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A Bug's Life

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A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life.jpg
"Flaming death!"
Genre: Animated
Directed By: John Lasseter
Produced By: Darla K. Anderson
Kevin Reher
Written By: John Lasseter
Andrew Stanton
Joe Ranft
Starring: Dave Foley
Kevin Spacey
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Hayden Panettiere
Denis Leary
Joe Ranft
David Hyde Pierce
Jonathan Harris
Madeline Kahn
Bonnie Hunt
Michael McShane
John Ratzenberger
Brad Garrett
Phyllis Diller
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: November 25, 1998
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $120 million
Box Office: $363.3 million

A Bug's Life (stylized as a bug's life) is a 1998 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures as Pixar's 2nd feature film. Directed by John Lasseter, the film involves a misfit ant named Flik that 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.


Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying the food stores that were supposed to be used to pay off grasshopper Hopper (Kevin Spacey). Now the strong-arming insect is demanding that the ants gather double the food -- or face annihilation. To avert disaster, Flik goes on a journey to recruit fighters to defend the colony. When he meets a band of high-flying circus insects, he thinks he's found his salvation.

Why It's The Time Of Your Life

  1. For Pixar’s second film they were able to make lightning strike twice right after making their first film, Toy Story.
  2. The film's animation is quite visually stunning by late-90's standards and holds up very well today.
  3. The film's Copland-esque score done by Randy Newman, is very memorable and superb, especially for the main theme, and the end credits song, "The Time Of Your Life".
  4. Many of the film's characters are cute and likable, such as the optimistic Flik, the loyal and helpful Princess Atta, the friendly and cute Dot and their new friends the Circus Bugs, who helps him to defeat the grasshoppers.
    • The Circus Bugs, more loved by fans, they are more major roles in the movie.
  5. The villain of the movie and leader of the grasshoppers, Hopper, is really intimidating and terrifying and perhaps one of the greatest Pixar antagonists.
  6. The film has excellent vocal performances from an amazing cast of talented actors such as Kevin Spacey as Hopper, Dave Foley as Flik, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Princess Atta.
  7. The movie has a great story with good morals on standing up to yourself.
  8. The concept of the movie about ants being enslaved by grasshoppers and one ant making an invention to help the colony is quite interesting.
  9. The Circus Bugs are well-developed characters with a ton of personality.
  10. The film has wonderful inspiration from the Aesop, The Ant and the Grasshopper as well as the 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, and Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.
  11. The film has astonishing lines of dialogue such as "FLAMING DEATH", "Come on Francis, you're making the maggots cry", and "I'M LOOOOOST!".
  12. John Lasseter did a great job of directing this movie.

Bad Qualities

  1. Hopper's death can be very terrifying to younger viewers (Even if the hatchling birds are cute-looking).
  2. The animation does look dated but this can be forgiven due to its time of release in 1998.


Critical response

A Bug's Life receives critical acclaim. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 92% based on 87 reviews and an average rating of 7.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters – and another smashing early success for Pixar." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film a score of 77 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Box office

A Bug's Life grossed approximately $33,258,052 on its opening weekend, ranking number 1 for that weekend. It managed to retain its number 1 spot for two weeks. The film grossed $162.8 million in its United States theatrical run, covering its estimated production costs of $120 million. The film made $200,460,294 in foreign countries, pushing its worldwide gross to $363.3 million, surpassing the competition from DreamWorks Animation's Antz.


A Bug's Life won a number of awards and numerous nominations. The film won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Animated Film (tied with The Prince of Egypt) and Best Family Film, the Satellite Award for Best Animated Film and the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition by Randy Newman. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the BAFTA Award for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects. In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated this film for its Top 10 Animation Films list.



  • This is the first Pixar movie to have the Pixar Animation Studios logo at the start, which features Luxo Jr. hopping in from the right, turning, looking at the I, and hopping on it and squishing it, replacing the I and looking right into the camera as the screen fades out. The end logo at Pixar movies is the exact same sequence, except it has Luxo's light blub remain on as the screen fades out, only for it to turn off a second later, concluding the film. The Pixar logo was at the end on Toy Story due to different distribution agreements at the time.
  • Beginning with Pixar's second film A Bug's Life for Geri's Game, almost all subsequent Pixar feature films have been shown in theaters along with a Pixar-created original short film, known as a "short." Other Pixar shorts, released only on home media, were created to showcase Pixar's technology or cinematic capabilities, or on commission for clients.
  • It is the only pre-2007 Pixar film not to receive a sequel, prequel or spin-off, however, all fans always wants them to hope to recommend Disney and Pixar to do a sequel. But Pixar has no plans for sequel in order to avoid the cash-in.
  • It is the first movie to feature outtakes at the end credits. Because the film is animated, no actual outtakes exist; they are animated specifically for the outtake sequence.
  • Kevin Spacey would find out just how true Hopper's "getting buried by grain" analogy was, as his career survived a few singular accusations of sexual abuse over the years, but was finally destroyed when a whole bunch came at once in 2017 (it's especially harsh given how his character actually acts like an abusive boyfriend toward Atta, and constantly gets in her personal space).
    • Related to the above about Atta and Hopper, this film was also directed by John Lasseter who was accused of sexual misconduct at around the same time when Spacey got hit with accusations of sexual abuse.

Pixar Animation Studios

Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2

Short movies:

Theatrical short films:

The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao

SparkShorts series:

Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona


Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto

Short series:

Cars Toons:

Mater's Tall Tales:

Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater

Tales from Radiator Springs:

Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½

Toy Story Toons:

Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex

Forky Asks a Question:

What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?

Pixar Popcorn:

To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num

Dug Days:

Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science

Television series:

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (co-production) - Monsters at Work - Cars On The Road - Win or Lose