For anyone who has ever wondered just how great a Blu-ray can look and sound, wonder no more – on May 19 Pixar and Disney are realizing A Bug's Life in the high definition format. Of course, the film, with its wonderful storyline and fantastic computer animation, was impressive before the current Blu-ray release.
Co-directed by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, the film features the voice of Dave Foley as Flik, an ant who is not content with his lot in life. Flik fancies himself something of an inventor, but none of his ideas ever seem to pan out. It’s a problem that gets him and the rest of his colony in serious trouble when a grain harvester destroys the colony’s food offering to a gang of grasshoppers led by Kevin Spacey’s Hopper.
Despondent, Flik is sent away from the colony by Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her mother, the Queen (Phyllis Diller). Though Flik believes he is being sent away to find warrior bugs to help the ants – and that is what he leaves to do – the colony simply wants to get rid of him for an extended period.
Flik ends up running into a group of terrible circus bugs voiced by David Hyde Pierce, Dennis Leary, and Madeline Kahn among others. Believing them to be the warriors he is searching for, Flik hires them to help protect the ants from the grasshoppers. It is a mistake which is soon cleared up, but which leaves the ants without a plan for stopping the grasshopper attack. However, with a little bit of faith, a lot of luck, and the help of the smallest princess, Dot (Hayden Panettiere), Flik, the circus bugs, and the colony manage to fend off the grasshoppers and keep their food.
A Bug’s Life was only Pixar’s second full-length feature, and just like their first one, Toy Story, and all the ones that follow it, A Bug’s Life not only tells an interesting story in brilliant fashion, it does so with a wit that is all too often missing from films, be they animated or live action.
With the film, Pixar brilliantly places the viewer into a miniaturized world, giving everyone a bug’s eye view of life and the problems of being small, and the Blu-ray release only enhances that feeling. The sound design and its execution is absolutely spectacular. When a rainstorm strikes the colony at the end of the film, the drops pour down around the audience and the thunder booms as one can’t imagine. The viewer is shocked, amazed, and will end up thrilled not to be a bug if a simple rainstorm sounds that terrifying.