Each summer, a greedy and domineering group of grasshoppers descend on Ant Island demanding a large portion of the ants’ annual harvest. Unfortunately, this time around an industrious ant by the name of Flik (voice of Dave Foley), who had hoped to put an industrial revolution spin on their harvesting technique, accidentally causes their edible offering to be lost for good.
When the grasshoppers arrive, they’re none too happy. Their leader, the malevolent Hopper (voice of Kevin Spacey), threatens the ants and tells them that they have until the end of the summer to gather up another offering. Upon the grasshoppers’ quick departure, the colony’s Queen (voice of Phyllis Diller) gets everyone working double time, but few believe they’ll be able to meet the quota and most worry that there won’t be any food left over for the ants if they do.
Sensing this and realizing it’s all his fault, Flik comes up with a plan to leave Ant Island, recruit some bigger bugs who will fight the grasshoppers, and then prepare for their return. Unfortunately, other than Dot (voice of Hayden Panettiere) and the rest of the young ants known as “blueberries,” no one thinks this will work. Nonetheless, the colony’s council, including Princess Atta (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus), agree to his plan since it will get him out of their antennae.
It doesn’t take long for Flik to find his “warriors,” but unbeknownst to him, he recruits some lowly insect circus performers who’ve just been fired by carnival owner and barker, P.T. Flea (voice of John Ratzenberger). Among them is Manny (voice of Jonathan Harris), a pompous praying mantis; his partner, Gypsy (voice of Madeline Kahn), a multicolored moth; and Rosie (voice of Bonnie Hunt), a friendly black widow spider.
There’s also Slim (voice of David Hyde Pierce), an intellectual walking stick; Heimlich (voice of Joe Ranft), a scaredy-cat German caterpillar; Francis (voice of Denis Leary), a decidedly manly ladybug; Dim (voice of Brad Garrett), a dimwitted rhino beetle; and Tuck & Roll (voice of Michael McShane), a pair of acrobatic Hungarian pill bugs who always smile because they can’t understand a word anyone is saying.
Thinking that Flik has hired them for their circus act, the performing insects head back with him to Ant Island. When he and they learn of the others’ true identity and purpose, however, it quickly becomes clear that the ants may be in trouble when Hopper and his gang reappear at the end of the summer. —Screenit.com
A pioneer of modern animation, notably the computer-generated animation that dominated the mid- to late ‘90s, John Lasseter started out doing traditional hand-drawn work. His passion for animation began in high school and, after writing an exuberant letter to Disney Studios, he started studying art and drawing on his own. Shortly after graduation, Lasseter became the second student to be accepted into Disney’s new animation program at the California Institute of the Arts. In the summers, he worked as an apprentice at the Disney Studios. While in school, he created two short films, Lady and the Lamp and Nitemare, both of which won Student Academy Awards. Shortly after graduation, Lasseter was hired by the Disney feature animation department and he spent the next five years there, working on such features as The Fox and the Hound (1981) and the short Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983).
In 1982, Lasseter received his first exposure to computer animation… read more
A key figure in the development of Pixar Studios, Andrew Stanton was the writer-director of some of the computer animation company’s biggest hits, including “Toy Story” (1995), “A Bug’s Life” (1998), “Finding Nemo” (2003) and “WALL-E.” In the grand tradition of Disney’s animation team from the 1930s and such legendary figures as Ray Harryhausen and Don Bluth, Stanton’s best films were a near-perfect balance of breathtaking visuals and heart-tugging emotion; the lifelike quality of cowboy toy Woody or the silent, industrious robot WALL-E never overwhelmed their fully rendered hopes and dreams and ambitions. The combination of these elements brought Stanton significant acclaim and considerable awards, but more importantly, it established him as one of the most creative figures in motion pictures – live action and animated – working in 21st century Hollywood.
Born Andrew Christopher Stanton, Jr., in Rockport, MA on Dec. 3, 1965, he received a BFA in character animation from the… read more
The first movie I saw in theaters. Have to love it for that reason.
I still don't understand the absolute hate this film gets. Maybe it is because I saw it when I was 8 years old, that could be part of it, but I don't think it is as bad as everyone says it is. It is certainly one of Pixar's most forgettable films, but it doesn't approach Cars/Cars 2 bad. I thought it was a cute take on The Seven Samurai. Does it replace SS? Absolutely not. The best thing about it is Kevin Spacey.