Archive for the ‘Ant Bully’ Category

319 – The Ant Bully

June 4, 2007

Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler) is a little runt who’s always picked on by the neighborhood bully, so he takes out his aggressions (and neglect by his family) by being a major jerko to the ants and other bugs that reside in his family’s front yard, even going so far as to flood the ant colony with the garden hose. Hey, we’ve all done that, right? No? Just me? Okay, then.

Anyway, Lucas’ aggression has taken its toll on the ants, disrupting their food supply chain. Ant wizard (!) Zoc (Nicolas Cage) decides to literally cut Lucas down to size, shrinking him with some sort of shrinky dink potion, and poof, the bitter lil’ menace is teeny weeny. The better for him to learn the value of an insect’s life, you see. It’s all part of the plan.

Now, Lucas must, in the words of the ant queen, become an ant, one of the colony. Why this must be the case isn’t quite clear, but it’s not terribly important. The ants don’t need him, but even so he’s taken under the gentle mandibles of Hova (Julia Roberts), who wants to learn more about the human, rather than simply regarding Lucas as an enemy who must be smushed. Of course, the other ants in the colony are more inclined to believe the latter than the former, but the queen and the head of council (Meryl Streep and Ricardo Montalban, respectively) have spoken.

To add to the drama, Lucas – feeling shunted aside by everyone in his family – somehow signed a contract with a nefarious, take-no-prisoners exterminator (Paul Giamatti) while his parents are away. Can he save his newfound pals from the deadly exterminator? A-duh.

The Ant Bully is charming and funny, and the animation is well detailed. Although sometimes the movie seems kind of cliched (the fight against the exterminator is straight out of Over the Hedge’s final battle), it won’t matter to the target audience. The characters’ voices are well cast, too, even Cage’s. As with most cartoons nowadays, there’s a Moral to the Story, but it’s not heavy handed and off putting. And the jokes are sometimes complex (or simple) enough for adults to laugh at loud at ’em.