A Bug’s Life (1998 movie)

A Bug's Life (1998 movie) trailer starring Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey.

January 5, 2020 by Jessie Mendoza

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A Bug’s Life is a 1998 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures.

Directed by John Lasseter and co-directed and written by Andrew Stanton, the film involves a misfit ant, Flik, who is looking for “tough warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, only to recruit a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe. The film stars the voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

  • Starring : Dave Foley / Kevin Spacey
  • Genre : Animation / Adventure / Comedy / Family
  • Country : United States
  • Language : English
  • Director : John Lasseter / Andrew Stanton
  • Production : Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
  • Distributor : Buena Vista Pictures / Buena Vista International / Roadshow Entertainment / Roadshow Film Distributors / Kommunenes Filmcentral (KF) / Gaumont Buena Vista International (GBVI) / Falcon / Filmes Lusomundo / Buena Vista International Finland / Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Gativideo / Walt Disney Home Video / Warner Home Video / ABC Family / American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / Channel 5 Television / Disney Channel / Disney Junior / Disney XD / Disney+ / Freeform / GO! / Moviemax Family / Toon Disney / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment / Yleisradio (YLE)

A Bug’s Life movie

A Bug’s Life release date

  • November 14, 1998 : USA (premiere)
  • November 20, 1998 : USA (limited)
  • November 24, 1998 : Singapore (premiere)
  • November 25, 1998 : Canada
  • November 25, 1998 : USA
  • December 3, 1998 : Australia
  • December 4, 1998 : Singapore
  • February 5, 1999 : Spain
  • February 5, 1999 : UK
  • February 5, 1999 : Ireland
  • February 5, 1999 : Sweden
  • February 10, 1999 : France
  • February 11, 1999 : Germany
  • February 12, 1999 : Switzerland (German speaking region)
  • March 12, 1999 : Israel (premiere)
  • March 13, 1999 : Japan
  • March 18, 1999 : Israel
  • March 7, 2015 : Australia (Pixar Film Festival)
  • January 2, 2018 : Australia (Adelaide Oval Cinema)

A Bug’s Life cast

  • Dave Foley as Flik(voice)
  • Kevin Spacey as Hopper(voice)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Atta(voice)
  • Hayden Panettiere as Dot(voice)
  • Phyllis Diller as Queen(voice)
  • Richard Kind as Molt(voice)
  • David Hyde Pierce as Slim(voice)
  • Joe Ranft as Heimlich(voice)
  • Denis Leary as Francis(voice)
  • Jonathan Harris as Manny(voice)
  • Madeline Kahn as Gypsy Moth(voice)
  • Bonnie Hunt as Rosie(voice)
  • Michael McShane as Tuck / Roll(voice)
  • John Ratzenberger as P.T. Flea(voice)
  • Brad Garrett as Dim(voice)

The film is inspired by Aesop’s fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. Production began shortly after the release of Toy Story in 1995. The screenplay was penned by Stanton and comedy writers Donald McEnery and Bob Shaw from a story by Lasseter, Stanton, and Joe Ranft, the latter who voiced Hemlich in the film. The ants in the film were redesigned to be more appealing, and Pixar’s animation unit employed technical innovations in computer animation. Randy Newman composed the music for the film. During production, a controversial public feud erupted between Steve Jobs and Lasseter of Pixar and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg due to the parallel production of his similar film Antz, which was released the same year.

The film was released on November 25, 1998, and grossed $363 million in receipts. It received positive reviews from film critics, who commended the storyline, witty dialogue and voice-acting, as well as the animation. It was the first film to be digitally transferred frame-by-frame and released to DVD, and has been released multiple times on home video.

Ant Island is a colony of ants led by the Queen and her daughter, Princess Atta. Every season, they are forced to give food to a gang of marauding grasshoppers led by Hopper. One day, when Flik, an individualist and would-be inventor, inadvertently knocks the offering into a stream with his latest invention, a grain harvesting device, Hopper furiously demands twice as much food by the end of the season as compensation. As Flik stands on trial before the colony’s council, he volunteers in earnest to seek help from other stronger bugs to defend the colony from the grasshoppers. The council, while viewing this venture as a wild goose chase, see Flik’s long-term absence as an opportunity to fulfill Hopper’s demand without interruption, and thus grant his request. At the “bug city”, which is a heap of trash under a trailer, Flik happens upon the aftermath of a barfight and mistakes a recently-fired troupe of Circus Bugs for the warrior bugs he seeks. The bugs, in turn, mistake Flik for a talent agent, and accept his offer to travel with him back to Ant Island.

During a welcome ceremony upon their arrival, the Circus Bugs and Flik both discover their mutual misunderstandings. The Circus Bugs attempt to leave, but are attacked by a bird; while fleeing, they save Dot, Atta’s younger sister, gaining the ants’ respect in the process. At Flik’s request, they continue the ruse of being “warriors”, so the troupe can continue to enjoy the hospitality of the ants. Hearing that Hopper fears birds inspires Flik to create a false bird to scare away the grasshoppers. Meanwhile, Hopper tells his gang how greatly the ants outnumber them and worries that they will eventually rebel against them. The ants finish constructing the fake bird, but during a celebration, the troupe’s greedy ringmaster, P.T. Flea, arrives, searching for his troupe, and inadvertently reveals their secret. Outraged by Flik’s deception, the ants exile him, and desperately attempt to gather food for a new offering to the grasshoppers. However, when Hopper returns to discover the mediocre offering, he takes over the island, and demands the ants’ winter food supply, planning to assassinate the Queen afterwards. Overhearing the plan, Dot goes after Flik and the Circus Bugs to inform them, convincing them to return to Ant Island.

After the Circus Bugs distract the grasshoppers long enough to rescue the Queen, Flik deploys the bird; it initially fools the grasshoppers, but P.T. Flea, who also mistakes it for a real bird, burns it, exposing it as a decoy. Hopper beats Flik in retaliation, saying that the ants are humble and lowly life forms who live to serve the grasshoppers. However, Flik responds that Hopper actually fears the colony, because he has always known what they are capable of, inspiring the ants and the Circus Bugs to fight back against the grasshoppers, who flee in terror except for Hopper whom the ants attempt to force out of Ant Island by using P.T. Flea’s circus cannon, but it suddenly begins to rain. In the ensuing chaos, Hopper frees himself from the cannon, and abducts Flik. After the Circus Bugs fail to catch them, Atta rescues Flik. As Hopper pursues them, Flik lures him to the nest of the bird he, Dot, and the Circus Bugs encountered earlier. Thinking that the bird is another decoy, Hopper taunts it before discovering in panic that it is real, and is captured and fed alive to its chicks. With the grasshoppers gone for good, Flik has improved his inventions along with the quality of life for Ant Island, he and Atta become a couple, and they give Hopper’s younger brother Molt, and a few ants to P.T. Flea as new members of his troupe. Atta and Dot respectively become the new queen and princess. The ants congratulate Flik as a hero, and bid a fond farewell to the circus troupe.

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