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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ant Bully (Released in 2006) - Animation film - Voices by Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti

Released in 2006, the Ant Bully is a computer animated movie produced by Tom Hanks. It is based on a children’s book of the same name. The movie has some big names who have lent their voice for the characters in the movie. These names include Julia Roberts, Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti.
The movie is about a 10 year old kid named Lukas Nickle (voice of Zach Tyler), who gets beaten up by his neighborhood bullies all the time. To get his frustration out, he then goes about attacking an anthill in his backyard with a squirt gun. There then follows a close up of the colony of ants. Amongst them is the ant wizard, Zoc (voice given by Nicholas Cage), and his girlfriend Hova who is an ant nurse (voice given by Julia Roberts). The ants along with Zoc and Hova try to fight back, but Hova almost gets killed in the process. Finally, a very unhappy Zoc decides it’s time to teach the ant bully-Lucas a lesson.
He creates a potion which will reduce Lucas’s size to that of an ant’s. Meanwhile, Lukas’s parents head out of town, leaving him with his older sister and a crazy grandmother. Left on his own, Lukas gets convinced into doing a pest control job by Stan Beals (voice of Paul Giamatti), who makes Lukas sign a contract for the same.
Once the potion is made, Zoc and the other ants pour the potion into Lukas’s ear while he is asleep. Lukas wakes up to find that he has shrunk down to size and is inside the ant colony facing the Ant Queen (voice of Meryl Streep). Instead of killing him, she sentences him to hard labour. Much to Zoc’s surprise and mortification, Hova volunteers to help train Lukas. Lukas and Hova both learn a lot from each other.

Lukas grows to like the ants and their way of living. He then remembers that the Pest control guy would come to exterminate the ant hill soon. He tries to help the ants by calling the exterminator to cancel the contract. However, when his plan doesn’t work out and Zoc finds out that Lukas had taken Hova to help him, thereby placing her in danger, he accuses Lukas of treachery and tells him that he would never help him with a potion to get him back to human size.
A dejected Lukas goes away from the ant hill only to be eaten by a frog. Zoc realizes that Lukas wasn’t bad after all and that he misses the little kid. He sets out to help free Lukas and together with all the other ants, Lukas and Zoc manage to stop the attempts of Stan Beals, thus saving the Ant hill. Zoc returns Lukas to normal size, that too just in time, because Lukas’s parents have returned from their trip.
Lukas manages to defeat his neighborhood bully and get all the other guys to become his friends. The movie is an enjoyable watch and is clean family entertainment. An important aspect, in which this animation varies from the other animated movies about ants, is the fact that it places strong emphasis on helping one another in order for the entire society to grow. It focuses on doing things for the greater good rather than for one’s own personal motives.
The movie will seem derivative and lacking imagination to an adult audience. But as far as kids are concerned, it sends across an important message of working together towards collective progress and development.

Ant Bully (Released in 2006) - Animation film - Voices by Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti

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