The Ant Bully (2006) Poster


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Well Worth Viewing
pjh070430 July 2006
I really don't get the negative reviews for this movie. I'm in my forties, so is my husband. Our children are three and eleven. We all loved this movie. I'll buy the DVD.

I liked this movie as well as A Bug's Life, if not better. Why? The message that it's okay to be yourself and that you don't have to simply accept bullying is delivered in a more laid-back way. A Bug's Life and Toy Story, by comparison, are frenetic.

The actors voices and characterization are terrific. All in all, I think the visuals at the end of the film - sort of a funky, hieroglyphic narrative - help to sum up this film's appeal or lack of appeal, depending on the nature of the viewer. If you genuinely prefer faster-paced, more "in-your-face" type of movies (and I realize that most American film viewers do these days), then you will have to acclimate a little to this film. But not much. It's plenty busy.

What it also is, however, is charming. Toy Story was charming. So was the first Shrek, in its own quirky, slightly perverse way. The Ant Bully, in my family's opinion (and we go to a lot of movies), was just what we needed for a Friday night of family entertainment. We had some really good laughs, enjoyed being together, and left feeling upbeat. The audience seemed to enjoy this movie very much. There was a lot of laughter and many people stayed to watch the colorful visuals at the end.

If you don't like this movie, then perhaps you need to learn to kick back and relax a little more often. We found it to be well worth viewing and it will certainly receive a lot of travel time viewing in our car once it's released on DVD. I saw that Tom Hanks was an Executive Producer. Thanks, Tom.
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Another great animated film
Smells_Like_Cheese28 November 2006
I don't understand why some of the better animated films have semi-low ratings, I think because people were comparing this movie to the film "Antz", I'm not quite sure if it was a sequel, but I thought on it's own "The Ant Bully" was a very fun movie for all ages. The animation and the story were fun and great to watch, I honestly think that The Ant Bully is one of the best animated films I have seen in a while.

Lucas is a boy who is constantly picked on and he ends up taking his anger out on the ants in his front yard by smashing their colony and drowning them with the hose. The ants are fed up and decide to shrink Lucas and give him a taste of what they go through when he drowns and destroys their city. He now has to work as an ant and become one of them, he slowly realizes how important the ants are and how wrong he was. But things get more difficult when he forgets that he hired an exterminator to get rid of the ants.

The Ant Bully was a very touching and wonderful story that I felt is important for kids to watch. I loved how it showed the moral of "What goes around comes around", kids need to learn that more now a days, because it's very true. Not to mention that The Ant Bully in general is just a great animated film that the whole family could get a kick out of. A great cast and a fun filled story made this film work, so don't be so harsh.

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Cute Animated Film with Ants
Chrysanthepop8 January 2008
'Ant Bully' is another cute animated film with ants. Many might compare it to Dreamworks's 'Antz' and if I'm told to pick one, then 'Ant Bully' is the better one. Of course the story isn't anything new per se but it moves at a steady pace and the characters are very likable. Besides, there's no harm in enjoying some laugh-out-loud moments. For me it was a good 90 minutes spent laughing as I was watching it with my mom and little sister (who enjoyed it too). Voice talents include names like Nicolas Cage, Lily Tomlin, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti and many more. All of them do fairly well, though Cage appears to sound a little theatrical urban. The animation is brilliant. I especially like how the aunt 'colonization' was created with vibrant colours and attention to detail. Watch out for some cute shorts of the ants. All in all, this is a cute film to enjoy with the family.
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Ant Bully = FUN FUN FUN!!!!!
brrrian4022 July 2006
Wildly entertaining for kids and bits of off the wall humor for adults make The Ant Bully my top choice for cartoons and animated films this year! Tom Hanks' production group assembled a fantastic line up of voice actors for this movie. My favorite all-star was Julia Roberts, who I believe is best playing in fun roles for children as she did in Hook as Tinkerbell.

Nicolas Cage added a hint of familiarity and also added to the entertainment level for adults (i.e. imagining the "Lord of War" as a tiny ant!) Above that, my favorite part about the Ant Bully were the vivid scenes and camera angles between the world of the human and the world of the ant. The animators had brilliant use of switching the perspective at different times – for example - *mini-spoiler* a fire cracker goes off and makes a gigantic BOOM in the underground for the ants, but the camera zooms out and it is a tiny pop for the world of humans.

The variety of entertainment and different levels of humor make The Ant Bully this Summer's top choice for family fun!
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Great animation
billsanders2 August 2006
I thought the animation was excellent. The story was apropos for the intended audience--mostly families. I'm not sure why there are comments from other viewers complaining about hidden meanings--as best as I can tell, that says more about the viewer than it does about the movie. Ants behaved in the movie like we imagine ants to behave when personified. It is unreasonable to attach any hidden meaning to it. The message was simple and straightforward. It is your basic good vs. evil, little guy vs. bully. It is a great family film. I recommend it for any child, and any adult who wants to forget about life for a while and think like a child.
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Fun family film that reaches all ages
twistedweather22 July 2006
I was able to attend a early screening of this movie by chance. Finding the free pass discarded on the ground at a busy bus stop here in downtown Seattle. Lucky I was!

I really enjoyed this movie, it was a great improvement over the past "Antz" movie it preceded not too long ago. The film was well rounded being able to capture the attention of late twenty somethings to preteens with its clever comedy and playful characters. Kinda like a Honey I shrunk the kids minus the moldy cheese.

There were a few jokes aimed @ an older audience but this helped keep more mature viewers feeling they had spent their 9 bucks on a delightful film.
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Don't Step on It.
tfrizzell30 September 2006
Elements from several recent computer-generated pictures are truly evident in this animated feature that focuses on a young boy who takes his frustrations out on defenseless ants after being bullied himself by his peers. After he magically gets turned to the size of an ant, the youngster learns how the other half lives and survives. Under-rated picture that has good messages for the kiddies and will keep them occupied on rainy afternoons. A bit slow-moving and old hat for hardened adults, but still more upside nonetheless. Julia Roberts and Nicolas Cage are the two biggest names in a strong cast that lends their voices to their cartoonish alter egos. 4 stars out of 5.
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funny for kids and adults
fastchef22 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this film today with my 8 year old daughter, really with out knowing too much about it. My daughter and i were pleasantly surprised at how funny it was. Nick Cage was pretty good as the wizard ant, Bruce Campbell was funny too but the highlight was Paul Giamatti as Stan the exterminator.


There is a scene later in the film that might be disturbing to younger viewers, in the frog's stomach there's a floating bug head. my 8 year old could handle it OK but it might scare a younger child. I would recommend this film for the whole family, apart from the usual main character learns a lesson in the end.( do they always have to learn a lesson?)funny bits enough to over look the "message" at the end. 7/10
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Just plain dull
MartianOctocretr528 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This one is just a formulaic rehash of stuff we've seen and heard before. There's not much of a story here, and the characters are paper thin cutouts with the voices of bored celebs who wanted some extra milk money between films.

A kid gets shrunk by some ants who he blasted with a garden hose. You don't even see him get shrunk (wasn't this an animated film?); he just wakes up next to his giant underwear. The 21st Century society colony of ants decide to "teach him our ways," and the moral (whatever it is) of the film has been sloppily served up. If you hear a snoring noise, that's your kids who have nodded off by now from the blank-page scripting. You'll probably follow them in the next few minutes; this one is definitely a cure for insomniacs. If the dead-end story doesn't anesthetize you, the lame cultural one-liners will.

The baddie is ripped off directly from Over the Hedge, with all the trimmings: smoking, evil laughing, overweight etc. He wasn't funny in that movie; he's even worse here. Battles between the ants and the bad guy are CGI splashes of color and out of focus images. Why? Because there really isn't anything to see. Somebody's always following a long distance, with the same blurry effect, and for the same blurry reason.

Good to torment a disobedient child with, or to put a hyper one to sleep. But that's all.
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It's a Fun movie for the whole family.
mixmaxx9 October 2006
I really enjoyed this movie. I would recommend this film for the whole family. The message was simple and straightforward. It is your basic good vs. evil. I had really good laughs, enjoyed being there. The audience seemed to enjoy this movie very much. There was a lot of laughter and many people stayed to watch the colorful visuals at the end. Also I think it's better than "CARS" which is seem to be very boring to me!!! ........... ............. ...............

By the way, there are comments from other viewers complaining about hidden meanings and may feel the script was taken from the book of Karl Marx which is outrage and misjudge for the film. Also Marx's book is all about capitalism!!! I really don't get the negative reviews for this movie!!!!!
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Ant theme should be retired.
aisa_etinu27 November 2006
I love CG and am not tired of it yet. To me, the medium of the story is not as important as the quality of the plot, and in The Ant Bully, the story was just too overdone to be satisfying. The graphics and sounds were nice, and it's a shame they were not paired with a more unique storyline.

Pros: The voices were expressive, and there's a different take on ants in this movie than in the previous ones. These follow the laws of nature in some respects but don't in others, so their world may not be as familiar or believable to viewers as those in A Bug's Life or Antz might have been. The CG is great, with nice details where they're needed, and there are different species of wildlife involved. Now if they could just move on to a new subject. No one's done a big CG movie about cockroaches yet...

Cons: The message of the movie is pushed a bit too hard. In many ways, it's exactly the same message as the one in the previous two ant movies. Ant Bully might be pretty interesting for anyone who hasn't already seen A Bug's Life and Antz, but you'll probably still yawn a little and say the magician ant's catch-phrase along with him when it's repeated for the third time.
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Fun and entertaining for pretty much everyone! It even kept Grandma entertained!
bassisbetter28 July 2006
Well, this is my first movie review for I chose this movie because it's the most recent movie I saw, and it's fresh in my head. It's a very fun and entertaining movie people of all ages will enjoy, since my 11 year old sister liked it, and so did my 73 year old grandma! My grandma doesn't usually like animated movies, but not even she could resist this movie. The animation is good, but not quite as good as Pixar's "A Bug's Life." While it's fast paced and entertaining, there are a few problems with the script. For example, whenever I heard them say something like "Find your inner ant!" I wanted to cringe, and the scene where Nicolas Cage 'cursed the rock's children,' I thought it was really dumb, and there were other small little problems, but I quickly forgave the movie because it was fun and adventurous, and often exciting and thrilling. No doubt kids will love this movie most, but I think parents will find themselves enjoying it as well! This was better than Over the Hedge, but not as good as Cars. Cars might remain the best animated movie of they year, but I still have to see Monster House. All in all, this is a fun movie with only minor script problems. I think it's unfair to compare "Antz" and "A Bug's life" to this, because this movie is pretty different from the two. Really, the only similarities are, it's animated and about ants.
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Awesome movie for all ages
ellimist00727 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this movie.

I got to see a sneak preview of this movie with my little cousins, and it was wonderful. I've seen comparisons of this movie to previous insect movies, like Antz or Bugs Life, but this one blows them both away as having a far more complete and extensive package of great movies qualities.

The movie started off a little slow for the first, maybe, 10-20 minutes, as they set up the story, but then everything really takes off and is a ton of fun!! The voice talents do a superb job, especially Bruce Campbell and Nic Cage as the clever comic relief and the mistrusting wizard, respectively. This movie even manages to be a little scary- nothing too frightening for even the littlest of kids, I don't think, but they managed to add a little menace that makes the plot work-- there are all sorts of dangers when you're an ant, apparently, from wasps to the exterminator.

The script is cute and funny, yet clever enough to keep every member of a family entertained, as jokes are aimed at every age level, and even the young adult folks I saw at the preview without little ones in tow were complimentary and seemed pleasantly surprised at how much they liked the movie. The script also surprisingly clever and poignant, with a sweet yet fairly subtle message- you don't feel like the movie is talking down to you or beating you over the head with their intended point.

The animation in this film is soooo well done- some of the scenes are incredibly beautiful and the landscapes they came up with could keep you entertained all by themselves. Like the humor, there are visual elements that are catered to a range of ages- from gross head lice to homages to Ray Harryhausen Overall I would recommend this movie to everyone, whether you go with family or friends, I honestly think this movie has something you will really enjoy.
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A Cute Fantasy
sddavis631 January 2012
With a story and style that's definitely aimed more at children than adults, "The Ant Bully" will probably be entertaining enough for the young ones, but might not have enough meat to hold the attention of an older viewer. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, and it does what it seeks to do well enough.

The story revolves around the adventures of young Lucas. He's a young kid being bullied by the bigger kids in the neighbourhood and who takes out his frustrations by regularly destroying one of the anthills in his yard. Out for revenge, the ant wizard develops a potion that shrinks Lucas down into an ant-sized human, and the ants kidnap him and carry him back to the nest. Rather than destroying him, though, the ants decide to try to turn him into an ally by teaching him what it's like to be an ant. Nicknamed "Peanut the Destroyer" (Peanut being the name his mom calls him, and The Destroyer being what the ants called him) Lucas does learn from his new friends, especially Hova, he joins in the defence of the colony against an attack by wasps, and finally he becomes the inspiration for a plan to work together with the wasps to defeat an exterminator who's there to destroy both nests.

The story teaches the value of co-operation in overcoming big odds, and it's a very overt (appropriately so) anti-bullying message. It's a cute story, a little bit reminiscent of an animated version of "Honey I Shrunk The Kids." There's not enough to really hold an adult captivated, but it should entertain the kids. (5/10)
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Fun for all ages!! Um, ages under 5, that is.
TheMovieMark28 July 2006
Are you looking for an entertaining little animated flick with ants in it? Well good news! A Bug's Life is available on DVD. If you're looking for similar fun in The Ant Bully then you'll be staying in the theater long after the credits roll still fruitlessly searching.

Typically, when I've failed to laugh within the first 10 or 15 minutes of a supposed comedy, I know it's going to be a long night. In an effort to keep my attention focused on the movie, I take note of how many times I actually laugh - this is always a good gauge of how ineffective the jokes are. The grand total of laughs during The Ant Bully? Four. That's right; four clever, genuine laugh-inducing moments.

Everything else is a mere exercise in "how can we make little kids chuckle?" I'll give the movie credit - it will definitely play well with 5-year-olds, but that's because it feels like it was written by one. No offense, but the problem with that is 5-year-olds just aren't that funny or creative. Their stories are really only gonna be tolerated by their peers or those who love them most.

Here's just one painful example of my experience with this film:

"Curse upon your children," Nicholas Cage's character exclaims towards a couple of rocks.

"I don't think rocks have children," replies his Julia Roberts-voiced wife.

"They won't now," Cage yells as he throws them on the ground.

The kids in the audience howl with laughter. Johnny rolls his eyes and looks at his watch.

There you have it. Expect 90 minutes of THAT. Throw in a completely unfunny grandmother who believes in aliens, and you've got a long night at the theater.

I also have a bit of a problem with the villainous portrayal of the pest control man. What are we teaching our children? That people who work in pest control are evil and their jobs aren't worthy of respect? Terrible message. Insects ARE pests, and though they do have their place, there comes a time when some of them must be killed. It's a little thing I like to call a fact of life. What's next; an animated film about how humans must learn to live with termites?

The Ant Bully really beats us over the head with its messages on teamwork, family, and the abuse of power. Here, I'll teach you that lesson real quick - it's good to work as a team, family is important, and try not to abuse power. I just saved you $8 a pop and 90 minutes of your time. All I ask in return is a check or Paypal payment for just half of what you would've paid for the entire family to see this. Thanks, and you're welcome.

Come on, a movie where a kid finds his inner ant? And this is supposed to play well with adults? Seriously?

Sure, the sound and visuals are fine, and things pick up a bit at the end, but so what? Don't care. That doesn't make up for the weak jokes and the "ants are heroic and humans are evil" themes. All it did was make me want to go step on some ant hills.

The Ant Bully? More like The Ain't Funny.

Accuse me of taking this too seriously all you want, but as long as there are kid's movies that refuse to give adequate entertainment to the adults who are forced to sit through them for the sake of their children, there's going to be Johnny Betts standing up and harshly putting them in their place.


The Ant Bully is just another example in a long line of animated movies that don't know how to appeal to both children and adults. Quit using the ol' "but it's a kid's movie" excuse because Pixar has proved that it can be done. Just watch A Bug's Life like I mentioned earlier.
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A Boring Rehash of an Old Trope
Samuel-Shovel13 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
We've seen this plot over and over again (see Dances with Wolves, Avatar, Ferngully, etc.) and this one does it worst than a lot of them. Similar to Ferngully, this is a cartoon movie with an overt message of acceptance of something that is helpless against us. While this is an important message, it is done very poorly.

The jokes in this one all fall flat, the voice acting is poor, the animation is C-average, and the plot is boring and will make you sleepy. The director really had an opportunity to do some fun things with space and size distortion from an ant's perspective but we really don't get enough scenes regarding this. The kite-surfing was really the only fun one that comes to my mind. Besides this, the other ones don't really capture your attention. Skip this one.
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absurd plot
a-campbell-312 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
An otherwise predictable and pleasant story descends to absurdity towards the end as the lead character, a shrunken boy who has been overwhelmingly physically inferior to the ants in strength and ability to climb up vertical walls for the entire story miraculously and suddenly exhibits ant like super-strength and wall climbing ability.

No suspension of disbelief here, simply disbelief.

It's a fantasy, a cartoon, but really - what were the writers thinking.

My 8 year old daughter sat back and stated "that's stupid". It's a cartoon, and the writers lost credibility with an 8 year old! That is a first for my 8 year old.

I asked for my money back from the DVD store.
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The Ant Bully
jboothmillard20 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
From director John A. Davis, and the rest of the team that created Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, I wasn't expecting much from this computer animated film, but I still went for it. Basically ten-year-old Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler), moved in a new neighbourhood, has no friends, and is the target for a local bully and his gang. The only thing Lucas can do to express his anger is bully the ants in his front garden, and the ants themselves are living in fear of the giant "Destroyer". Wizard ant Zoc (Nicolas Cage) has invented a magic potion that he is sure will shrink Lucas down to their size, and it works, and they drag him down to their colony. As punishment for endangering all the ants, Lucas is sentenced to live and work amongst the insects, and slowly this does open his eyes up, not just to what he has been doing, but to what the ants get up to, e.g. teamwork. But Lucas forgot that he signed a form to get the help of bug exterminator Stan Beals (Paul Giamatti) to vaporise the colony, so with the help of all ants and some wasps, they team up to save everyone. Also starring Julia Roberts as Hova, Meryl Streep as Queen, Jerry Maguire's Regina King as Kreela, The Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell as Fugax, Lily Tomlin as Mommo, Scary Movie's Cheri Oteri as Doreen Nickle, The Nutty Professor's Larry Miller as Fred Nickle, Allison Mack as Tiffany Nickle and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan's Ricardo Montalban as Head of Council. This film was obviously very hyped with the list of big stars providing their voices, and while the animation is good, the story that goes with it is a little dry, but I suppose there is some fun to be had for the family. Okay!
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Cage isn't bad here either
freakfire-11 October 2008
Sometimes animated movies can surprise you. And this was one of those movies. While it did not wow me, it did have a nice storyline and good voicing talent and that was good enough.

Cage and Roberts play two ants. The thought of those two as ants at first seemed funny. But since they made them human, everything turned out alright. Enter actual conflict with other insects and it makes for a descent film.

The concept, however, has been used before. Animals/insects/aliens being threatened by humans is all too familiar. But it gets over such a thing with making it similar to Western English Europeans dealing Native American Indians to a small extent and that familiarize the audience with the conflict between ant and boy.

Overall, not bad. "B-"
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Just another ant movie
Jay_Exiomo2 August 2006
It feels awfully long ago when computer animated films last generated sincere excitement for my part and rose above their technical brilliance to tell their story well. But the truth is, it was just a couple of years ago, when Pixar and Dreamworks Animation were the main players of the genre. It seemed to be the infallible aspect of film industry in general. But when Disney raised the white flag with their hand-drawn animation films two years ago, it signaled a new era in the animation industry, and perhaps not coincidentally, the demands demands for visually polished 3D animation has us witnessing other aspects, such as character development and storytelling, decline.

I knew right from the start that Warner Bros.' "The Ant Bully" wasn't going to be exactly a picnic. And you know something's wrong about a movie when you have Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Paul Giamatti attached to it yet it can only generate $8 million on its first weekend. To make matters worse, Pixar already has "A Bug's Life" and Dreamworks has "AntZ", which makes "The Ant Bully" a failure in terms of creating enough recognition of its own. Sad to say, this is a pointless animated movie, and it makes me yearn for the yesteryears of animation.

Lucas (voiced by Zach Tyler) is a kid who's been bullied around by other kids in the neighborhood. As a cathartic response to his helplessness against such maltreatment, he regularly floods an anthill with his water gun. Having had enough, one of the members of the ant colony - Zoc (Cage) - produces a magic potion that shrinks Lucas to their size and forces him to learn the ways of the ants. With the guidance of ants Hova (Roberts), Kreela (Regina King), and Fugax (Bruce Campbell), they teach the kid the values of - you know - teamwork, sacrifice, trust and friendship.

It's not so much that "The Ant Bully" is a horrible movie, it's just that it's an uninteresting and tedious one. Yes, the voice actors do their best but their noble work can't save them from director John A. Davis' script that is essentially dead on the spot. Kid has problems, no one can seem to help, he becomes a hero in one way or another, and he sees the world in a different perspective. Sure, it's a nice diversion for kids, but there's nothing much for the other members of the audience.

Visually, the film scores for its vibrantly "cartoonish" look. The characters look alive and the world they inhabit is colorful. The art direction is great in general although the problematic premise has it lacking any remarkable traits in any of its characters. Not one character (neither human or bug) really stands out and gets to be memorable.

"The Ant Bully" is a prime example of how the genre has already wore out its novelty, never mind the occasional flashes of brilliance. Yes, there are characters that have glimpses of creativity, but without much material that allows them to shine through it ain't fun. And while the animation is pretty to look at, it's no big deal considering the rapid advancement of technology and the constant release of newer and more powerful animation softwares.

Either way, it appears the movie-going public has reached a verdict. It seems we've had enough movies about ants.
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Inoffensive animated film – no-one's ever going to call it a classic, but it has enough going for it to keep the kids entertained.
barnabyrudge16 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
What is it with the recent cinematic fascination with ants? When I spot ants crawling around near my doorstep, I spray them with various products that will hopefully exterminate them before they over-run the place! And it doesn't bother me in the slightest that I'm killing them, because they're PESTS – if I don't dispose of them, they'll multiply, they'll spread into the inside of my house, they'll nest in my walls, and such like. Strangely, ants have become the recent darlings of animated film makers, what with the Woody Allen film Antz (1998) and now The Ant Bully. While the latter of those two films is perfectly watchable, impressively animated and quite well-voiced, it still rankles with me that one of the film's main messages seems to be that we humans should let ants live in peace. Sorry, but I don't particularly want my house ruined by the little blighters! More appropriate in this film is the other principal message, about kids valuing team work and friendship…. it's quite true, I think, that too many modern children are a little selfish and obnoxious, and the adventures that befall young Lucas Nickle certainly help him to emerge a better person for his ordeal.

Young Lucas Nickle (voice of Zach Tyler Eisen) is small and bespectacled, which makes him the ideal target for local bullies. He's so fed up at being the object of their attacks that he lets off steam by bullying anything smaller than himself, especially ants. Lucas thinks nothing of stomping on anthills in his garden or drowning them with his garden hose. Worse still, his parents seem totally oblivious to his suffering, and he insists on doing everything by himself since his miserable existence has taught him just one thing: that there's no-one in the world he can truly trust. When Lucas's parents go away for a romantic weekend in Mexico, leaving the young lad in the care of his paranoid, conspiracy-theorising granny, he finds himself enduring a weird adventure that changes his outlook. One night, an ant wizard named Zoc (voice of Nicholas Cage) pours a magical potion into Lucas's ear that shrinks him to ant size. The insects then take Lucas to see the Ant Mother (voice of Meryl Streep), who declares that his hostility towards the species must be cured by making him understand what it is like to be an ant. Lucas is taught about the ant lifestyle by friendly Hova (voice of Julia Roberts), and after initially despising the idea of team work and effort he gradually learns that they are values worth acquiring. Ultimately, he comes to love the ants and helps them to defend themselves when a bug exterminator turns up to annihilate them once and for all…

There are a couple of nice ideas amid all this. Particularly good is the scene where Lucas guides a group of his ant friends into his house and they cross the front room by using flower petals like parachutes, getting power and momentum from a fan in the corner of the room. As they fly across the room, they pass a huge painting of Hawaii and it's almost like they're paragliding across some Hawaiian bay. The animation is exceptionally good, as it always seems to be nowadays what with the incredible advances in technology that the past decade or so has made possible. The voice work is quite good on the whole. Roberts is sweet as Hova, Eisen holds his own well as the young hero, and Bruce Campbell has a ball as an ant-adventurer called Fugax who pretends to be tough but is a big softie-at-heart. Cage seems less convincing as the ant with magical powers, perhaps because he has all the most embarrassingly corny lines in the script, while Streep's character appears in a mere two scenes and is somewhat peripheral to the action. The Ant Bully got a big thumbs-down from the critics, but in fairness it's a passable little film that can be enjoyed agreeably enough. No-one will ever call this film a classic, but it provides harmless entertainment if you're in the right frame of mind.
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Watchable, but nothing overly amazing
DonFishies3 August 2006
Seeing the trailers for The Ant Bully was an obvious groan for most people. A Bug's Life and Antz both came out around the same time frame a few years back, and are still fairly recent in most people's minds, yet just from the trailer, it looked like it was more of the same, and less of the different. I have found out since, that it was based off a book, so maybe it was not just a direct rip from previous animated films. I was willing to give it a chance, and I am surprised to say, it was slightly different from the other animated insect films. But not by a whole lot.

The Ant Bully tells the story of Lucas (Zach Tyler), an obviously geeky sort of youngster who has no friends, and is consistently bullied. The bully is bigger than he is, so in turn, Lucas takes his frustrations out on something smaller than he is, a colony of ants living on his front lawn. The ants are clearly getting fed up, and when the wizard ant Zoc (Nicolas Cage) comes up with a potion in order to shrink Lucas, he uses it, and sure enough, Lucas shrinks. Upon being taken to the Queen Ant (Meryl Streep), Lucas is given the ultimatum of having to live and become like an ant, or else he will never go back to his original size.

The movie basically goes on from here, and is generally fun for the most part. It gets really silly at some points, and at others, it really feels like a simple children's film and nothing more. There are obviously a few jokes that all audiences can laugh at, but it feels more geared primarily towards children than it does to an older audience. It has the obvious universal theme of acceptance, but it never really transcends and becomes anything more. It feels much more standard, and by the book. Hell, they do not even waste any time going through the motions, as the movie starts, and the whole plot basically begins right after. It is fairly fast paced, and basically flies through its eighty-eight minute runtime like nothing. Even to the point of not offering real tangible explanations for certain events that occur, that really do not make sense (and for a movie about ants shrinking a kid and making him one of their own, that is saying a lot).

What really hurts the film is how much the audience has already seen in the trailer, and how much of what happens has already been done in other films. It feels a lot more inspired by every other animated film before it, than it does feel like an original film. Granted, the filmmakers do make a valiant attempt at making the film different, it just does not totally work out the way it should.

The CGI animation is fairly colourful in its usage, but nothing too over-the-top. Most of the ants look the same, with a few looking different, and all the other bugs look the same as each other, just infused with lots of colour. There really is nothing too distinguishing about any of the characters, and until you learn the voices, you really have no idea as to who is who. The material really does not make for a whole lot of wacky settings, so the backgrounds stay very much the same as the film goes on. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but it really does not make for anything distinguishing to come from it either.

The voice acting is all fairly well done, from Cage in a more enthusiastic role than he usually gets, to Julia Roberts as the motherly figure (like we could not call that one in advance), to Paul Giamatti as the underused exterminator character. Streep does alright in her basic cameo role, while Regina King and Lily Tomlin put in memorable supporting performances (many of which give the biggest laughs in the film) and youngster Tyler does an admirable job holding his own against the heavy hitters.

But of course, the man himself, Bruce Campbell, puts in the film's undoubted best performance as the overbearing and slightly idiotic Fugax. He reads off his lines with his usual slapstick humour, and even without his likeness, enthuses the film greatly. He plays off everyone with his usual finesse, and he brings a presence to his role that no one else can even attempt to match.

The film, even with its problems, is definitely watchable and is really elevated by Campbell's performance. It is not overly original, but has many entertaining moments. Just do not expect it to fare well against other recent animated competition.

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don't really need it in our universe
rigg_william11 August 2006
It is really boring to my mind the way the war has bin set out the way the exterminate just sprays the flying things with the ants on them and they just die really quickly.

I mean there is not much to see out of it because its just really BORING.

But don't just listen to me because you might enjoy it,the ant bully learns a good lesson in the end and he makes some friends.

There's not much action in it, the war lasts about three minutes.

If i was you i'd watch cars instead because ITS GREAT.

Thanks for listing. William
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Young and Old alike....this is a must see. Add this one to your collection!
erinunadea26 July 2006
What an absolute delight! This movie is very entertaining for both children and adults alike. It's is very fast paced and never has a dull moment. Although it's the big names like Nick Cage and Julia Roberts drawing the crowd, the voices are actually the least appealing aspect of the film. The animation is extraordinary from the immense detail in the ant hill to the dynamic characters throughout and even including the end credits (STAY FOR THE CREDITS-No joke). If you see one animated film this year, SEE THIS MOVIE. If you see two, see this at the IMAX! For all you movie buffs, DNA Productions, Inc. was the animation company that completed this film (and also animated Jimmy Neutron). If I were them, I'd be doing a little more bragging about what an amazing job they've done. I look forward to seeing their next film. According to IMDb, their next project is titled, "Neopets", but gave no insight to the plot. As it stands now, DNA is probably the only animation house that will be giving Pixar a run for their money. If you don't believe me...see the movie!
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"Have a Family Movie Outing for a Very Colorful & Entertaining Experience"
beebertie29 July 2006
I would suggest to anyone to have a "Family Movie Outing". This movie is fun, fun, fun and more fun. It went above and beyond my expectations. It's definitely worth seeing a 2nd or even a 3rd time. It certainly isn't a film that will leave a bad taste in the mouth. I think that the chemistry between the actors was absolutely A+ 100% on the money; the casting is very good. Each and everyone carried this cute story through from the beginning to the end. These days young people need to learn responsibility of how to get along with each other, instead of being so self-centered. In fact, if I were a teacher, I would give the students the assignment of watching the film and let them make a report on it. In spite of some of the negative comments that were made regarding this "treasure", go and see for your self. I guarantee that you will positively come out of the theater with a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eyes.
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