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A Bug's Life Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    So obsessed with wowing you, in every corner of every frame, that as a movie it doesn't quite breathe.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A Bug's Life, like “Toy Story,” develops protagonists we can root for, and places them in the midst of a fast-moving, energetic adventure.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The story, about an ant colony that frees itself from slavery to grasshoppers, is similar in some ways to the autumn's other big animated release, "Antz," but it's aimed at a broader audience and lacks the in-jokes.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Cute animated tale with some mild peril and scary bugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there’s lots of "good bug-bad bug" cartoon action and some images that could be scary to very young children who have not yet differentiated make believe violence from real violence, or to sensitive kids who are not comfortable with suspense or jeopardy. Scowling, threatening grasshoppers loom over and swarm toward a colony of vulnerable ants, the heroes of the story. The insects contend with fire, rain, predatory birds, as well as the power hungry grasshoppers. Older kids will enjoy the clever humor and the unique view of the insect world, as well as the interspecies conflicts.

  • Families can talk about the bug world. How many bugs can you name? How do bugs communicate in real life? Why do you think ants and bees live in such big colonies? How do they benefit the earth?
  • Families can also discuss bullies, and how to deal with them. What was Hopper's perspective on power? What did the ants do to combat the bullies? Have you ever encountered real-life bullies?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: A very elementary look at insects: each species has a purpose and a place in the circle of life. In this film, individual bugs are given personality, identity and purpose, which may help engender kids’ respect for nature.

  • message true3

    Messages: Teamwork, resourcefulness, and courage can defeat a seemingly stronger enemy. Solutions to great problems can come from unlikely sources. It’s important to believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities. Nature has a certain order which is to be respected: "The sun grows the food; ants pick the food; grasshoppers eat the food; birds eat the grasshoppers."

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Family relationships are important and special even in the insect world. Mothers provide for and protect their offspring. Flick, the hero ant, is smart, caring, loyal, and so brave that he’s willing to sacrifice all for the sake of his colony. At first he faces ridicule and self-doubt, but ultimately he saves the day, and everyone learns to value and respect him. Other species rise above their fear and join the team in order to survive.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: In cartoon terms, there are scary, intimidating bugs and birds, as well as some jeopardy to the film’s heroes involving fire, rain, falls, and capture. A troop of grasshoppers led by the fierce Hopper threatens the ant queen’s life, bullies the ant colony, swarms menacingly several times, and captures key ant players. Birds, looking for food, are enemies to all the insect species and swoop down perilously close to those most vulnerable. Flick, the bravest ant of all, is set upon by lots of other characters. He’s hit, captured, and nearly killed. There are numerous clever, nail-biting rescues, and the chief baddie is the only fatality.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false2

    Language: A few instances of "poo-poo," "butt," and "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue