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Antz (1998)

October. 02,1998
| Adventure Animation Comedy Family

A neurotic worker ant in love with a rebellious princess rises to unlikely stardom when he switches places with a soldier. Signing up to march in a parade, he ends up under the command of a bloodthirsty general. But he's actually been enlisted to fight against a termite army.


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I'm always late to these animated features, and didn't realize that "Antz" and "A Bug's Life" were released within a month or so of each other. If forced to choose between the two, I'd say "A Bug's Life" is the better of the two movies, but both films have a good message at their core. Where "A Bug's Life" instilled the value of hard work and persevering for a common cause, "Antz" appears more ideologically positioned as a statement of individualism versus conformity, and if one were to extend the argument, of free enterprise versus socialism. I don't want to get too heavy in reviewing what's nominally a kid's film, but if youngsters can derive the message of thinking for one's self instead of relying on group-think or surrendering their freedom to a self proclaimed, 'smarter' or 'stronger' authority, then the film will have done it's service. The one thing I've always wondered about with animated pictures is why the film makers call on such heavy duty celebrity talent to make them. The voice actors here included Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Jennifer Lopez, and Anne Bancroft. Anne Bancroft - really!! Except for Woody Allen, I didn't recognize any of the other voice characterizations, and wouldn't know who they were if I hadn't checked the film credits. My point I guess, is that for a kid's movie, what youngster is going to know or care about who's supplying the voices. I can't see how appealing to an adult audience with name actors has anything to do with telling an effective story. And guess what, the picture can be made a whole lot cheaper relying on regular folks with distinctive voices, I mean, there are plenty enough of them around. I've made the same criticism of films like the 'Mummy' series from the 1930's and 40's - why have a name actor like Lon Chaney Jr. portray a character wrapped entirely in yards of cloth? Couldn't anyone do it at half the price?

Jesper Brun

We all know the drill about DreamWorks' Antz being compared to Pixars A Bug's Life. I think they both succeeded in their own ways. While A Bug's Life was more kid oriented, Antz offered much more adult material and cleverness. Due to their similarities, I won't say that much about it, but briefly highlight what I think is good about Antz. Antz has a voice cast of great actors, who add so much to the characters. Adults who have seen Woody Allen, Gene Hackman and Christopher Walken will recognize the immediately. It can be distracting at times, but it is admirable that Dreamworks' first feature managed such a great cast. The different insects depicted in Antz are much more realistically rendered, given the fact that insects are different sizes. It has a battle scene which is memorable and dark. Maybe scary to the youngest kids, but great. The conflict of our main character Z is superior to the conflict in A Bug's Life. Z is a neurotic ant who doesn't feel special given the fact that every ant in the colony from birth is placed either as a soldier or a worker. Z wants something different, but the general ant is against all sorts of "weakness" and plots a cleansing of the weak ants and take over the colony. While it is good, the villainous general could have been more threatening and memorable, but it is a minor thing. Antz may lack the brightness and colours of A Bug's Life and could perhaps use a little more laughs, but it surely is worth watching.


What do you get when you have an all-star cast (Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, etc.), an original concept by DreamWorks Animation and some of the funniest moments in film history? If you say "Antz", you are positively correct. "Antz" is one of the movies I actually grew up with. When I was real young, I remember having the VHS of the film and I used to watch it every single time.Now, 16 years later, "Antz" is still part of my childhood, behind "Peanuts" and "Looney Tunes". I still love this movie from this day forward, besides Pixar's "A Bug's Life", which that movie and "Antz" are compared back in the day.That lead into a feud between DreamWorks and Pixar. No joke. Anyways, this movie is outstanding and funny in every single way. My brother hasn't seen it, but we have seen it just last night.Overall, I'm giving "Antz" a 10 out of 10. It deserved it.

Evan Ortiz

I watched this for the first time with my sister as part of our Dreamworks Movie Marathon. Though not even remotely comparable to Pixar's A Bug's Life in terms of quality, Antz is an enjoyable overall experience. The main character was a bit annoying, but at least he was different than I expected. His romantic counterpart was very intolerable, and this resulted in an extremely forced romance between two characters who had no reason to fall in love. That all being said, the movie had teeth, and it was unafraid to kill off characters left and right. The main theme of non-conformity really beat you over the head throughout the film, and could have been a bit more subtle. This basic plot leads me to believe this film is directed at kids, but the innuendo and adult-jokes make me think otherwise. Not sure if it's a good kids movie since I'm not a kid anymore, but Antz is a pretty good film with some problems here and there. I'll be reviewing every Dreamworks film after my sister and I watch it, so Antz is a good start.