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Antz (1998) artwork

Antz (1998)

1st January 2000

After a chance meeting, a small worker ant has grand ideas about landing the beautiful princess Bala. By swapping his boring job with his soldier ant friend his life is turned on its head when war breaks out with the termites. He soon uncovers a dastardly plot by General Mandible to destroy the ant colony. Can he grab the girl and save the colony from destruction?
Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Bancroft, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Dan Aykroyd, Christopher Walken
Animation
1
1 Hour 23 Minutes

'Z' is in a dead end job as a worker ant in the 'mega-tunnel' project. Despondent with life, as only Woody Allen could portray, he has a chance meeting in a bar with princess Bala who has sneaked out from the palace looking for some excitement. Determined to meet with her again 'Z' manages to swaps jobs with his solider ant friend Weaver to get on a parade. However, during the parade he discovers war has been declared and he is sent to the termite colony.

After a lengthy and bloody battle he discovers that he is the only survivor and returns to the colony as an unlikely hero. However, General Mandible hadn't planned on any survivors and is far from pleased. Being a hero he is to meet the queen and family and during the meeting he accidentally falls down a rubbish shoot with the princess. Princess Bala attempts to return to the colony but 'Z' decides that he cannot return and decides to find the mythical 'Insectopia'. However, his plans are changed by the intervention of a human and Bala accompanies him on his journey.

When 'Z' is sent out to battle the termites I got this feeling that I'd seen it all before. I had, the battle scene could have been taken straight from the man vs. bug battle in 'Starship troopers' as the termites, who are out numbered by the ants, slaughter everything in their path.

For all the fuss and performance over the fact that A Bugs Life was the first direct digital transfer, I actually found myself liking the 'Antz' picture more. It is softer and not as 'mechanical' as the other. The menu's are superbly animated where as A Bugs Life are totally static.

Some of the production team jumped ship on this project and went away to create a little known film called A Bugs Life. The dash was now on to see who could release their film first. This was eventually won by Antz, but this may have been a flawed idea. Not only could the other production team spend more time on their film, but the extra interest generated by Antz would be carried into 'A Bugs Life' The extra time and effort put into the film can be seen graphically in A Bugs Life but I found that I much preferred 'Antz' as the script was just so much better.

The arguments could go on forever over the qualities and comparisons between the two films, but Antz is so much better in many ways. The cast is endless as some of Hollywood's biggest stars have put their voice to a computer generated ant. Heaven knows what this menagerie of stars cost as countless lessons have been learnt since Toy Story was born. Tom Hanks was reputed to have 'only' received $50,000 for his part in the first Toy Story where as this has now rocketed to a cool $5,000,00 for Toy Story 2

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Directors Commentary
  • Basics of Computer Animation
  • Antz Facial Systems
  • Antz Character Design
  • TV Spots
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Crew Biographies
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