The Ant Bully

The Ant Bully

***

Reviewed by: Moominkat

When I was about six years old, I was told off for stamping on a stream of big black ants making their way from under a flower pot to wherever ants go when they're busy. I was used to hearing my mum complain about them, so to my youthful mind, I was Doing a Good Thing. On this occasion, however, I was told that ants had as much right to live as I did, even if they did occasionally nip or turn up in the sugar, so I should leave them alone. How would I like it if something large came and stood on me when I was just minding my own business? From that day on I've found it difficult to harm spiders, yucky disgusting snails, Daddy Long Legs and, when they're not attacking me, wasps. I even feel sorry for flies (before I swat them), although I have no such qualms when it comes to bluebottles.

My point is, I never had to be shrunk to the size of an ant and be sent to an ant colony to learn how to be an ant in order to respect their right to exist. Which is what happens to lonely, bullied Lucas, who is taking his frustrations out on the ant hill in his back garden.

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Once shrunk, he is brought before the Queen Ant (a dreamy-voiced Meryl Streep) who decides his fate. He is to learn how to work in a team: to collect food, defend the colony and generally prove his is a Good Being by becoming an Ant in his Heart. (There are a lot of Capitalised Sentences in this Movie). Lucas goes on to have all sorts of adventures and learn Valuable Life Lessons: he joins ant school, helps find food, is attacked by wasps and eaten by a frog. He also discovers that the colony is in danger from the Exterminator (a devilish Paul Giamatti) who's been contracted to rid the garden of all pests. Can Lucas save the day before being restored to normal size and will he learn respect for his ant victims? Will he face down his own bullies? What do you think?

The Ant Bully is fine. It's a bit moralizing, but I guess its message is a good one: "Don't stomp on Ants, children, they may speak English just like you do". Or perhaps it's a simple "Don't Be A Bully, 'cos One Day the Worm Will Turn". It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it's harmless fun and any adult who goes should find it bearable to sit through. I even sniggered few times and the end credits are rather pretty, all primitive 'Dreamtime' dot painting.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2006
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The Ant Bully packshot
Ants bite back and teach bully a lesson.
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Director: John A Davis

Writer: John A Davis, John Nickle

Starring: Voiced by Nic Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Bruce Campbell, Paul Giamatti, Lily Tomlin

Year: 2006

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: USA

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