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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Ant Bully (Full Screen Edition)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
When we first sat down to view this movie I wasn't sure about it. How good could a movie be about a kid bullying ants; I was in for a wonderful surprise. We meet Lucas who is picked on by a bully himself and seems to take out his revenge on an ant community..why? Because he is bigger.

When the Wizard of the ant community comes up with a portion to shrink Lucas and it is decided he must learn how to live like an ant the fun begins. Lucas soon learns that working together can help you overcome no matter what size you are. It was just a really fun movie and one that my entire family enjoyed. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
My 4.5 year-old preschooler loves "The Ant Bully", and this is one of the few kid movies that I actually enjoy watching with her [we've watched it over 5 times now]. The animation is great, and the story too has a lot to recommend it. The story centers around a young boy, Lucas [Zach Tyler] who is constantly being bullied by an older and bigger neighborhood bully. Lucas in turn vents his anger and frustration on the ant colony in his yard. Typical of animated movies, the ants can 'talk' - there's Zoc [Nicolas Cage] a sort of ant wizard who experiments with a shrinking potion, his girlfriend Hova [Julia Roberts] who believes that "Peanut the Destroyer" aka Lucas is good at heart and that humans and ants can co-exist in peace. Lucas inevitably gets shrunk to ant size [well, a little smaller actually] and is sentenced by the Queen [Meryl Streep] to live and work in the ant colony, learning to 'become' an ant with the hope that Lucas will learn compassion. Over the course of the movie, Lucas learns that ants too have 'feelings' and that his actions of bullying the ants was not justified in any way - in fact, Lucas comes to form a real friendship with the ants.

A story with a positive message and wonderful animation, with lots of humor throughout - perfect for kids and adults alike. Highly recommended as a family movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2007
Format: DVD
I did not think this movie was going to be that enjoyable. But then when I popped it in to my DVD player, I was suprisingly shocked. I loved every minute of this movie. I thought this movie will be like "ANTZ", but instead it had a different story line. It was funny how Peanut a human boy was transformed in to a little sized ant and had to live an everyday life like ants. I thought that was something different then any other animated cartoon movies. PLus, this movie gave me second thoughts about never demolishing the ant colonies. My mom even loved this movie, so I bet any age will enjoy this movie.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Fantastic. The Ant Bully is just a fantastic animated film on multiple levels. The animation is superb, the characters are wonderfully memorable, the cast of voice actors boasts many a big name, and the story is as educational as it is entertaining. Adults should have already learned the message of this film, but they can still enjoy The Ant Bully just as much as the kids. Frankly, I had never even heard of this movie until a couple of weeks ago, and that's a real shame because this is an animated film that should have been talked about just as much as Cars, Happy Feet, etc.

Like Lucas (Zach Tyler), the little boy in this film, I used to squirt water on ants and destroy their little ant hills - I'm not proud of that, but I was just a dumb kid. Lucas has yet to learn that tormenting other creatures is bad. A local bully keeps picking on him because he's little, so he turns around and picks on ants because he is bigger than they are. For their part, the ants in his front yard have had enough of the horrible beast they call "Destroyer," and thanks to a young wizard named Zoc (Nicolas Cage), they have a way to fight back. Using a potion, they shrink Lucas down to their size and carry him back to the colony. Many of the ants want to kill and eat their nemesis, but the benevolent Queen (Meryl Streep) decrees that he is to remain in the colony and, through training, learn to become an ant himself. Zoc's girlfriend Hova (Julia Roberts) eagerly volunteers to train him, which threatens to drive a wedge between her and Zoc.

Lucas makes for a stubborn student, rejecting the teamwork inherent in ant society; he doesn't need anybody's help, thank you very much. Not having any human friends, he is even reluctant to accept the friendship that ants such as Hova offer him. When the colony finds itself in danger, though - particularly when The Cloudbreather shows up to exterminate the lawn - Lucas sees the error of his ways, begins to understand how important friends are in life, and even goes so far as to risk his own life to protect those around him. It's hard for a child to realize that a "me first" philosophy won't get you very far in life, and The Ant Bully communicates that very important lesson in a wonderful, expressive way. While most animated films play strictly for laughs, The Ant Bully uses comedy to reinforce one of life's most important lessons. Yes, there's an element of socialism in it all (and heaven knows how much I hate socialism), but the true message of the film is a good and proper one.

I love this film's animation and cinematography. The attention to detail is amazing; for example, it would have been all too easy to just give the ants plain white eyes, but these animators went the extra mile to make their ants' eyes reflect the convexity of real ants' compound eyes. In terms of the cinematography, I found myself thinking back to some of the epic battle scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy as the ants rushed to defend their base from an aerial assault by wasps. I also loved the scene where the view pulled way back for a dramatic ant-sized explosion, only to show - from a human perspective - the very modest poof of a little firecracker. That doesn't sound like much, but I thought it was brilliant. In fact, I thought this entire movie was brilliant. And wait - there's more. You also get to hear the great Ricardo Montalban and Bruce Campbell lend their voices to a couple of characters, as well. Wow! What else could you ask for? Truly, The Ant Bully is one of the best animated films I've seen in some time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
My kids wanted me to purchase this DVD even though I wasn't quite enthused on getting it since it release date. After watching this with the kids it turned out to be better than what I expected. I was rewarded with a simple movie that looks great and delivers a simple message. It also turned out to have enough action sequences in it to keep things interesting,and minimum scary moments for the younger ones. Even though it's been eight years after "Antz" and "A Bug's Life" went head to head, Warner Bros pitches in with an alarmingly uninspired addition to the computerised insect genre. Indeed, from the little boy who gets shrunk to creepy-crawly size (James And The Giant Peach) to the malevolent exterminator sent to wipe him out (Over The Hedge), and forced to live inside an ant colony to realize the error of his ways. With that being said there's little John A Davis' adaptation of John Nickle's kiddies' book we haven't seen before.

What makes "The Ant Bully" stand out to me, is its departure to a few elements which have become staple to recent animated flicks. Gone here are the pop songs played during the movie, or characters breaking out into song and dance. While jokes are still incorporated, it's more witty than slapstick, and there is a severe lack of references to current pop culture, which I thought was a refreshing change. However, there was only one sequence which reminded me of Star War's X-Wing fighters and their attack on the Death Star, right down to the same plot details of having just 1 shot down a shaft to take out the enemy. Secondly the voice cast mainly, Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep proving no Hollywood star is immune to the painless cash injection these pics provide. And yes, Paul Giamatti is good value as the cigar-chomping pest guy whose heaving bulk becomes the amusing backdrop for a climactic aerial battle.

Try not to be put off by the animation similarities to "Antz." By itself, there isn't any flaws in the graphics, which turned out superbly when watched in a digital format. Its storyline will be able to engage you, even though at first glance it might seem a little simple at a superficial level. "Ant Bully" is a good movie that makes one learns valuable lessons about friendship, compassion, teamwork and loyalty that will serve for the rest of life while having the courage to stand up for oneself no matter what the odds!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 5, 2010
Format: DVD
Talking insects make for good computer generated animation. Pixar knew this (A Bug's Life), Dreamworks knew it (Antz and the Bee Movie), and it hasn't escaped the attention of Tom Hanks either.

Boasting an 83-minute runtime, the Ant Bully wastes very little time setting up its plot.

This is essentially the story of a ten-year-old boy named Lucas Nickle, who, because of his small stature, finds himself the target for the local bully and his cronies.

When he discovers that his parents are leaving for a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Lucas finds himself under the supervision of his techno-happy older sister and their UFO-obsessed grandmother.

Because he is powerless to stand up for himself, Lucas finds himself taking out his frustration on an anthill in his front yard; water guns, hoses, firecrackers, Lucas' tormenting means doom for the terrified ants occupying the hill.

It turns out the anthill's resident wizard Zoc has devised a risky plan that could potentially shrink "The Destroyer" down to the size of the ants so that he could be tried properly for his crimes against the colony.

The adventure really begins when rather than sentence the now pint-sized human boy to prison; the ant counsel decides he is to experience the difficulties of daily life as an ant. In the process, Lucas discovers that the things he wants most out of life: friendship, companionship, and the courage to stand up for himself have been at his disposal all along. And more important still, that size is no measurement of strength.

Naturally it's quite impossible to even encounter this film without being mentally drawn back to the early days of computer-animated blockbusters like A Bug's Life and Antz. And indeed nearly a decade of advancements in technology separating this film from the former two doesn't seem to have been as kind to the Ant Bully as it has been to some of the projects coming out of Pixar or Dreamworks. However, what the Ant Bully does have going for it is a decent story that adults can enjoy while the kids marvel at the spectacle of life as seen from the perspective of a human no bigger than an ant.

While calling it gut-busting humorous would certainly be giving the writing a bit too much credit, there are no shortage of sequences that manage to generate a genuine chuckle from viewers of all ages (my own personal giggle-heavy moment arrives when Lucas detonates a firecracker that to him is the size of a school bus).

Though it's not made overly known in the marketing material, the film is actually the result of Tom Hanks' adoration for the children's book of the same name by John Nickel.

Voice work is especially genuine throughout with Julia Roberts giving a very uncharacteristic (natural) performance and Nicolas Cage walking the thin line between a character you either despise or sort of don't hate.

In all there's little doubt that the Ant Bully failed to generate the type of spark for Warner Brothers that would make Disney/ Pixar, Dreamworks, or Blue Sky stutter but the blame can hardly be placed on the film itself for that. This is 89-minutes worth of fun family-oriented entertainment with some solid morals about life forming the foundation of the whimsy at hand. The fact that the DVD contains 7 additional animated shorts, some of which are truly pretty humorous, is the icing on the cake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2007
Format: DVD
Before watching this movie, I thought it would be some sort of rehash of Antz or A Bug's Life. In fact, it was totally different, with a unique and very original storyline. Lucas Nickle is the protagonist, the new kid on the block who gets roughed up by Steve, the neighborhood bully. He takes out his anger on the anthill in his yard, subjecting them to kicks, sprays from the lawn hose, and the dreaded "yellow rain". But what goes around comes around as the ants' wizard, Zoc, concocts a potion that shrinks Lucas down to size. He is taken to the ant colony, and forced to live with the ants until he learns their ways. At first reluctant, Lucas soon gets in a groove and his training culminates in his saviour of the colony. For this he is rewarded with an ant name, the complete adulation of the colony, and a return to his original size.

There are several aspects of the movie worth commenting. First, the look of the ants is quite similar to the 1990's movie Antz. Second, the CGI is pretty impressive and all the scenery, animals and people look realistic enough. Third, there is a fair amount of action, but little violence, so the movie is appropriate for all ages. Fourth, the comedy is subtle and clean. Overall, the movie is worth watching.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2007
Format: DVD
After puchasing many non-starter movies for my preschooler daughter, I've learned to use my Netflix membership to bounce new movies off her oh-so-fickle taste. "The Ant Bully" popped up in my New Releases category, so it got dropped in my queue without much thought or expectation.

What a complete surprise! The child *adored* this movie, and the writing is witty enough that I can watch it repeatedly. And by repeatedly, I mean over and over and over.... *sigh*

The more I watch, and so far we're up to eight times (ish), the more Bruce Campbell's character steals the movie for me. Knowing the dialogue word-for-word hasn't diminished the humor yet, and I doubt more viewings will either.

I absolutely recommend this movie for children. I didn't hear anything inappropriate from Nicholas Cage's character - he does have a very menacing ant-face once, but for the most part he's just an anxious and neurotic ant. Perfect casting...

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2007
Format: DVD
Unlike other animated movies of recent times, this one actually does have a pertinent and clear message delivered, don't bully and respect others. This is a pretty kid friendly film (ages 6-7 and up) that tells the tale of a young boy who is small for his size, and gets picked on by a neighborhood bully. It is affecting his life and making him feel miserable. To relieve his stress, he has been taking it out on an ant colony in his front yard. Well, one night the ant's decide to turn the tables, and he is shrunk by magic to the size of an ant, and has to live with them to earn his way back to full size. There are several funny stops and situations along the way, with only a few crude jokes (more tasteful than many "childrens" films of lately), and minimal scary parts. Worth renting and watching with your kids.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2006
Format: DVD
Ant Bully is an animated adventure about a boy who bullies an ant hill, but has the tables turned on him when the ants shrink him down to their size. Rather than eating him, the ants decide to teach him a lesson by forcing him to live the way an ant does for a few days.

During this shrunken period, the main character is forced to dodge deadly wasps and bullfrogs. He finds the ants greatest adversary to be the very exterminator he hired to fumigate them, as he begins to poison the ant hill with a cloud of nauxious gas.

While resembling "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!" quite a bit, Ant Bully puts a new twist on the whole "shrinking" thing, and I found it much more entertaining than any of the "Shrunk" movies. If your children enjoy animated movies of any sort, Ant Bully would be a great addition to their collection. Buy it today, you won't be sorry.
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