A Bug's Life (1998) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Comedy
Disney || G - 95 minutes - $39.99 || May 19, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-05-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton
Writer(s): John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton & Joe Ranft (story), Andrew Stanton & Don McEnery & Bob Shaw (screenplay)
Cast: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere


Theatrical Release Date: November 25, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Outtakes
  • Games
  • Trailers
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 6.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Pixar's second release under the Disney umbrella is often regarded as their worst, but I don't see how that is possible. While it was certainly tough for A Bug's Life to complete with Pixar's first film, Toy Story, no where does the film become a disappointment like early reviews (circa 1998) have said. Looking back today, being sandwiched in between Toy Story and Monsters Inc. certainly didn't help, but I often regard The Incredibles as Pixar's worst film - but even then, that's not saying much because that film is, well, incredible as well. But typically they have to pick a whipping boy and sadly A Bug's Life gets the (unfairly) pick.

Synopsis: Every year, a bunch of grasshoppers come to the anthill and eat what the ants have gathered for them. The "offering", as the ants call the ritual, is a part of their fate. One day in spring, when the offering's preparation has just been finished, Flik, unliked inventor ant, accidentally drops the whole offered seeds into the river. The grasshoppers come and give the ants a second chance to collect food until fall.

Flik sets off to find bugs that are willing to fight the grasshoppers (nobody expects him to succeed anyway) and, due to a double misinterpretation, returns with a circus crew, giving everybody new hope. When the misunderstanding finally gets cleared out, there is only little time left for a new plan, which has to work, or else.

What makes this film not one of Pixar's worst is the acting talent. Flik is played perfectly by Dave Foley and Princess Atta by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The two share many scenes together and while the outcome is fairly predictable between the two you are still led to believe that Atta has no interest in Flik. But that's not the only voice talent present, we get Kevin Spacey as the villain Hopper, David Hyde Pierce, Dennis Leary, Bonnie Hunt, Brad Garret, Phyllis Diller and a very young Hayden Panettiere.

When it's all said and done - it's been a good 7 years since I last watched my DVD version of the film and I remember liking it but not enough to re-purchase it again on Blu-ray. Seeing it again rekindled my love for the film and with the perfect picture and audio quality here I can't wait for Monsters Inc. this fall.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release includes an embossed slip cover as well as a coupon for a free ticket to see Up in theaters. All features presented in HD unless otherwise noted.

Commentary with Writer/Director John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Filmmakers Roundtable (20 Minutes) - A really great chat with many of the big-wigs who helped bring A Bug's Life to, well, life. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

The First Draft (11 Minutes) - Storyboards mixed in with some voice over work gives viewers an early idea of how the film might have been. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

BD-Live (Profile 2.0/BD-Live only) ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
- Movie Mail
- Movie Chat
- Movie Challenge
- Rewards

Pre-Production & Behind the Scenes (~1 Hour; SD and some HD - Mixed) -- A mix of many different aspects that went into making the film from storyboards, to voice over's to videos of real bugs. All in all this is the most interesting aspect of the disc and while it was already made available previously on the DVD it holds up well over a decade later.

Rounding out the disc is a bunch of smaller features like Outtakes (8 Minutes), some Design Galleries/Promotion Items, Trailers, a very well done Pixar short titled Geri's Game (5 Minutes), another short titled Grasshoppers and Ants (8 Minutes), and, of course, a Digital Copy.

Sadly not everything has made the transition over from the previous DVD. Missing in action is the Sound Affects only Audio Track, Isolated Score Track & a 4:3 to 16:9 learning featurette (understandable why it's gone). Couldn't squeeze less than 1GB of audio on the track?



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

A Bug's Life arrives on Blu-ray in 2.35:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Simply put - one of the best look animated films (second to Wall-E) on the format. I dug up my previous DVD release for comparison... and it looks like a bootleg copy compared to this pristine transfer. Colors are so incredibly rich with the smallest details on the ants faces showing up. You are in for a treat if you watch this film.

Disney has included an English 6.1 DTS MA Track for this release (Its mislabeled as 5.1 on both the box and menu but its 6.1). Just like the picture quality, Disney has skipped over nothing by providing a perfect Audio track that will rock your house. Raindrops feel like mini-earthquakes and dialog is perfect. Another outstanding release.



.::OVERALL::.

You want to see one of Blu-rays best looking and sounding discs yet? Get A Bug's Life. Not only is it packed with tons of special features, but perfect picture and audio quality and a decent kids film as well. This one belongs in your Blu-ray film library.