There was such a magic on the screen in 1995 when the people at Pixar came up with the first fully computer-animated film, Toy Story. Their second feature film, A Bug's Life, may miss the bull's-eye but Pixar's target is... more » so lofty, it's hard to find the film anything less than irresistible. Brighter and more colorful than the other animated insect movie of 1998 (Antz), A Bug's Life is the sweetly told story of Flik (voiced by David Foley), an ant searching for better ways to be a bug. His colony unfortunately revolves around feeding and fearing the local grasshoppers (lead by Hopper, voiced with gleeful menace by Kevin Spacey). When Flik accidentally destroys the seasonal food supply for the grasshoppers he decides to look for help ("We need bigger bugs!"). The ants, led by Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), are eager to dispose of the troublesome Flik. Yet he finds help--a hearty bunch of bug warriors--and brings them back to the colony. Unfortunately they are just traveling performers afraid of conflict. As with Toy Story, the ensemble of creatures and voices is remarkable and often inspired. Highlights include wiseacre comedian Denis Leary as an un-ladylike ladybug, Joe Ranft as the German-accented caterpillar, David Hyde Pierce as a stick bug, and Michael McShane as a pair of unintelligible pillbugs. The scene-stealer is Atta's squeaky-voiced sister, baby Dot (Hayden Panettiere), who has a big sweet spot for Flik. More gentle and kid-friendly than Antz, A Bug Life's still has some good suspense and a wonderful demise of the villain. However, the film--a giant worldwide hit--will be remembered for its most creative touch: "outtakes" over the end credits à la many live-action comedy films. These dozen or so scenes (both "editions" of outtakes are contained here) are brilliant and deserve a special place in film history right along with 1998's other most talked-about sequence: the opening Normandy invasion in Saving Private Ryan. The video and DVD also contain Pixar's delightful Oscar-winning short, Geri's Game. --Doug Thomas« less
Tom Zohar | Escondido, CA United States | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably not going to surprise anyone-- This is simply an excellent DVD, in every scale. The first disc contains the movie itself, which is transferred from its original, digital source. The picture quality is unbelievable. Not one spot comes up during the movie, not one scratch appears-- because this wasn't transferred from film. This is the way A Bug's Life should be watched. The colors are amazing, bright and contrast eachother perfectly. The sound is also unbelievable-- this movie challanged my 1.5 surround system perfectly. Unlike some other movies I've seen, where the two rear speakers are only used about twice in the movie, A Bug's Life uses them almost constantly-- You can hear the crickets and cicadas all around you in many of the scenes, Hopper's gang are flying at you from behind; Even with a simple scene like the "Royal Huddle" the ant's footsteps are coming from around you. The first disc contains a Cinemascope widescreen version and a pan-and-scan version. I'll have to say that if you don't have a widescreen TV (I don't), you probably should forget about the widescreen version here as it is aspecially small. Besides, the PSP version was edited digitally in a very special way, even described on this DVD-- you hardly miss anything in the PSP version because of that special editing. If anything, you actually get to see more detail. Also on the first disc are two special audio choices, Music Only (cool) and SFX only (VERY cool), and a director's commentary (quite cool, although not the best I've heard. John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich seem to talk too much about the story, which sometimes makes it sound as if they're just describing what you already see on screen.)(I'm not going to give review to the movie itself here-- In short, it is definitly a 5 star movie!)The second disk is where the real fun begins. I've never seen so many extras, with so many choices to choose from. It's almost confusing-- You not only get to see how they made the movie, you get to literally see how they developed EACH AND EVERY character in this film. It's astonishing. You can also hear how they edited the sound, see how they made the PSP version so good, see how they made the outtakes at the end (and also see the outtakes by themselves, clean, full screen and with no credits to interrupt), see an interview with the characters themselves (which is simply hilarious), and... See Geri's Game in all its glory. And there's even more. Basically, if you don't have this DVD, you WILL buy it. Otherwise, what's the point of having a DVD?"
factoflife | 12/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A BUG'S LIFE is truly a movie that the entire family can enjoy. It is adorable, funny, and it has a message that everybody can relate to.The DVD is amazing, amazing, amazing! The transfer (the first ever completely digital transfer), is simply unbelievable. It is like you can reach into the screen and touch the characters. The cinemascope animation is truly stunning, and the transfer expresses it beautifully. The sound is wonderful. You feel like you're in the bugs' world.This DVD has the most amazing set of extras I have ever seen. It takes you through the entire process of making A BUG'S LIFE...I've gone through "preproduction" and the first half of "production" and it took me an hour and a half...I still have three sections left! What is more amazing is that every extra is interesting! Truly an outstanding, sure to be groundbreaking disc. Disney, why can't all of your DVDs be like this! A MUST HAVE!"
The Super Genius Edition is the one to own
Lawrence A. Zieminski | Fort Bragg, NC USA | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the definitive DVD edition of A Bugs Life. The film makers call it "The Super Genius Edition" and I have to agree. They included everything in this two disc edition. Not only do we get both sets of outtakes, but we get Geri's Game (old man playing chess), the trailers (including one for international release), deleted scenes, storyboards, pictures, making of segments and more. It can easily take you 3 hours to go through all the extras on this disc. If you have ever wanted to know how this movie was made, this disc will tell you!"
Entertaining for kids and adults!
Michael Fletcher | Murrieta, CA USA | 06/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Bug's Life is entertaining for kids and adults alike. This movie is a non-stop action fest that has been masterfully captured on DVD.The picture quality if superb, if not the best I've seen, for an animated DVD due to the direct digital to DVD transfer. In full screen mode, you will be amazed how clean and delineated the picture is; the detail is incredible!My big surprise was how amazing the sound is on this disc. You can use this to show off your Dolby Digital sound system to friends just as well as any action film. The surround effects are crisp and the bass is well defined.My only complaint would probably be that the action and sound is so non-stop, that it can tire out adults, albeit mesmerizing children the whole time.The extras are plenitiful and well done. The inclusion of the end-title outtakes is the highlight of a wonderful special edition disc you're sure to enjoy."
What DVD should be
Nick Larson | Cedar Rapids, Iowa | 01/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, this special edition is somewhat expensive, but it is worth every penny, and then some. Not only do you get a terrific presentation of a terrific film(with three alternate audio tracks, no less), but you also get a second disc filled with so many supplements, that it's difficult to think of what more you could want. Even though this disc is distributed by Disney, the DVD, like the film itself, is all Pixar. To go along with all the supplemental material, John Lasseter, co-director Andrew Stanton, and others appear in several introductory segments to explain the background and significance of what you're about to see. They're all obviously having a blast doing this, and add immesurably to the presentation of the content. Go ahead and look for short comings on this disc, but you won't find any. As for the film itself, it's obvious that Pixar has reached near-perfection in creating crowd-pleasing entertainment. With this and the "Toy Story" films they have a perfect record, and one can only hope that they keep it up. To those that say "Antz" is superior, I say that it takes more than a few mild expletives and an obvious "I'm going to do what I want to do" message to make a better film. Clearly Dreamworks wanted their film out first, which is obvious in the inferior visual look and the not-always-appropriate voice-casting of their product. The only complaint with "A Bug's Life" that I have is that the film didn't have some kind of dedication message to Roddy McDowall, who voiced Mr. Soil. I know that his part was small, but I was hoping that the audience would be reminded of the loss of a great actor. That being said, this film is one of the most enjoyable that you're likely to find, and should be owned in its collector's edition glory."