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A Bug's Life

review by Zach B.

Rated G

Studio: Disney

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 Shaw
Based on a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Joe Ranft

Directed by John Lasseter
Co-Directed by Andrew Stanton

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Outtakes,"Geri's Game" short,

Specs: 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.33:1 Full Frame, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, English Captions, Chapter Search

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 has a really nice presentation.

Perfect. The film is presented in two ratios: 2.35:1 non-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. However, if you want anamorphic, you have to go with the Collector's Edition.

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.

Not much. You'll find the Oscar®-winning short Geri's Game (as shown in theaters with the film), plus the two sets of Outtakes, also in theaters. The CE has it all...

Good movie, top notch presentation, no supplements. I say go with the Collector's Edition, you'll get so much in supplements and an anamorphic transfer.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)




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