Inspired by Aesop’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper, Pixar’s A Bug’s Life tells the story of a brave ant, Flik, who is forced to save his colony after disaster strikes. Debuting in 1998, from creators John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, the film broke technical and aesthetic ground, employing state-of-the-art computer graphics technology for the time.
Flik, voiced by Dave Foley, is a bit of a misfit and dreamer, and constantly works to invent new contraptions that will make their lives easier. His colony of ants, led by the soon to be Queen, Princess Atta voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus stays extremely busy as they gather food for themselves for the winter. They also have to amass enough food to pay their evil overlords, lead by Hopper the grasshopper, voiced by Kevin Spacey.
After a very unfortunate accident that could mean disaster for his colony, Flik sets off, gathering a ragtag team of circus bugs to help him solve his problems.
A Bug’s Life was among the first of its kind in animated technology, amazing audiences of all ages at how well-drawn the characters were. It’s really a sight to behold, and that’s why audiences are still streaming A Bug’s Life to this day. You can still watch A Bug’s Life on all major platforms
Here’s how to stream A Bug’s Life right now:
How to Stream ‘A Bug’s Life’ – Exclusively on Disney+
A Bug’s Life is one of the classic 90s Disney movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream A Bug’s Life and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “A Bug’s Life”
- 5. Tap on A Bug’s Life
- 6. Tap the Play Button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘A Bug’s Life’: Overview
Release Date: November 25, 1998
Creators: John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton
Director: John Lasseter
Starring: John Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Kevin Spacey, Phyllis Diller, Hayden Panettiere
Synopsis: A plucky young ant has to leave his colony to save them from a tyrannical hoard of grasshoppers that terrorize them every year.
How Long Is ‘A Bug’s Life’?
‘A Bug’s Life’ Plot
Ant Island is home to the ant Queen and her daughter, Princess Atta. Every year, the ants must work not only to gather enough food to feed themselves for the winter but also to feed the angry hoard of grasshoppers that come to them every year. The grasshoppers, led by Hopper, swoop in, take a huge portion of the ants’ food instead of collecting it themselves, and leave the ants with even less every year.
When industrious and open-minded Flik accidentally knocks the year’s harvest into the stream with one of his inventions, the grasshoppers demand twice as much grain as payment, leaving the ants with little food for themselves. Flik suggests they fight back against the grasshoppers by employing the help of bigger, stronger bugs, and the colony sends him off on a fool’s errand only to get him out from underfoot.
Flik meets a traveling bug circus in Bug City and, because of a mutual misunderstanding, convinces the troupe to return to Ant Island with him. Mistakenly thinking the performers were warriors, Flik convinces the rest of the ants to trust them. However, when the truth comes out, the circus ants try to leave but are stopped by a bird. As they flee, they save Dot, Princess Atta’s younger sister and gain the trust and respect of the island.
The bird attack gives Flik the idea to construct a fake bird to scare Hopper and the other grasshoppers, and he allows the other ants to continue to think the circus bugs are warriors. The truth eventually comes out, and consequently the ants exile Flik. However, after the grasshoppers take over ant island and threaten to kill the queen, Dot, goes to look for Flik so he can help save the colony and the Queen.
In the end, Flik beats Hopper by luring him to the bird’s nest which Hopper thinks is a decoy. He winds up being fed to the bird babies as Flik and Atta return to the colony as heroes.
‘A Bug’s Life’ Cast
Voiced by some of the most successful actors of the time, A Bug’s Lifee is one of the most well-cast animated movies, to date.
Dave Foley as Flik
Before A Bug’s Life, Foley was most famous for his time on the critically acclaimed sitcom, NewsRadio, and the comedy sketch show, Kids’In The Hall. The film was such a break out success that it gave him a lot more options, and he went on to star in dozens of TV shows and movies. In fact, almost ten years later, he would share the stage with his Bug’s Life co-star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her CBS series, The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Princess Atta
Julia Louis-Dreyfus needs little introduction these days, but in 1998, the year of A Bug’s Life’s release, she was most famous for her role as Elaine on the huge comedy hit, Seinfeld. Shortly after the film, she landed a role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, then New Adventures of Old Christine, and most recently Veep for which she won an Emmy.
Kevin Spacey as Hopper
Kevin Spacey has one of the most recognizable voices in the industry, so it was a smart move to cast him as the villain. Prior to the Disney film, he enjoyed quite a bit of commercial and critical success with movies such as Usual Suspects, Se7en, A Time to Kill, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He was considered very versatile and his role as the animated Hopper underscored this.
Phyllis Diller as The Queen
In 1998, Phyllis Diller was one of the most well-respected comedians in the business. With a career spanning more than 60 years, this lady has seen it all. A Bug’s Life was toward the end of her career, but you would never know, as she gave the Queen as much sass and authority as the part required.
‘ A Bug’s Life’ Songs and Soundtrack
Famously, Randy Newman did the soundtrack, as well as the music for Toy Story. The most famous song is “The Time of Your Life,” written and sang by Newman himself. The score, aside from that song, is mostly orchestral cues composed by Newman as well.
‘A Bug’s Life’ at the Box Office
A Bug’s Life did really well at the box-office. It grossed approximately $33 million in its opening weekend and went on to make over $200 million in foreign markets.
‘A Bug’s Life’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Not only was it a commercial success, but it was a critical darling. Critics loved it, praising it for being clever, heartfelt, and a visual delight. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Comedy or Musical and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.
Where ‘A Bug’s Life’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
A Bug’s Life was one of the more important movies in the Disney canon at the time. It delivered groundbreaking animation technology that spellbound audiences. In 2008, the American Film Institute put it on its ‘Top Ten Animated’ film list. As Pixar’s second movie, it along with the 1995 Toy Story, helped establish the Pixar/Disney partnership as THE authority on children’s entertainment.
‘A Bugs Life’ Trailer
‘A Bug’s Life’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
A Bug’s Life may have been a break-out success for Disney and Pixar, but it’s also chocked full of fun and interesting tidbits.
1. It’s quite a bit more scandalous than you think.
A Bug’s Life’s creators and its home studio were locked in a bitter battle with the similar film, Antz. Disney claims they had the idea long before Dreamworks came along, and the two production companies locked horns for years prior to the production of the two animated hits.
2. Lunch started it all!
It is rumored that A Bug’s Life all started as a chat between creatives, Lassitter and Stanton over lunch. That might not be all that interesting on its own, but it is rumored that the ideas for Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo and Wall-E were also born during this lunch.
3. Bloopers were born here.
A Bug’s Life is the first Disney/Pixar movie to feature outtakes. In the scenes after the credits, Dreyfus’ Princess Atta is shown cracking up in a scene she shared with Hopper, until he gets angry and storms off. This is reportedly a spoof on the actress’ well-known tendency to do the same.
4. It had a slightly different name at first.
The original title was almost Bug’s Story, but coming so close on the heels of Toy Story, creators thought audiences might confuse the two or draw unwarranted parallels.
5. Another first for the film.
The DVD release of A Bug’s Life is the first scene by scene digital transfer in history. Editors and producers wanted to make sure the home experience was just as remarkable as the theatre audience experience.
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