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BUG'S LIFE, A

SYNOPSIS:
The ants of Ant Island are under siege. Every year, the rapacious grasshoppers led by the mean Hopper (Kevin Spacey) demand a share of their food. But this year, Flik (Dave Foley) an enterprising but bumbling ant ruins everything. He loses the food and when Hopper and his gang arrive, they demand double the food in half the time. Flik sets out to find help. He happens across a troupe of circus bugs, but mistakes them for warriors. They include Francis (Dennis Leary) a male ladybug with an attitude, Slim (David Hyde Pierce) an annoying stick insect and Gypsy (Madeline Kahn) a moth who doubles as a magician’s assistant. Together, this motley bunch, and the ants led by the Queen (Phyllis Diller) and Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), must fend off the grasshopper menace.

"It is inevitable that the two animated ant films, A Bug's Life and Antz will be compared – yet it is a big mistake to do so. They are very different films and deserve to be enjoyed each on their own merits. Antz is satirical and adult in many of its themes and nuances, and relies on the charisma of its star voiced cast to inject its personality. A Bug's Life furthers the technical sophistication of computer animation showcased in the delightful Toy Story, and brings to life some irresistible characters who inhabit a world as colourful as the rainbow. The structured world of the ants collides with bugs of other kinds, making for a visual wonderland. And the characters are tantalising: from the villainous bad bug grasshopper (Kevin Spacey is fabulous) to the ladybug intent on proving his masculinity, to the adorable chubby caterpillar with the German accent…. They are all wonderful. It's easy to go along for the ride, be immersed in this magical world on the wide screen, laugh at the repartee and relate to the action. There's a fantasy feel throughout, punctuated by an amusing and entertaining script, plus an enchanting score. Wait for the outtakes in the closing credits: they are really something special. Cute, funny, endearing and engaging, A Bug's Life is a mesmerising fantasy that the whole family will enjoy. On the big screen or in the lounge room, Bug's Life will delight, amuse and take you into a kaleidescope world where small fry are large and the big picture is bright.
ON DVD:
A Bug's Life enhanced by the DVD experience, takes you to a world where the visuals and sound encase you in a whirlwind of sense appreciation. The colours sparkle, the sound zings, the journey from the lounge room to a fantasy world beneath a blade of grass is more immediate, more effective. Details are accentuated and we become easily attached to these lovable characters which make the imagination come alive. Everyone remembers the original out-takes – in addition to these, there are alternate out-takes to enjoy. The inclusion of Oscar winning Animated Short Geri's Game is a bonus; a marvellous introduction to short films for the uninitiated. Technology embraces the digital prowess of A Bug's Life, a delightful adventure for the whole family in any medium."
Louise Keller

"This entertaining parable on humanity (heroism and weakness, friendship & loyalty, strength & weakness) is in a class of its own - as is Antz. The big challenge for any animated film is to make the audience care for its characters, whether hand drawn or computer generated. In this, the choice of voices is as critical as the quality of the animation itself - and A Bug's Life succeeds in bridging the credibility gap. As we embark on this journey into the micro-world, we are entertained by the inventiveness of the environment and the accessible humanity of the story. Of course they're bugs with human natures! What do you want: grasshoppers without attitude?
ON DVD
A Bug's Life transfers to the small screen with ease - especially with the techno- sparkle of DVD. As the first ever digitally created movie to be released in the digital DVD form, it demonstrates the extraordinary qualitative jump that DVD represents in home entertainment. The only drawback may be that after seeing A Bug's Life on DVD, you will no longer be satisfied with the audio-visual quality of either your tv shows or your video collection. The picture is razor sharp, the sound rich - and the storage space required minimal. As well as the superior images and sound, the DVD format (either widescreen or full frame aspect ratio) enables you to select specific sequences to view, chose subtitle options, and enjoy the bonus inclusdion of Pixar's short animation, Geri's Game, in which n old man plays a game of chess - with a unique opponent. The charm of this film is irresistible, and its technical excellence suspends our incredulity about the character."
Andrew L. Urban

"Gaby (age 3): Hi. – Gaby and I, have just seen Disney’s answer to Dreamworks recent animated feature Antz; A Bug’s Life. - I had a fun time. - Like that movie, A Bug’s Life represents the state-of-the-art in CGI animation; this one from the people who brought us Toy Story. - Daddy, tell them about the bugs. They were really cute; especially the caterpillar and the rolling bugs. I liked the butterfly too. She was very beautiful. I liked the way the bugs flew and tumbled and drove in the grass - Yes, the bugs are cute in the best Disney tradition, and the grasshoppers quite menacing. - They were a bit mean, but not too scary. - And (with the possible exception of one scene) it has appeal for most ages. - It was really funny. - If the storyline seems familiar, it’s because the plot is basically that of The Magnificent Seven and before that, Seven Samurai. - What are you talking about Daddy? It’s the only movie I’ve ever seen like that. - A Bug’s Life is more accessible for children than the adult comedy of Antz. But the more mature in the audience aren’t completely overlooked; with several jokes that’ll go over the heads of the youngsters, and an hilarious sequence in the closing credits. - I didn’t get that bit. - A Bug’s Life confirms that animation is firmly back. - And I love it!"
Gaby & David Edwards

"The battle of the bugs is finally over and there's no doubt who the winner of the ant war is: DreamWorks/PDI 1: Disney/Pixar 0. It now seems obvious that the only reason Disney made this film to start with, was to compete with arch-nemesis DreamWorks. Oh, foolish ones, you've finally met your match. A Bug's Life is simply appalling, an intensely slow, highly derivative collage of bright images, forgettable characters and a weak, embarrassing script taken unashamedly from The Magnificent Seven. Clearly, this is little more than a manipulative merchandising campaign dressed up to resemble a cute film. But the ploy is not going to fool anybody. Kids will be attracted by the garish imagery, but their attention span is unlikely to last the distance. Unlike Antz, with its sharply observed script, wonderfully etched characters, thematic depth and marvellous voice talents, Bug's Life pales by comparison in all departments. Vocally, the performances are fairly routine, though it's nice to see Phyllis Diller and Lost in Space's Jonathan Harris [who can't resist an 'oh the pain'] strut their stuff, and some animated sequences are impressive. But the film lets itself down with an insipid script, and lacks warmth and emotional resonance. In addition, it's overly loud and excessively long. Apart from the closing credits (which are genuinely clever) there's very little here to appeal to anyone. Disney would be well advised to leave these bugs underground."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0
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SOFCOM MOVIES TIMES

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An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
A BUG'S LIFE

FESTIVAL RECORDS
Catalogue No: D24077
Music by Randy Newman
Album produced by Randy Newman & Frank Wolf
Executive Album Producer Chris Montan
20 tracks

Listen to a SAMPLE from the Soundtrack of
The Time of Your Life
(written/performed by Randy Newman)

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BUG'S LIFE, A (G)
(US)

VOICES: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Ratzenberger, Jonathan Harris, Madeline Kahn, David Hyde Pierce,l Denis Leary, Richard Kind, Bonnie Hunt, Brad Garrett, Michel McShane, Hayden Panettiere, Joe Ranft, Phillis Diller, Roddy McDowall, Alex Rocco, David Ossman, Edle McClurg

DIRECTOR: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

PRODUCER: Darla Anderson, Kevin Reher

SCRIPT: Andrew Stanton

MUSIC: Randy Newman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Cone

ART DIRECTOR: Bob Pauley, Tia Kratter

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 3, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: September 24, 1999
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista
RRP: $24.95

DVD RELEASE: September 24, 1999
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video (on behalf of Buena Vista International)
RRP: $34.95

In store from September 24, 1999
(simultaneously with the VHS video release)

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.
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