Saturday, March 31, 2007

What I'm Watching: The Ant Bully

I know there are critics out there who go see the first act of a play and then write a review. Well, I'm not like that (I'm not a critic, either). Or am I?

I got The Ant Bully to watch with my twelve-year-old daughter, who wasn't exactly impressed with my choice. If she'd been around, I would have let her fiddle with the Netflix queue, but she wasn't, so there.

As is (sadly) my Friday night habit, I got through about the first fifteen minutes of the movie and then fell fast asleep. The weeks are busy and by Friday night I'm kaput.

The first fifteen minutes have plenty of fine computer graphics, but the script was an absolute mess. The story made little sense, the characters were uninteresting. It's hard not to compare this film to A Bug's Life, since they both have lots of ants (thought I'll give the Ant Bully folks credit--theirs have six legs, not four), bullies, people who don't fit in. However, A Bug's Life is a fantastic movie, from the get-go. And the reason why it's fantastic isn't because the computer graphics work, it's because the story is so well told, carefully introducing you to the the characters and their problems and desires. The reason why Pixar has been so successful over the years is the incredible effort they put into the scripts. Screenwriters really rule the roost when it comes to animated pictures.

I think I'll have to get out our copy of A Bug's Life. I know I won't fall asleep, even though I've already seen it fifty times.

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