A Bug's Life is a 1998 American computer-animated comedy film directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Andrew Stanton. The film was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Buena Vista Distributions. The film is a retelling of the fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, and was released on November 25, 1998.
In an ant colony led by Princess Atta and her mother, the Queen, the ants are oppressed by a gang of freeloading grasshoppers, led by Hopper, and are forced to gather food every season to appease the gang. One day, Flik, an individualist, accidentally knocks the food offering into a stream. The grasshoppers arrive and demand twice the original offering. Flik decides to recruit warrior insects to fight off the grasshoppers, and sets off to a bug city to search for recruits.
At the city, Flik meets a group of circus bugs, recently fired by their ringmaster, P.T. Flea, and mistakes them for warrior bugs. The circus bugs, in turn, mistake Flik for a talent agent and follow him to the island. Once at the island, Flik and the circus bugs discover the mutual misunderstanding during a welcome performance. The circus bugs attempt to leave, but are attacked by a bird. During the attack, the circus bugs rescue Atta's sister Dot, gaining the ants' recognition. Prompted by Flik, the circus bugs remain at the island, pretending to be warriors. Flik, inspired by the bird, formulates a new plan by creating a false bird to scare away the grasshoppers. Meanwhile, Hopper is asked by his brother Molt to stay at their hideout, to which Hopper explains to the gang that the ants outnumber them, and that they are returning to instill fear into the colony to prevent an uprising.
As the bird finishes construction, P.T. Flea arrives at the island and exposes the circus bugs. Princess Atta bitterly exiles Flik from the island, while the ants attempt to gather an offering for the grasshoppers. Upon arrival, the grasshoppers are unsatisfied with the offering and take control of the island, hoarding the ants winter storage of food. Dot discovers that Hopper intends to murder the Queen and escapes, warning Flik and convincing him to return.
At nightfall, Flik and the circus bugs release the false bird to scare off the grasshoppers. However, P.T. Flea mistakes the false bird for a real one and sets it aflame, exposing it. Hopper orders Flik beaten in retaliation and denounces the ants as mindless beings. However, Flik reveals how much the grasshoppers depend on the ants, exposing Hopper's mindset to be false. The ants scare off the grasshoppers while Hopper is captured to be disposed of. However, it begins to rain, forcing the ants to retreat. In the chaos, Hopper abducts Flik. Atta rescues him, but the two are pursued over a stream by Hopper. The two lure Hopper to the birds nest, where Hopper mistakes it to be another false bird. The bird subsequently captures Hopper and feeds him to her offspring.
Some time afterwards, Flik has been accepted back into the colony, and he and Atta are a couple. The circus troupe, now joined by Molt, leave and promise to return the following year. The ants bid the circus troupe farewell as Atta is crowned queen of the colony.
- Dave Foley as Flik, a misfit wannabe inventor ant.
- Kevin Spacey as Hopper, leader of the grasshoppers.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Atta, the princess of the ant colony.
- Hayden Panettiere as Dot, Atta's younger sister.
- Phyllis Diller as The Queen, the leader of the ant colony.
- Richard Kind as Molt, Hopper's younger brother.
- David Hyde Pierce as Slim, a walkingstick.
- Joe Ranft as Heimlich, a caterpillar.
- Denis Leary as Francis, a ladybug.
- Jonathan Harris as Manny, a praying mantis.
- Madeline Kahn as Gypsy, a gypsy moth.
- Bonnie Hunt as Rosie, a black widow spider.
- Michael McShane as Tuck and Roll, twin pillbugs.
- John Ratzenerger as P.T. Flea, the ringmaster of the circus crew.
- Brad Garrett as Dim, a rhinoceros beetle.