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A Bug's Life
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There was such a magic on the screen in 1995 when the people at Pixar came up with the first fully computer-animated film, Toy Story. Their second feature film, A Bug's Life, may miss the bull's-eye but Pixar's target is so lofty, it's har
Codirector Andrew Stanton warmly calls this collector's edition of A Bug's Life the "Super Genius" edition (referring to another animated delight, Wile E. Coyote). That's a better title, since this double DVD set is never as stuffy and boring as many collector's editions. On the second disc, which is jam-packed with details on how the movie was made, there isn't a single boring snippet. There must be a creed at Pixar Animation Studios dictating everything must be fun. When Stanton, director John Lasseter, or any technician comes onscreen, there are jokes, camera muggings, and controlled insanity. But there's a method to their madness. For example, the storyboarding process--sketching out the entire picture before cameras roll--isn't just explained; it's storyboarded itself. Another highlight is an early presentation of the film's subject matter that takes on the flavor of a poorly dubbed Japanese film of the '60s. There's also a wonderful process using the DVD format's rarely used angle feature that allows the viewer to go between pencil sketches, color drawings, and the finished project to see how the art progresses to the screen. The film, presented here in both widescreen and recomposed full-frame (the latter also explained on the disc), is the first DVD created by a digital source for the purest presentation possible. Whatever the presentation, this "Super Genius" edition certainly gives one pause to consider what super geniuses the folks at Pixar truly are. --Doug Thomas
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Loosely based on Seven Samurai and inspired by the Silly Symphony The Grasshopper and the Ants, A Bug's Life chronicles an ant colony besieged by grasshoppers who steal thier food. Flik, the hero, goes on a quest to find warrior bugs to help the colony. He finds a troupe of circus bugs that he mistakes for warriors.
The animation is much improved over Toy Story, owing to the advancement of CGI technology. The movements are much more fluid and natural looking. The lighting and shading effects are also more advanced than the technology available when PIXAR made Toy Story. This gives an inkling of what is to come from PIXAR. This was cutting edge when A Bug's Life was made. The technology may be a bit dated, but the fun is not. A Bug's Life is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and is always a pleasure to watch.
The Blu-Ray transfer, as with other Disney Blu-Rays, is exemplary! Everything is in clear focus and very sharply defined. The level of detail is amazing. Yet another flawless HD transfer from Disney.
There are some nice extras on the making of A Bug's Life, including some research footage of real bugs. It also has two great animted shorts. One is 'Geri's Game' about an old coot playing a game of chess against himself (little realizing that his opponent cheats) and the Silly Symphony The Grasshopper and the Ants which inspired the movie.
For a fun movie for the whole family, you can't go wrong with A Bug's Life. The biggest little adventure there is!
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In my opinion, no one should overlook ABL because you'd be missing a great movie (as usual with Pixar) and good quality entertainment for kids and adults.
Video & Audio
ABL is one of the best looking BD out there. Everything is so transluscent, so detailed, so crisp that you'll stare in awe scene after scene. The color of the ants, the leaves, the water, everything is completely clean and immaculate in this transfer. Simply terrific.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA also is bombastic, clear without any distortions. Amazing.
The BD of ABL carries over everything from the 2-disc CE DVD which includes an audio-commenatry, the short Geri's Game (in HD), and making of featurettes such as Production, design, animation, story, and more. Also galleries and publicity material is included. New to this BD is a 'Filmmakers Roundtable' where the director, producer and screenwriter reminicence about the making of the film. Easily this is the best piece from the set that no one should miss. Also there is the first draft of the story which has a different main character and some other different story points. This is really interesting to watch. Last, the Silly Symphony 'The Grasshopper and the Ants' is included in HD.
A DVD copy is also included.
ABL is one of Pixar's funniest, heart warming movies and of course being a Pixar film, is one of the best animated features out there. There is no reason you should avoid this film because is wonderful. Ther BD boasts terrific video & audio presentation alongside a healthy amount of bonus features old and new that makes the film even more interesting to watch. ABL on BD is very highly recommended!!