Flik (voice of Dave Foley) is a unique ant. He sees the world in all its possibilities and is always looking for better ways to do things. He can’t seem to be the same as all the other ants.
Hopper (voice of Kevin Spacey) is the leader of an evil band of grasshoppers. When Flik’s latest invention accidentally knocks all of the food off the offering stone, Hopper insists that the ants give the grasshoppers double rations to make up for it. But this means that the ants will starve. Flik feels terrible about what he has done and also wants to win the admiration of Princess Atta (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus). So Flik heads off to Bug City to find some ‘warrior’ bugs who can help rid his colony of the grasshoppers forever.
Flik comes across a motley crew of circus bugs who are down on their luck and eager for work. Some misunderstandings mean that the circus crew arrives in the ant colony under the impression that they’re there to put on a show. They soon learn that the ants are hoping they’ll eliminate the grasshoppers instead.
When the tiny Princess Dot (voice of Hayden Panetierre) is attacked by a bird, Flik and the reluctant circus crew work together to save her, earning the adulation and applause they’ve all been craving. But Flik is banished and the circus crew forced to leave before the grasshoppers return. Dot reminds them all of their capacity for greatness and the crew return to help Flik outsmart the tyrannical grasshoppers.
Flik’s plans once again go awry but the ants soon learn that there’s power in numbers and unity and that one ant, backed by thousands, can do the impossible.
Bullying; slavery; fear of taking risks and trying something new; pretending to be something you’re not
A Bug’s Life has some violence. For example:
- An angry Hopper shoves, punches and violently grabs random ants. He takes Dot away from her mother and threatens her.
- A bug gets burned when a stunt goes wrong. He turns out to be fine.
- An insect gets electrocuted and dies after flying into the light.
- Some ant children put on a play and draw a picture of what the circus bugs will do to the grasshoppers. The picture shows bodies chopped in half.
- Hopper throws random mosquitos into a wall.
- A crazy grasshopper beats, kicks, punches and nearly kills Flik.
A Bug’s Life has some sexual references. For example, two rude flies call a lady bug ‘cute’ and suggestively ask if she wants to ‘pollinate with a real bug?’
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
A Bug’s Life shows some use of substances. For example, a mosquito asks a bartender for a ‘Bloody Mary O+’. The mosquito appears to pass out after consuming a large blob of blood.
Nudity and sexual activity
A Bug’s Life has some infrequent name-calling, including ‘stupid’, ‘loser’ and ‘twit’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
A Bug’s Life is an animated adventure that showcases excellent computer animated graphics and a unique view of the insect world. There are some important messages about standing up for what you believe in and uniting to overcome injustice.
This is a family movie that you and your children can enjoy together but some perilous and scary scenes mean that it isn’t suitable for very young viewers.
The main messages from this movie are that everyone has a role to play. No matter how small and insignificant you feel, it’s important to believe in yourself and have faith in your ability to make a difference.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include cooperation, resourcefulness, courage, determination and unity.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- bullying and the use of violence and intimidation to get what you want
- injustice and the oppression of a people or species
- dangerous situations and the consequences of venturing into them on your own
- the pitfalls of pretending to be something that you’re not
- the environment and consequences of environmental imbalance.