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Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture.

—Allen Ginsberg
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A Bug's Life [1998] (2 discs)

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Director:Andrew Stanton
John Lasseter
Writer:Andrew Stanton
Bob Shaw
Don McEnery
Composer:Randy Newman
Length:95 minutes
(1 hour 35 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Family
IMDB Rating:7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:92%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Fantasy
  • Kids
  • CG
  • Comedy
  • Family
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: A misfit ant, looking for "warriors" to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.


Reaction: The plot's much like ˇThree Amigos!, and the humor is very Pixar. Fun film.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Select Cast and Crew
Andrew Stanton => Director / Writer / Bug Zapper Bug #2 (voice)
John Lasseter => Director / Bug Zapper Bug #1 (voice)
Bob Shaw => Writer
Don McEnery => Writer
Randy Newman => Composer
Alex Rocco => Thorny (voice)
Ashley Tisdale => Lead Blueberry Scout (voice)
Bonnie Hunt => Rosie (voice)
Brad Garrett => Dim (voice)
Christina Milian => Additional Voices (voice)
Dave Foley => Flik (voice)
David Hyde Pierce => Slim (voice)
David L. Lander => Thumper (as David Lander) (voice)
David Ossman => Cornelius (voice)
Denis Leary => Francis (voice)
Edie McClurg => Dr. Flora (voice)
Hayden Panettiere => Dot (voice)
Jack Angel => Thud (voice)
Jess Harnell => Additional Voices (voice)
Joe Ranft => Heimlich (voice)
John Ratzenberger => P.T. Flea (voice)
Jonathan Harris => Manny (voice)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus => Atta (voice)
Kevin Spacey => Hopper (voice)
Lee Unkrich => Additional Voices (voice)
Madeline Kahn => Gypsy Moth (voice)
Michael McShane => Roll (voice) / Tuck
Phil Proctor => Additional Voices (voice)
Phyllis Diller => Queen (voice)
Richard Kind => Molt (voice)
Roddy McDowall => Mr. Soil (voice)
Rodger Bumpass => Harry Mosquito (voice)
Russi Taylor => Additional Voices (as Russie Taylor) (voice)
Sherry Lynn => Additional Voices (voice)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • DIRECTOR CAMEO: The two mosquitoes trapped in the light of the bugzapper ("Frank, don't go towards the light!" "I can't help it - it's so beautiful!") are the voices of the co-directors, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.
  • In the bloopers shown at the end of the film, Princess Atta is shown cracking up during her scene with Hopper, ruining take after take until Hopper goes to his trailer in frustration. This is a spoof of Julia Louis-Dreyfus being known to do the same.
  • This is the first Pixar film to have outtakes.
  • The casting of Hopper proved problematic. John Lasseter's top choice was Robert De Niro, who repeatedly turned the part down, as did a succession of other actors. Kevin Spacey met John Lasseter at the 68th Academy Awards ceremony and Lasseter asked Spacey if he would be interested in doing the voice of Hopper. Spacey was delighted and signed on immediately.
  • The Pizza Planet van from Toy Story that appears in every Pixar film, (except The Incredibles) is visible around 25 minutes in, just after the circus scene as the camera tilts up.
  • Editor Lee Unkrich revealed they considered calling the film "Bug Story", but coming on the heels of Toy Story, they were worried that people would expect Pixar to use the "____ Story" naming convention for all their films.
  • During the summer of 1994, Pixar's story department began turning their thoughts to their next film, while Toy Story was in post-production. The storyline of A Bug's Life originated in a lunchtime conversation between John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft, the studio's head story team. Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and WALL·E were also conceived at this lunch. Lasseter and his story team had already been drawn to the idea of insects as characters. Insects, like toys, were within the reach of computer animation at the time due to their relatively simple surfaces. Stanton and Ranft wondered whether they could find a starting point in [?] Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. Walt Disney had produced his own version with a cheerier ending decades earlier in the 1934 short film The Grasshopper and the Ants.
  • Ashley Tisdale tried out for the part of Dot.
  • Dim wasn't based on a real variety of rhinoceros beetle, but in 2016 a variety of rhinoceros beetle with a horn like his was discovered. Such discoveries of "fictional" creatures later revealed to be real have subsequently been dubbed "the Dim Effect".
  • For the 1.33:1 video transfer, rather than pan-and-scan the original 2.35:1 theatrical image, Pixar actually re-used the original computer images, re-framed some scenes, and even to the point where they'd place characters to a different spot in the scene to fit into the 1.33:1 frame.
  • Despite being grasshoppers, the villains display more traits of locusts. Examples include having a way with food, flying around together in a swarm, being brown, never happen to jump around, and live in the desert.
  • This was Roddy McDowall's final film, released 7 1/2 weeks after his death on October 3, 1998 at the age of 70.
  • The characters of "Tuck and Roll" were inspired by a drawing that Andrew Stanton did of two bugs fighting when he was in second grade.
  • Dave Foley, who voices Flik, originally tried out for the voice of Slim, played by David Hyde Pierce.