A Bug’s Life (1998)

<strong class="MovieTitle">A Bug’s Life</strong> (1998)

(In theaters, December 1998) I usually boycott Disney movies. No hard ideological feelings; I just hate the sugar-sweetness of their animated features and the jackhammer subtleness of their marketing approach. I did make an exception for A Bug’s Life, though, given that it’s A> Computer animated (a few months of experimentation with the form left traces on me) and B> It’s really made by Pixar, not Disney. It was a good decision; A Bug’s Life is a lot of fun and it virtually guaranteed to be so for everyone. Animated features are so deliberate that it’s virtually impossible for a stinker to emerge from the process, since that so many people double-check the results. (On the other hand, don’t expect to see anything but writing-by-committee, but still…) The computer animation is simply incredible and the writing is pretty sharp. I liked the characters, and the Dot-rescue sequence is an tremendously exciting piece of action film-making. Stay for the end credits which are hands-down the most riotous part of the movie. Inevitable comparisons will be made with Dreamwork’s contemporary effort Antz, and that’s really a shame since both are good movies that shouldn’t somehow diminish one another. See it, and not only once!

(Second viewing, In theaters, December 1998) No, not a typo… I really went to see it again. (I made a bet with a female friend and lost… don’t ask.) Frankly, I was surprised at how well A Bug’s Life stood up to a close second look, three weeks after seeing it for the first time. In interviews, director John Lasseter said he made movies to endure through repeated viewings (he does know his adult public) and I’ll admit that he succeeded. Many other details pop up, and the succession of scenes is still as fun the second time. Oh; the second set of outtakes isn’t as riotous that the first one, but still cracked up most of the audience. My favourite? “Princess ABBA”…

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