Ant Bully
  • Ant Bully
  • Ant Bully

Ant Bully

4.0 3
Director: John A. Davis

Cast: John A. Davis, Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep

     
 

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A kid who hates ants finds himself living among the six-legged critters in this computer-animated comedy-adventure. Lucas Nickle (voice of Zach Tyler Eisen) is a ten-year-old boy whose family has just moved to a new town, and Lucas isn't enjoying it much -- he hasn't made any friends yet, his big sister ignores him, his parentsSee more details below

Overview

A kid who hates ants finds himself living among the six-legged critters in this computer-animated comedy-adventure. Lucas Nickle (voice of Zach Tyler Eisen) is a ten-year-old boy whose family has just moved to a new town, and Lucas isn't enjoying it much -- he hasn't made any friends yet, his big sister ignores him, his parents (voices of Larry Miller and Cheri Oteri) are occupied with their upcoming vacation in Mexico, and his loving but slightly crazy grandmother (voice of Lily Tomlin) is convinced space aliens are casing out the neighborhood. To make matters worse, the local bully has found Lucas and is making his life miserable, so the boy looks for someone he can push around -- and he soon finds a large colony of ants in his yard. Lucas takes out his frustrations by stomping, drowning, and burying the bugs, little realizing the ants see him as a threat to their safety and aren't about take his attacks lying down. Zoc (voice of Nicolas Cage) is a "wizard ant" who creates a formula that shrinks Lucas to the size of an insect, and the tiny boy is brought before the leader of the Ant Council (voice of Ricardo Montalban) and the Queen of the Colony (voice of Meryl Streep) to answer for his crimes against the ants. Showing compassion, the queen sentences Lucas not to death, but to live among them and see how difficult their circumstances can be. Nurse Ant Hova (voice of Julia Roberts) is put in charge of looking after Lucas, and with the help of Scout Fugax (voice of Bruce Campbell) and Forager Kreela (voice of Regina King), Lucas gets an eye-opening picture of how the other half lives -- just in time for Lucas to help the ants in an all-out battle against Stan (voice of Paul Giamatti), a pest-control man brought in to get rid of the bugs. Produced by Tom Hanks, The Ant Bully was written and directed by John A. Davis, who handled the same chores on the film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
"I'm big and you're small." With these withering and demeaning words, Steve, the neighborhood bully, torments young Lucas (dubbed "Peanut" by his mother) with atomic wedgies and dog piles. Lucas takes out his frustrations on an anthill, which he subjects to kicks, stomps, and torrents from his water gun and garden hose. But Zoc (Nicolas Cage), an ant wizard, retaliates against "Peanut the Destroyer" by shrinking him down to size. The Ant Queen (Meryl Streep) decrees that the colony endeavor to "change the nature of this human" and teach him the communal ways of the ant. Hova (Julia Roberts) patiently mentors Lucas about cooperation and teamwork, hard work, and selflessness. Lucas will learn to think of others besides himself when marauding wasps and a sadistic exterminator (Paul Giamatti) threaten the colony. Based on the slight book by John Nickle, The Ant Bully benefits from its A-list voice cast (which adults should appreciate more than children) and dazzling animation that vividly depicts a bug's life and views the human world from a minuscule perspective (blades of grass seem like sequoias). Director John A. Davis's credits include Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and The Ant Bully could have used that film's satirical edge or at least more and better jokes. There are the inevitable gross-out gags (you don't want to know where the "honey-dew drops" Lucas slurps up originate from!), but the ants' altruistic philosophy provides a good role model and serves Lucas well when he returns to normal size and rallies his fellow victims to nonviolently turn the tables on Steve. The Ant Bully was a confounding box office disappointment. Like The Iron Giant, this overlooked film should find an appreciative audience on DVD.
All Movie Guide
The glut of digital animation that hit theaters in 2006 finally took its toll -- on the wrong movie. Despite first-rate visuals, an all-star vocal cast, and a new spin on some familiar territory, The Ant Bully trickled out of the Top Ten within three weekends, leaving Warner Bros. and producer Tom Hanks with a certified flop. Meanwhile, Barnyard's box office continued to prove the earning power of far less inventive films. Antz and A Bug's Life may have gotten to this microscopic world eight years earlier, but it took The Ant Bully to explore the age-old one-sided battle between ants and "human destroyers" -- i.e., cruel children who stomp on anthills. Director John A. Davis and company have developed an imaginative variation on the landscape their predecessors established, one that's surprisingly unburdened by what came before. Plus, they've provided children a positive message regarding perspective that has both a literal interpretation (don't kill other living creatures) and a figurative one (don't pick on the little guy). Although Lucas Nickle adapts unnaturally quickly to his change in circumstances -- nary a freak-out about his shrunken size -- his immersion in the colony and eventual bonding with its members are both handled well. This sets up a series of strong set pieces, including a wasp attack, a mission into Lucas' house to get "sweet rocks" (jelly beans), and a narrow escape from a determined bullfrog. The climactic battle against the exterminator -- voiced by Paul Giamatti in a regrettably brief showpiece of vulgarity -- is a final summary of all the film's clever decisions about size and the possibilities therein. If audiences finally decided they preferred something really "different," it was a poor time to reach that conclusion. Better to give fresh life to old material than approach new material in a derivative way.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/28/2006
UPC:
0012569829688
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
29,890

Special Features

7 hilarious animated shorts; Additional scenes; It Takes a Colony: Explore the giant filmmaking process from a tiny perspective; Ant habitat TV screensaver

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julia Roberts Hova
Nicolas Cage Zoc
Meryl Streep Queen
Paul Giamatti Stan Beals
Zach Tyler Eisen Lucas Nickle
Regina King Kreela
Bruce Campbell Fugax
Lily Tomlin Mommo
Cheri Oteri Doreen Nickle
Larry Miller Fred Nickle
Allison Mack Tiffany Nickle
Ricardo Montalban Head of Council
Myles Jeffrey Steve
Jake T. Austin Nicky
Rob Paulsen Beetle
Scott S. Bullock Glow Worm,Wasp Survivor
Mark de Carlo Fly
Frank Welker Spindle,Frog,Caterpillar
Paul Greenberg Sleeping Ant #1,Head Lice #1,Head Lice #2,Head Lice #3,Head Lice #4
David Kaye Sleeping Ant #2,Guard Ant #3,Wrangler Ant
Alfred Jackson Slacker Ant
Ken Mitchroney Ant #17,Guard Ant #2,Wasp #8
Denzel Whitaker Albert
Casey Masamitsu Shigeko
Bryan Fabian Fernando
Creagen Dow Mullet Boy
Jake Goldberg Helmet Boy,Nob,Red Teammate #1
Keith Alcorn Ant #18,Pupa,Soldier Ant #3
John A. Davis Ant #19
Tom Kenny Drone Ant,Ant #2,Ant #6,Ant Dad #1
Sarah Mensinga Mother Ant
Nika Futterman Ant #1,Ant #7
Scott Holst Ant #3
Susan Silo Ant #4
Paul Rugg Ant #5
Larry Cedar Ant #8
Nicole Sullivan Ant #9
Candi Milo Nurse Ant #3
Nissa Alcorn Billo
Patrick Fraley Ant Council #1
Tyler James Williams Blue Teammate #1
Jared Goldsmith Blue Teammate #2,Red Teammate #2
Austin Majors Blue Teammate #3
Jaishon Fisher Blue Teammate #4
Aaron Michael Drozin Blue Teammate #5
Max Burkholder Blue Teammate #6
Sam Green Red Teammate #3
Colin Ford Red Teammate #4
Kendall Sanders Red Teammate #5
Shane Baumel Red Teammate #6
Neil Ross Wasp #1,Wasp #5
Bob Joles Wasp #2
Wally Wingert Wasp #3
Leon Morenzie Wasp #4
Jonathan Teague Cook Wasp #6
Sean Donnellan Soldier Ant #1
Tress MacNeille Old Council Ant
Richard Green Wasp Leader
Don Frye Soldier Ant
Clive Robertson Hova's Wasp
Vernée Watson Johnson Head Nurse
Earl Boen Old Wizard Ant
Billy West Ant Dad #2
Laraine Newman Ant Mom #1

Technical Credits
John A. Davis Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Keith Alcorn Executive Producer
Chris Consani Art Director
John Debney Score Composer
William Fay Executive Producer
Gary Goetzman Producer
Tom Hanks Producer
Barry E. Jackson Production Designer
Michael Jonascu Sound/Sound Designer
Ruth Lambert Casting
Scott Mednick Executive Producer
Shawn Murphy Score Composer,Sound Mixer
Jon Price Editor
Kim Benzine Rowell Production Manager
Diana Choi Sachs Executive Producer
Kim Saxon Co-producer
Steven Shareshian Executive Producer
Thomas Tull Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Ant Bully
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24

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