants are no stranger to animated movies but can 'The Ant Bully'
bring anything new to the colony?
After the success of 'A Bugs Life' and 'Antz', you might
have thought that another movie about the same insect might be a little
too much but 'The Ant Bully' is a fun addition to the bug club. Based on
the book John Nickle, the story is a young boy who bullied because of his
size so he in turn bullied the ant colony that lives on front yard, to make
himself feel bigger. This is the main plot but the underlying plot is one
about tolerance, understanding of different cultures and not just exterminating
things you don't understand. In a way, it is trying to parallel what is
going on in the world today.
As computer animation takes over completely from traditional
2D cell animation techniques, Studios complete to produce more or more technically
stunning features. 'The Ant Bully' raises the bar again with its creation
of the ant colony, the ants and the human characters. Animators are now
excelling in their arts and pushing the boundaries even further, making
it as creative as any other animation medium.
The key to the success of any family oriented animated movie
is making the story and the characters appeal to both the adults and the
children but 'The Ant Bully' succeeds more for the younger viewers than
those accompanying them. There is still a lot to enjoy here however. While
the kids will love Lucas, Zoc and Hova, voiced with great gusto by Zach
Tyler, Nicolas Cage and Julia Roberts but it is the performance of a cult
legend that steals the show for the adults. Bruce Campbell is absolutely
brilliant as ant scout Fugax. Supplying all of the gags with his usual style,
Campbell steals the film completely and is a joy for the adults to watch.
There are also good performances from Regina King as Kreela and a fun turn
from Paul Giamatti as insect exterminator Stan Beals.
With a good message to children and the presence of Bruce
Campbell to keep the adults entertained, 'The Ant Bully' is another good
addition to the 3D animated family pictures that are fun for all the family.
While it might be a little more child oriented than 'A Bugs Life' or 'Antz',
this is a creepy crawly movie won't have you crawling up the walls when
you take the family to see it.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well as you'd expect from a computer-animated feature.
It takes a Colony (16.34 mins)
Director John A. Davis and the Beetle (voiced by Rob Paulsen) take you
behind the scenes of DNA Productions and look at how the script developed
from the book, the vocal cast recordings, the storyboarding process, the
character design and the animation.
Animated Shorts (8.19 mins)
Entitled 'Hot Enough for You', 'World Wide Web', 'Please Help', 'Monster
Truck', 'Turn it down a notch', 'Arrival' and 'Pea Brains', these funny
animated shorts allow you to see more of your favourite characters.
Additional Scenes (11.24 mins)
These nineteen additional or extended scenes are presented in complete
and partially complete animation as well as in animated storyboard form.
They suffer from the lack of commentary track or introduction however
to say why they were removed.
Watch the preview of the movie that was shown in cinemas and on the Internet
before the film's release.
The DVD treatment for 'The Ant Bully' is a little lacklustre for a children's
release. The featurette is fun and the animated shorts are excellent but
there needs to be a few more interactive fun things for children to enjoy.
This is still a decent DVD for the kids to enjoy.
A Bug's Life
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