Discs Are Rated
A Bug's Life: Collector's Edition
review by Zach B.
With the voices of Dave Foley, Dennis Leary, Julia
Louis-Dreyfuss, Kevin Spacey, Bonnie Hunt
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Written by Andrew Stanton, Donald McEnery and Bob
Based on a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Joe
Directed by John Lasseter
Co-Directed by Andrew Stanton
Retail Price: 49.99
Features: Audio Commentary with Josh Lasseter, Andrew
Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Isolated Music Track 2.0 Stereo,
Isolated Sound Effects Track Dolby Digital 5.1, Behind the
Scenes look at the creation of "A Bug's Life", Introductions
and Explanations by the Filmmakers, Original Story Treatment
and Pitch Boards, Character Designs, Concept Art and Color
Script, Abanonded Sequences, Storyboard to Film Comparison,
Behind the Scenes Look at Voice Talent, Early Production
Tests, Production Progression Demo, Sound designer Gary
Rydstrom on the film's sound effects, Trailers, Posters,
Behind the scenes look at how the film was created for full
frame, Outtakes, "Geri's Game" short
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.33:1 Full
Frame, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, English Captions, Chapter
After the highly succesful "Toy Story" which wowed
audiences to infinity and beyond, Pixar, the leading
computer animation studio, created another successful
follow-up, "A Bug's Life". Technically, "A Bug's Life" is a
lot better than Toy Story, thanks to the advances in
computer animation. Things looked more realistic and flow
better, as well as more vivid colors and scenary.
The movie follows the inventor ant Flik, who is always
creating trouble with new inventions. But after a little
accident which causes the ants to lose all their food they
collected for the Grasshoppers (I guess they are sort of
slaves), led by Hopper (Kevin Spacey), Flik is sent to find
warrior bugs to get him out of the other ants hair for them
to re-collect the food. Flik does return with warriors. They
appear to be warriors, but are actually a fire bunch of
circus bugs. However, will these actors be good enough to
help with the fight against grasshoppers? Will their true
identitys be revealed?
Why I don't think "A Bug's Life" is as good as "Toy
Story", it's still a really enjoyable movie, even if it is a
tad predictable. The computer animation is really
breahtaking, and the voice acting (especially by Foley and
Spacey) is top notch. The script is good and does its job. A
great movie for the whole family, this DVD release is quite
simply one of the greatest DVDs on the market.
Perfect. The film is presented in two ratios: 2.35:1
anamorphic widescreen and an excellent composed full frame
version at 1.33:1. The transfer is striking. It was
converted from the original computers, not from tape or
film, so it looks absolutley perfect. Direct digital to
digital file. I couldn't find any dirt, artifacts or
scratches anywhere. Detail is some of the best I have ever
seen, and the colors are perfect and vibrant. While the
widescreen is nice, the full frame is also excellent and has
a lot of history to it. To make sure nothing is lost,
cropping is kept at a mininum, and Pixar used the original
computer files to create a new transfer. Some characters are
brought closer together, and some tops and bottoms have been
added to see even more of the picture. Still, this transfer
is as good as they come. It's just amazing to look at.
The 5.1 audio track is just as good as the transfer.
Randy Newman's wonderful score is brought to full life with
the 5.1, it truly is booming and loud using all the channels
creatively and wonderfully. Sound effects are really
amazing, the sound of things flying overhead, crashes, it
just sounds amazing. Dialogue is crisp and clear. It's an
excellent mix, just a perfect track and a joy to listen to.
There is an isolated music track in 2.0 stereo. This is
nice, but I really felt it should have 5.1. But there is
spacing concerns, which is understandable.
The 5.1 Isolated Sound Effects track is great, and brings
all the sound effects to life and all by themselves. They
all sound terrific. It's very nice. I just wish the score
was also 5.1
This set is loaded! In addition to the isolated music
track and isolated sound effects track on the
first disc, there is also a Commentary with John
Lassetter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
(supervising film editor). This is a very nice commentary.
They point out some excellent parts to the film as well as a
few tricks and offer plenty of insight. The three are lively
and you really eat up what info they share. One of the
better commentaries I've heard.
Moving over to the second disc, you'll find all the
supplementary material here. About everything has a nice
Introduction with Lassetter, Stanton and two other of
the filmmakers, I believe the producers (I should check).
They give a little preface to what they introduce, and it
looks like they are having a blast and want to tell you what
is going on.
There is Behind The Scenes look at the creation of A
Bug's Life, a nice look at the making of the film.
What I think is the best thing on the disc, is a
hilarious promo film entitled "Fleabie". It's
supposed to be a corny, dubbed old time learning film about
bugs. The film was created for a Disney showcase to show
exhibitors and suits upcoming projects. The clips of the
movie are really early, and a lot are demo tests, so it is
interesting to see. And we can't forget Fleabie himself,
You can read a nice, good sized Original Story
Treatment and check out some of the Pitch Boards.
There also numerous Character Designs and Concept Art
designs. There is also a Color Script to check
An interesting feature, there are Abandoned
Sequences, which highlight storyboard treatments (with
voices) that were cut before they were animated. Lasseter
and his team give good reasons why.
The Storyboard-to-final-film split-screen
Comparison shows the storyboards to final product for
some scenes, but even better is the Production
Progression Demo which uses your angle feature to show
you four stages of how it is all put together. Storyboards,
lesser CGI to the full blown out thing.
Early Production Tests are interesting to watch,
though most of this is shown in Fleabie.
Featurettes such that look at the Voice Talent and
Recomposing it to Full Frame are good for a watch, as
well as a nifty part with Sound Designer Gary
Rounding out the disc is both sets of the Outtakes
shown in theaters (some are pretty funny), as well as
Trailers and the domestic plus international
Poster Campaign. There is also the Oscar® winning
short, Geri's Game, about a man who plays chess with
himself. On a side note, this short was a new technological
benchmark, since it created more realistic faces.
This is truly a purchase. Some of the best sound and
video to ever grace the format, and a ton of supplements to
please any fan of the film, this disc belongs in your
collection. 49.99 retail for the disc is a bit steep, but
I'm sure you can get it online for cheaper.
(4/5, NOT included in
(4.5/5, NOT an average)