There is a reason why every “A Bug's Life” is the only movie out of Pixar’s first seven feature films to not get a sequel. It doesn’t carry the same enduring characters and tight storytelling as Pixar's other early works.
The most glaring flaw is the poorly aged animation. Somehow, the visuals seem to have downgraded from “Toy Story,” which was made only three years prior. The animation in “Toy Story” stayed small in scope and never tried to go beyond the limits of the technology at the time, meanwhile “A Bug's Life” goes for epic landscapes and set pieces. A specific scene during a rainstorm really brings out the age in the drawing style and is guaranteed to cause eyesores.
The characters in this movie fall short of Pixar’s usual standard. The two exceptions are Flik and Hopper. Flik serves as a relatable and likable protagonist and Hopper serves as an intimidating and exciting villain based solely on Kevin Spacey’s energetic performance. However, the rest of the ensemble seems to blend in with each other. Princess Atta’s anxious personality is more irritating than it is relatable, and while some of the circus bugs have good one-liners, none of them are able to stand out from each other.
However, the characters are just a side effect of this movie’s greatest flaw: the screenplay. The goal behind every Pixar movie is to entertain both children and adults alike. However, “A Bug's Life” is one of the few Pixar movies that feels exclusively written for children. The signature quick humor and loveable characters just aren’t present, and, as a result, this movie that is a short 90-minutes movie is a pain to sit through.
Rating: Light 2