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YMMV / A Bug's Life

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  • Accidental Innuendo: When Flik is showing off the telescope he's invented:
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Even though Hopper was a cruel villain who had it coming, it’s hard not to feel bad for him during his death scene considering how utterly horrifying it is. Not helped by him begging for his life while in complete panic.
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  • Awesome Music: Randy Newman's Copland-esque score is fit for an epic of miniature proportions.
  • Ear Worm: The little flute-sounding song that some ants are performing for the circus bugs.
  • Ending Fatigue: Three separate climaxes coming right after the other.
  • Fanon:
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Hopper and Flik. Some people couldn't explain why they kept watching their No-Holds-Barred Beatdown scene repeatedly when they were children, but they sure could as they got older.
    • To a lesser extent, Atta and Hopper, especially since any scene he speaks to her, he is incapable of staying out of her personal space.
  • Genius Bonus: Those familiar with black widow spider mating habits might view some of Rosie's lines in a different light.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Kevin Spacey would find out just how true Hopper's "getting buried by grain" analogy was, as his career survived a few singular accusations of sexual abuse over the years, but was finally destroyed when a whole bunch came at once in 2017.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Dim's species was conceived as a fictional variety of rhino beetles. Eight years later it was discovered to be not so fictional after all.
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    • In the competing film, Antz, the main villain was voiced by Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor in Superman. In this film, the main villain is voiced by Kevin Spacey, who would later play Lex Luthor in Superman Returns.
    • Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who play the leaders of two groups in this movie, would later go on to play as the President of the United States in their respective shows, with a crossover joke being that the two should run for presidency against each other.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Molt and Princess Atta, in two different ways. Also, the ant colony themselves during the Darkest Hour brought upon themselves.
  • Love to Hate: Hopper, without a doubt.
  • Memetic Mutation: Heimlich's lines about becoming a "beautiful butterfly".
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • At first, Hopper's affair with the ants seems to be about food, and he seems Affably Evil when in a good mood. However, his attempt to feed Dot to Thumper has him come across as Faux Affably Evil. If that wasn't bad enough, he later pretends to have given up on his next planned raid of Ant Island on the grounds that the grasshoppers have more than enough food where they are... then in a visual demonstration of a potential ant rebellion, proceeds to kill a brace of henchmen by crushing them under a pile of grain. That, along with his "keeping those ants in line" speech, is enough to convince the grasshoppers that it's worth it to subjugate the ants after all. With all those atrocities, he is definitely beyond it by the time he decides to assassinate the queen.
    • Thumper is a vicious beast who actually tried to eat Dot three times.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Dot was Hayden Panettiere's first major acting role.
    • Molt's voice actor is Bing Bong.
    • A then-teenaged Ashley Tisdale provided the voice of one of the Blueberry Scouts in one of her very first voice-over roles.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Dot and the other young ants are just too adorable.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • While still hugely successful, more than a few complained that it was not much of a follow-up to something as unique as Toy Story. The fact that it was released against the similar, yet much darker, Antz didn't help. Adding in the fact it was followed by Toy Story's acclaimed sequel, this has become one of Pixar's less well-remembered movies.
    • To a lesser extent, John Lasseter's directorial efforts are a victim of this. It's one of three non-Toy Story features he's directed, the others being the first two Cars films, all of which are considered Pixar's weaker films.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The bird is this for some, though this was probably intentional.
    • Some of the insect's faces, Francis' in particular, look just a bit too human-like.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Outside of Dot, it's hard to root or feel bad for the ant colony getting bullied by the grasshoppers when all they ever seem to do is give Flik a rough time, just for being a Bungling Inventor. They also prove themselves to be highly contradictory — they all celebrate behind Flik's back for finally being rid of him when he departs to search for warrior bugs. But when the jig is up that he accidentally brought back circus bugs, Princess Atta and the colony have no issue banishing Flik for lying to them, even though they lied to him first to make him leave. There's also the issue of Flik being the only one to stand up to Hopper when he threatens to feed Dot to Thumper, when none of the other ants seemed to bother doing anything to protect her, causing Flik to only get more flak for indirectly causing Hopper to order the food rations doubled, when Dot probably would have been killed otherwise. Fortunately the movie itself seems aware of this and eventually shows the colony's problematic behavior has some serious consequences.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • After being convinced by Dot to continue on with his plot from earlier, Flik planned on having the circus bugs entertain Hopper as a distraction while Dot and the small ants pilot the model bird they've created to be used against Hopper.
      You'd Expect: For either Flik or the circus bugs to tell P.T. Flea of their plot. That way, he'll agree to come back to the colony, understanding what they are going up against.
      Instead: Neither of them do the above and tie up P.T. to the wagon.
      As A Result: By the time the plot kicked in, P.T. broke free and mistook the plot as an attack on the bugs, so he ended up burning the model bird and dooming the ants on Hopper's mercy once again.
    • Hopper really seemed to think that the bird in the final climax of the movie was yet another fake bird, even though it was a blatantly real bird this time, and of course he had to taunt it, which led to his ultimate death. Not the wisest thing Hopper could have done.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Hopper's speech about "keeping those ants in line". It's been regarded as a metaphor for everything from the distribution of wealth to the alleged "New World Order".
  • The Woobie:
    • Flik. Slowly graduates to an Iron Woobie by the climax.
    • A minor one in the begging cricket who holds a sign saying that a kid tore off his wings, sending a strong message against needless insect cruelty.


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