Antz

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DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images collaborated on this all computer-animated comedy-adventure about the ant angst of misfit worker ant, Z voice of Woody Allen, who feels trapped by the conformist confines of his totalitarian ant civilization and eventually sets forth in search of Insectopia. After DreamWorks began animating Prince of Egypt June 1, 1995, the company launched Antz in Palo Alto a year later 5/20/96, the same month the DreamWorks/PDI partnership was announced. The screenplay by Chris and Paul Weitz ...
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Overview

DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images collaborated on this all computer-animated comedy-adventure about the ant angst of misfit worker ant, Z voice of Woody Allen, who feels trapped by the conformist confines of his totalitarian ant civilization and eventually sets forth in search of Insectopia. After DreamWorks began animating Prince of Egypt June 1, 1995, the company launched Antz in Palo Alto a year later 5/20/96, the same month the DreamWorks/PDI partnership was announced. The screenplay by Chris and Paul Weitz and Todd Alcott has uncredited input by Woody Allen who matched dialogue to fit his usual style of verbal delivery. The story suggests the possible influence of Yevgeny Zamatin's classic novel We 1923 and Ayn Rand's similar-themed Anthem 1936, filmed in the early '70s in a rarely seen unauthorized film adaptation which Rand never allowed to be shown commercially. Following the 1995 Toy Story 1995, Antz is the second fully computer-animated feature, preceding the release of Disney's all-CGI A Bug's Life by seven weeks. Antz begins with worker ant Z discussing his feelings of insignificance with a shrink voice of Paul Mazursky before heading off to his tunnel-digging job, work supervised by General Mandible Gene Hackman and Colonel Cutter Christopher Walken. Mandible has big dreams of conquest, and he convinces the Queen Anne Bancroft an attack is necessary to prevent a termite invasion. Her daughter is Princess Bala Sharon Stone, who's not overly enchanted by her engagement to Mandible. The Princess goes slumming, visiting the bar where Z hangs out with his friend Weaver Sylvester Stallone. To the tune of "Guantanamera," Bala dances with Z -- in a scene with allusions to the dance in Pulp Fiction 1994. Entranced by the encounter, Z convinces Weaver to swap places, so a military parade will allow him to see Bala in the reviewing stand. Befriended by soldier ant Barbatus Danny Glover during the parade, Z nervously realizes he's actually marching into battle. Attacked by termites, the troops experience horrors highly reminiscent of the Starship Troopers 1997 bug battles. The dying Barbatus tells Z, "Don't follow orders all your life." As the only survivor of the slaughter, Z returns home a war hero. Threatened by Mandible, Bala and Z are thrown together in a journey into the outside world, and they travel toward the legendary Insectopia. Major city newspaper critics were almost unanimous in their praise of Antz. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
What a masterstroke to graft Woody Allen's neurotic schtick onto a creature with great allegorical cause for feeling insignificant: an ant born into a colony of millions, indistinguishable from his neighbors. The opening scene of Antz, in which Allen's Z reports his psychological malaise to a therapist, sets audiences up for the way the film will work on multiple levels. Only the second film to be entirely digital, after Toy Story (1995), the film is not content to be merely an odyssey of visual stimuli -- it also has the wry intelligence to exist as a loving lampoon of Allen's work. Allen is just one of many who do assured vocal work on the project, with Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone also offering mild riffs on their familiar personas. Inevitably compared and contrasted with its CGI insect competition, A Bug's Life, released by Disney and Pixar later that year, A Bug's Life may be the more cuddly and kid-friendly movie (the battle scene in Antz is not really appropriate for younger viewers), but Antz boasts a superior script. Plus, it earns points for the risky artistic decision to make the ants look realistic -- in other words, brown, rather than their plastic blue color in Pixar's film. Pacific Data Images knew it had a dynamic story and slick visuals, and it didn't need to enhance this essentially earth-toned world with pastels. Viewers aching for color will get a good enough dose when the ants go in search of Insectopia -- at which point it assumes thematic resonance, a symbol of the quest for a better world.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/9/1999
  • UPC: 667068366839
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: Dreamworks Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Woody Allen Voice Only
Sharon Stone Voice Only
Sylvester Stallone Voice Only
Gene Hackman Voice Only
Christopher Walken Voice Only
Danny Glover Voice Only
Dan Aykroyd Voice Only
Jennifer Lopez Voice Only
Jane Curtin Voice Only
John Mahoney Voice Only
Anne Bancroft Voice Only
Paul Mazursky Voice Only
Technical Credits
Eric Darnell Director
Tim Johnson Director
Todd Alcott Screenwriter
John Bell Production Designer
Ken Bielenberg Special Effects Supervisor
Penney Finkelman Cox Executive Producer
Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin Art Director
Ted Elliott Consultant/advisor
Leslee Feldman Casting
Philippe Gluckman Special Effects Supervisor
Harry Gregson-Williams Score Composer
Gregg Landaker Sound/Sound Designer
Brad Lewis Producer
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Zak Penn Consultant/advisor
John Powell Score Composer
Sandra Rabins Executive Producer
Carl Rosendahl Executive Producer
Terry Rossio Consultant/advisor
Aron Warner Producer
Stan Webb Editor
Chris Weitz Screenwriter
Paul Weitz Screenwriter
Patty Wooton Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buried in an Ant Hill

    This grotesque example of a children¿s story is anything but appealing. I was horrified to see DreamWorks create a story so loosely based on human society as it is today. The ants, compared to Americans, become blown up, maimed for life by an acid spray, and dismembered by termites, who are compared terrorists. Small children, and others, are terrified to open their eyes and see this horrific massacre. But when it¿s over, the story line does NOT get better. The ant ¿hero¿ Z sets out to find a Utopia outside of his ant hill, but before he leaves, he kidnaps the ant princess, Bala. As the troops set out to find her, you see more slaughter and destruction. The best part was the happily ever after, only because it was over. But even the end has suggestion of adult behavior. This is not a movie for the kids, or even the adults to see. I hope to see DreamWorks produce better movies in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The American Social Structure

    I found this movie to be a superb example of the functionalist view of the social structure. Functionalist beleive that the structure is universal, rigid, and balanced when people stay in their roles or ''place''. Z provides the example for those people in our society who are ''free thinkers'' and want to live outside the box. These are the people who are not tolerated by wealthy, powerful, or prestigious. People like Z challenge the status quo - by daring to believe that people should be valued for who they are and not ''how much dirt thay can haul''. My students were asked to analyze this movie using the textbook and it opened their eyes to the reality of our American structure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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