A Bugs Life Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
It’s A BUG’S LIFE people!! Get it right please. It is arguably the best Pixar movie to date, colorful, wonderful story, so much fun, and what do you do, put a dorky cover and boring menus on the Blu-Ray…help please! Can we get some creative folks who appreciate these movies to do the covers and menus?

Features: 10/10 (Most are ported from the DVD, but they are all still an excellent set of extras for any fan of the movie.)

  • A Bugs Life The First Draft (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – The story had a whole different theme, different set of main characters, all together different..but not in a good way. They took that first draft and turned it into an animated little film narrated by Dave Foley (Flick). It’s really fun and makes me appreciate the final movie that much more.
  • Filmmakers Round Table (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Director, producers, writers, all sit around talking about how the movie got made, their screening for President Clinton, and more. I like these ‘let’s look back’ features with people years after a film is made.
  • Geri’s Game – An animated short that’s as compelling as any feature length film by Pixar. Geri, an old man in the park, plays chess by himself. It’s lovely to look at, and a great bit of fun. You can’t help but smile at the old dude. 🙂
  • Director Audio Commentary – One thing you can say about the folks at Pixar, they seem to love making their movies. John Lasseter is enthusiastic, entertaining, and a little bit taken by his own accomplishments in the movie making world…but that’s beside the point. He’s fun to listen to and says a lot about the making of the movie so if you are a fan you will enjoy watching it again while listening to his tales of animated history. 🙂
  • Behind The Scenes Of A Bugs Life – What is it like to work at Pixar? This tells you want you want to know. The offices, the crazy way they all seem to enjoy their jobs..it’s nuts I tell ya, nuts.
  • A Walt Disney Symphony Grasshopper & The Ants – An inspired Disney short that surely planted a few seedlings in the minds of Pixar execs many years ago. This is a great extra for kids particularly to see the “old fashioned” animation and how things have changed in the past few decades in the world of their animated movies.
  • Outtakes – More outtakes that are fully produced as bits by the animated characters….pretty good.
  • Digital Copy Disc – Do you want to keep A Bug’s Life on your laptop, your iPod, or other device? This is the file for you!
  • Much Much More – Much much more…

The Movie: 9/10
What can I say about a movie that has been one of my favorites for the past 10 years? I fell in love with Flick the moment I saw him on the screen and I never turned back. Flick is the main character, a lovable little ant trying to make their colony’s life better, but always the hapless try hard he fails at ever turn.

The idea is that the ants are subjugated to a gang of grasshoppers who come around once a year for a pile of food. They are extorting the food from the ants and threaten them if they don’t get their food they will let bigger, meaner bugs come around and, well, you get the picture. Tony Soprano with little tiny wings…mob bugs.

Flick wants to make food production faster so the ants have more time to get their own food and not struggle to meet the grasshoppers’ demands AND feed themselves through the winter. He is an inventor, but his machine only gets him in trouble when he accidentally endangers the whole colony by knocking the food offering into the water.

Hopper, the biggest baddest grasshopper enters the ants’ tunnel and reminds them of their place in the world. “The ants get the food, the grasshoppers eat the food.” He’s menacing and scary, this from a 41 year old chick!! Kevin Spacey’s voice is just right for the somewhat corporate leadership sound of Hopper’s voice, along with that slight edge of evil.

In fact, every voice is perfect for their characters. But, then again isn’t that how it goes. You can’t imagine anyone else doing the voices of your favorite characters? So, I’m biased. I loved Phillis Diller, Dave Foley, Julia Louis -Dreyfus, Denis Leary, John Ratzenberger, Joe Rantf, Madeline Kahn, Bonnie Hunt, and more…they are all great. They make it all come to life, and after a while you forget who they are, they become their characters.

It’s an animated movie, I know. The thing is, it has a message that I totally dig. Stand up for yourself, don’t be one of many, don’t be pushed down in life by someone because they are bigger or more of a bully. I love that theme. It reminds me of adulthood when everyone is trying to squash the life out of you….and it sucks. So, this movie gives me a bit of a boost every time I see it.

It looks amazing!!! The textures and details are incredible. These days we have a big movie screen in our house so watching it on the projector is the best I have ever seen it. I don’t live in a place where the movie theaters are very grand or top quality. Having such a clear and colorful version made me sit up and become mesmerized by the lines, the shapes, the textures, of every single thing in the movie. It was like I hadn’t really SEEN it before.

Everything about this movie makes me happy. That kind of kid happy that makes you giggle at silly jokes and watch cartoon creatures wander in their world with a real sense of belief. I love that feeling. I wish it would happen while I’m at work, that giggly happy thing gets squashed by the big ugly bosses who try to stomp the life out of me..arrrghhhh Flick and your band of circus bugs, were are you when I need you?

Audio & Video: 10/10 (By Ascully)
Disney know a thing or two about HD transfer at this point and the Pixar movies are the perfect examples to show off the new format. A Bug’s life is 10 years old now and because it was never on actual film in the first place it looks the best you will have ever seen it on Blu-Ray. I have seen A Bug’s Life over 20 times and this viewing was almost like a new movie for me. There are so many subtle effects (transparent wings on a butterfly, the strange glow a mushroom gives off) that I had not noticed before. The added resolution of HD enhances the film tenfold.

While the picture is as near to perfect as you will find on a disc, the audio had a massive upgrade from the old DVD version. Using DTS-HD master audio the uncompressed soundtrack again sounds new. The scene where Hopper and his crew are infiltrating the anthill at the start has enough LFE to start a mini earthquake! You will not find this level of detail in the soundtrack on the DVD version. Overall A Bug’s life is a stunning disc that is a great showpiece for your home theater. It’s also my personal favorite Pixar movie which makes me a very happy man.

Value: 9/10
With a free movie ticket in the box and a $19 price tag, this is quite the bargain. That is if you buy it before the next Pixar movie, Up, comes out in theaters..after that you are just paying for the Blu-Ray and an expired movie ticket. Hey, but Disney is on the right track here with their pricing. Let’s keep up the trend folks.

Overall Score 10/10