A bungling ant saves his anthill from destruction at the hands of dangerous bullies and winds up with the colony’s future queen as his girlfriend. The plot I just described fits not only the Disney-produced, computer-animated film "A Bug’s Life" but also its Dreamworks-produced rival, "Antz", still playing in theatres. Fortunately, the similarities between the films end there as each carves out a niche among their intended audiences.
What "A Bug’s Life" has going for it is its colorful assortment of characters, each of which has a distinct personality. From the much put- upon Francis the ladybug (Denis Leary) to the film’s protagonist, Flik (Dave Foley), the insects depicted all have a specific part to play in the drama that unfolds. As might be expected from a Disney production, the simplistic storyline is especially suited for kids. This is where the real distinction comes between it and "Antz". "Antz" is better suited for older audiences and it rewards such audiences with more complex plotting and deeper themes.
Compared side to side, one can see much difference in the computer-generated animation used in each film. While "A Bug’s Life" is infused with brighter colors to match its sunnier outlook, "Antz" is the more detailed and textured of the two. Whether this works for or against each film is a matter of personal preference. When compared to the only other full-length computer-animated film, the also Disney-produced "Toy Story", "A Bug’s Life" seems like a small step backwards. While the latter has the obvious technological advantage, the former has a more engaging storyline. Just be sure to stick around for the end credits of "A Bug’s Life", as they are the movie’s funniest sequence.