am 19. April 2014
A BUG'S LIFE [Das große Krabbeln]  [Limited Edition SteelBook] [Blu-ray] From the Creators of TOY STORY! An Epic Presentation of Miniature Proportions!
'A Bug's Life' is a 1998 Disney/PIXAR computer-animated film. Inspired by the fable "The Ant and the Grasshopper" and the classic samurai film 'The Seven Samurai,' it is the second PIXAR animation film and tells the story of an outcast inventor ant named Flik [Dave Foley], who recruits a group of circus bugs he mistakes for warriors when his colony is threatened by a group of grasshoppers. It is the second animated film that was directed by John Lasseter and co-directed Andrew Stanton. The animation film takes place during 1995, the same year 'Toy Story' was released.
FILM FACT Part One: Awards and Nominations: 1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Won: Best Feature-Length Animation. 1999 Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score for Randy Newman. 1999 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Nominated: Best Fantasy Film. 1999 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: Won: Best Animated Film. Won: Best Family Film. Golden Globes® Award: Nominated: Best Original Score for Randy Newman. 1999 Motion Picture Sound Editors: Won: Best Sound Editing for an Animated Feature: Gary Rydstrom, Tim Holland, Pat Jackson, Michael Silvers, Mary Helen Leasman and Marian Wilde. Nominated: Best Sound Editing, Music for Animated Feature. 2000 BAFTA® Awards: Nominated: Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects for William Reeves, Eben Ostby, Rick Sayre and Sharon Callahan. 2000 Grammy Awards: Won: Best Instrumental Composition for Randy Newman. Nominated: Best Instrumental Composition Randy Newman Won Best Song for the song "The Time of Your Life" for Randy Newman.
FILM FACT Part Two: The plotline has several similarities to the DreamWorks' produced 'Antz,' which had been released a month earlier. This was because of Jeffrey Katzenberg forming DreamWorks and previously being kicked out of Disney for feuding in the company around the time A Bugs Life was in development. The circus theme song was previously used on the score of 'James and the Giant Peach'  where James is about to retrieve the peach for Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. The read-along version contains the very rare song, "A Place You've Never Been." This is the only PIXAR film before Disney purchased it that did not receive a sequel or prequel. John Lassetter repeatedly attempted to get Robert DeNiro to voice Hopper, the grasshopper, but DeNiro repeatedly declined. DeNiro didn't do animated voice work at the time. 'In the bloopers shown at the end of the film, Princess Atta is shown cracking up during her scene with Hopper, ruining take after take until Hopper goes to his trailer in frustration. This is a spoof of Julia Louis-Dreyfus being known to do the same. The film is inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and all of its successors, including 'The Magnificent Seven,' which gave the villain a more prominent role than in 'Seven Samurai' and had a similar scene in which the heroes are driven away from the people they were protecting and 'Three Amigos!' which was a comedic take on the story.
Voice Cast: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere, Phyllis Diller, Richard Kind, David Hyde Pierce, Joe Ranft, Denis Leary, Jonathan Harris, Madeline Kahn, Bonnie Hunt, Michael McShane, Roddy McDowall, John Ratzenberger, David Lander, Bob Bergen, Kimberly J. Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Anthony Burch, Bill Farmer, Brad Hill, Jess Harnell, Paul Eiding, Jessica Evans, 'Sherry Lynn, Brad Garrett, Edie McClurg, Alex Rocco, David Ossman, Carlos Alazraqui, David L. Lander, Jack Angel, Rodger Bumpass, Debi Derryberry, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Ashley Tisdale and Mickie McGowan
Directors: John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton (Co-Director)
Producers: Darla K. Anderson and Kevin Reher
Screenplay: Andrew Stanton (story and screenplay), Bob Shaw (screenplay), Don McEnery (screenplay), Joe Ranft (story), John Lasseter (story)
Composer: Randy Newman
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, German: 5.1 DTS, Italian: 5.1 DTS and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: German, English, English SDH, Italian and Spanish
Running Time: 95 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: PIXAR Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Every year, a colony of ants is expected to harvest food for a biker-gang-like bunch of grasshoppers. One ant, Flik, is an inventor whose creations usually do more harm than good. While trying out a mechanical harvester, he drops his machine and on auto-pilot, it knocks the pile of food into a stream just before the grasshoppers arrive. Their leader, Hopper, gives the ants the rest of the season to make good on what they owe, but orders a double ration of food after Flik stands up to him in defence of the Queen's youngest daughter Dot. Flik is admonished by the colony's royal council. When Flik suggests that he try to recruit some "warrior bugs" to fight the grasshoppers, Princess Atta (Dot's older sister and the eventual successor to the Queen) allows him to do so, but only to keep him out of the way.
Reaching the insect "city," which is in fact actually a pile of garbage, Flik encounters a troupe of unemployed circus bugs whose latest performance has just ended in disaster. He mistakes them for the warriors he needs. At the same time, they believe him to be a talent scout who wants to book their act. They return to the colony, much to Atta's surprise, and are immediately greeted as heroes who can end the grasshopper threat. Atta soon becomes suspicious after overhearing a conversation where both Flik and the troupe realize their mistakes. However, after they band together to save Dot from a hungry bird, she begins to think that the troupe may be able to stop the grasshoppers after all. She also starts to find herself falling in love with Flik and the feeling is mutual.
At the grasshopper gang's hideout, Hopper's brother Molt suggests they do not go back, since they have more than enough food stored and the weather will soon turn bad. Hopper reminds him and the gang that if they do not keep the ants living in fear, the ants might use their superior numbers, "a hundred to one," he estimates, to run the grasshoppers out of the colony for good. The gang sets out for the island to collect their due. When Flik discovers that Hopper is afraid of birds, due to him almost getting eaten by one years ago, he proposes that the colony build a model bird to scare him away, the plan is presented by the circus bugs, so the royal council believes the "warriors" came up with the idea. The ants put their food-gathering work on hold to carry out this project. After they finish and put the bird in the island's tree, circus ringmaster P.T. Flea arrives looking for his missing performers and exposes the truth. Upset at Flik's deception, Atta orders him exiled from the colony, while the other ants hide the bird and rush to collect whatever food they can for Hopper. They are unable to meet the double quota he set, and when the gang arrives, Hopper takes over the anthill and forces the ants to bring him all the food on the island.
Dot overhears the gang's plans to kill the Queen once they have all the food, and she catches up with Flik and the troupe. She persuades them to return and put the bird plan into action, with help from her and some of the other young ants. The model frightens the gang, which almost retreats, until P.T. intervenes and sets the model on fire with lighter fluid. Enraged, Hopper sends his crazed assistant Thumper to injure Flik, but Flik is still able to stand up and rally the other ants, saying that the grasshoppers depend on the extorted food for their own survival. The entire colony swarms against the gang, forcing all except Hopper to leave. However, a thunderstorm begins, causing panic among the ants. Hopper grabs Flik and flies off, intent on killing him. Atta rescues Flik, and the two lure Hopper towards the bird's nest. Hopper corners Flik and starts strangling him, revealing his intention of returning to the colony with more grasshoppers. Flik is saved when the bird appears, picks up Hopper and feeds him to her chicks.
Later, the colony adopts Flik's harvester to speed up grain collection. Atta becomes the new queen, passes the princess crown to Dot and chooses Flik as her mate. As the troupe leaves, Slim the stick insect notices that they've forgotten Heimlich the caterpillar, who emerges from the chrysalis in which he has encased himself. He pops out with a tiny pair of butterfly wings, far too small to lift him off the ground, but he's picked up by Francis the ladybug and Manny the praying mantis, and the troupe, with Molt, acting as a road crew assistant, departs with the colony's thanks. Dot joined by Queen Atta and Flik, who are shown holding hands, wave goodbye. The shot then pulls out to reveal that "Ant Island" is a small area in the forest surrounded by a little stream.
When the chance came that PIXAR had landed with 'Toy Story' who all felt at the time that it was going to be a one-off hit. Therefore, the expectations were greater for PIXAR with 'A Bug's Life' in 1998, their second full-length presentation, and again completely produced in computer animation presentation, and again landed a worldwide top hit of even greater success, and after more than 10 years! In technical terms, it had, enormously further development compared to its predecessor 'Toy Story' and made the impossible possible: A totally organic world that looked almost life like, that was created in computer technology and showed the possibilities of the then fledgling CGI animation genres impressively and whereby PIXAR was also the first to even it dare to even show crowd scenes.
PIXAR would not have been PIXAR, especially when the story was first conceived and a lot of people didn't feel convinced 100%, but 'A Bug's Life' has everything you need for a perfect family film or even no longer exclusively just younger viewers to captivate. There are, as with many other PIXAR films, just the adult audience who feel particularly addressed via the many hidden gags and illusions and especially with an animation film of a kind of an insect version of the Aesop Fable 'The Ant and the Grasshopper 'Akira Kurosawa's' Seven Samurai' and John Landis 'Three Amigos!' film. Director John Lasser and Co. shows the ant colony in their diligence, only when Flik's escape from his thoroughly structured work world that is enrich with bits and pieces of our modern world and not just to provide many laughs. The animation film has throughout its heart in the right place and presents topics such as friendship and outsiders in the centre and provides impressive evidence of that in accordance with the motto 'Together we are strong,' almost anything is possible!
Director John Lasseter, who later on with 'CARS,' staged and continue as the mad genius of PIXAR and Co-director Andrew Stanton, who later on was instigator of the PIXAR masterpieces 'Finding Nemo' and 'Wall-E,' have clearly created a masterpiece, just like 'Toy Story' three years earlier, the medium of the modern animated film has influenced it decisively and thematically similar aligned competing product with DreamWorks 'ANTZ.' The later animation films of PIXAR are in technical and narrative aspects, perhaps a little more mature now , but that does not change the high entertainment potential of 'A Bug's Life,' and to now not underappreciated early PIXAR highlights!
A highlight that is now in the present with this German Release Limited Edition SteelBook Blu-ray in completely new splendour, which is now already far superior than the previous inferior NTSC DVD version, which at that time was the very first DVD from PIXAR which has arisen from the original digital source, which is now a flagship title. On Blu-ray, however, the whole thing looks totally different again, because 'A Bug's Life' is enthusiastic with absolute reference values, both the image and the sound. The previous PIXAR titles were all flagship releases, and 'A Bug's Life' is no different and it is also the evidence supplied, that title can easily keep up with newer productions from the early days of CGI animation. Also impressive is the Extras selection which offers a downright dissolute insight into the film production. In the 'A Bug's Life' Blu-ray the same applies as in the recent high-definition discs of virtually infallible PIXAR Animation Studios: a must-have title. It has to offer demo material and is suitable not only for animation and PIXAR fans of hard-nosed variety!
Blu-ray Video Quality ' PIXAR once again shows how confident they are with their Blu-ray with this perfect 1080p encoded image quality. Has been and also only the second feature-length animated film from Pixar which is hardly to believe that 'A Bug's Life' already is 10 years old! The technical progress of animation compared to 'Toy Story' is already in the first shot more than obvious and here you have outdone themselves and implemented the organic world looking wonderfully realistic and while watching the artists at PIXAR, the technical possibilities of that time after time probably completely maxed out! Unlike the subsequent PIXAR films in which much is played with perspective blurring and one has achieved an even more natural and film-like look, comes 'A Bug's Life' uniquely smooth ironed therefore i.e., many brilliant, partly semi-transparent surfaces which almost like made are to let the film look very three-dimensional. At the sharpness and detail drawings, there's nothing to complain about anyway, because the film is from A to Z completely sharp and offers an incredible wealth of details. Addition to the exceptional colour reproduction of the film also impresses with a practically perfect contrast rendition. Spotless reference image quality with the highest level of high-definition! Throughout you have razor sharp images with the finest image details. It is perfect and well balanced contrast ratio with rich black levels. It also has very good and powerful reproduction of the very colourful palette. Throughout it has very good three-dimensional-looking image. 'A Bug's Life' offers a perfect image quality without negative aspects. A thoroughly excellent high-definition presentation which is of high praise definition feeling that is hard to beat more. Therefore, there is something for 'A Bug's Life', as for all previous Pixar productions on Blu-ray, even a perfect score of 5 stars!
Blu-ray Audio Quality ' 'A Bug's Life' does not disappoint when it comes to the sound acoustic experience of the ultimate 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. In typical PIXAR tradition is one commanded a reference worthy sound mixes here that has a continuously active surround reproduction in which all elements were tuned harmoniously with each other and in the action lasting moments, such as during the bird-attack or the heavy rainy down pours, even surprising aggressive comes across wonderful. The sound mixes do not lack any precisely placed directional effects, even on a good bass reproduction! The dialogue reproduction is continuously balanced as perfectly understandable and perfectly designate, even though the sound mix is already 10 years old, and still has a listening experience that is a joy to listen to, especially for this animation film and is the perfect sound design for 'A Bug's Life;' incidentally, the perfect sound mix was directly recorded from many natural sounds compositions, is still what makes this an absolute flagship audio tone on this Blu-ray disc, which is still each time you play this excellent Blu-ray disc, you will find it is better than ever before!
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: Anyone familiar with the recent Blu-ray titles from PIXAR, and who knows that one cannot be stingy, even with the extras and 'A Bug's Life,' is no exception and is totally Praiseworthy! The entire material is from the previous inferior NTSC DVD and it also has some new content added from this present 10-year anniversary edition, which are in turn presented in 1080p, as well as long-time fans will get their money's worth who already had the previous bonus features.
Audio Commentary: Commentary with John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich: Let's go with a very informative and interesting audio commentary in which also the co-director Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich come along with director John Lasseter to speak. John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton are also remaining features in the centre and talk in detail about the origin of the project including the new intro by John Lasseter that can be played before the main animation film.
Special Feature: Geri's Game  [1080p] [1.37:1] [4:54] As with the previous inferior NTSC DVD versions is now included on this Blu-ray disc and is the OSCAR® winning computer animated short film 'Geri's Game' made by PIXAR. There is nothing missing in this animation film, that was seen in the theatrical film release of 'A Bug's Life' as a supporting film and today it is still very amusing. Synopsis: An ageing old codger named Geri plays a daylong a game of chess against himself; he's physically moving from side to side as he plays from white to black. As the game progresses, the two sides of himself become individual and distinct players, "white" being the pensive and thoughtful side, "black" being the aggressive hard hitting side. But as the game looks to be coming to a conclusion, white makes a surprisingly aggressive move which could change what looked to be the obvious outcome of the game.
Special Feature: A Walt Disney Silly Symphony: 'Grasshopper and the Ants'  [1080p] [1.77:1 / 1.33:1] [8:15 / 8:01] As an additional short film is the Disney cartoon 'Grasshopper and the Ants' from the Silly Symphonies series. The high-resolution presentation animated cartoon from 1934. It is available with an optional Introduction by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton. Synopsis: The Walt Disney Short that served as an inspiration for 'A Bug's Life;' and with this classic fable, the grasshopper plays his fiddle and lives for the moment, while the industrious ants squirrel away massive amounts of food for the winter. With his song, he's able to convince at least one small ant until the queen arrives and scares him back to work. The queen warns the grasshopper of the trouble he'll be in, come winter. Winter comes, and the grasshopper, near starvation, stumbles across the ants, which are having a full-on feast in their snug little tree. They take him in and warm him up. The queen tells him only those who work can eat so he must play for them.
Special Feature: Filmmaker's Roundtable [1080p] [1.77:1] [21:00] One of the most successful features of this Blu-ray is clearly the newly produced 'Filmmaker's Roundtable' feature. At the round table meeting at which the directors John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, along with the producer Darla Anderson and Kevin Reher reflect on the creation of the animation film 'A Bug's Life' and talk about the origin of the 10 year old animation film and to share their most memorable anecdotes, but they also tell many funny stories, but also on the difficulties of the project, that if it was a failure, the future of the fledgling PIXAR animation studio was at stake.
Special Feature: Pre-production: Here we have different segments, that are in the in SD [480i] quality and presented with introductions by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Darla Anderson and Kevin Reher and they are as follows: Fleabie Real [4:19]; Story and Editorial [5:33]; Storyboard-to-film Comparison [13:22]; Dot's Rescue: Storyreel [3:53]; Dots Rescue: Final Render [3:53]; Dot's Rescue: Split-Screen Comparison [3:53]; Abandoned Sequences [5:34]; P.T. Flea's Office [1:37]; Original Museum Opening [1:42] and Research Documentary [5:22].
Special Feature: Production [34:00] Similarly constructed like 'Pre-Production' in which it deals with the actual work process on film and you can see more insights on how PIXAR set out to make 'A Bug's Life' following the success of 'Toy Story' and again you get introduction sequences from John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton with information about the individual segments:
Behind-the-Scenes of 'A Bug's Life,' is a Production Feature Documentary [3:46]; Voice Casting and here you have insights into the recording studio with the speakers of the figures [4:12]; Early Testing and here you get a glimpse of the early animation tests [5:25]; Progression Demonstration: Storyreel and here you get to see the 'Flaming Death' scene as a storyboard sequence [3:56]; Layout and this time we get to view the 'Flaming Death' scene as a pre-visualisation [2:54]; Animation and here is another look at the 'Flaming Death' scene as something more sophisticated pre-Animation [3:04] and Shades and Lighting and here we have the final 'Flaming Death' scene [2:59].
Special Feature: Sound Design [13:07] Here we have further insights into the creative process. In turn, with this high definition presentation short documentary we have former sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who is the future PIXAR director and shares his insights about building the world of 'A Bug's Life' from real world sounds. He also explains that it is based on natural sound templates sound design for the film.
Theatrical Trailers: Here you get to view the first domestic trailers for 'A Bug's Life,' with introduction by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton [1080p]. Theatrical Release: Trailer No.1 [1.33:1] [1:02] and Trailer No.2 [1.33:1] [2:35].
Special Feature: Character Interviews [1080p / 480i] [1.77:1 / 1.33:1] [2:00] Here we have a Publicity interviews with Hopper, Flik, Francis and Heimlich for the International Release of the film 'A Bug's Life,' and the person doing the interview with the animation characters is Jeff Kurtti [Author of The Making of 'A Bug's Life'].
Special Feature: Outtakes [1080p / 480i] [1.77:1 / 1.33:1] [9:00] The information statement for the 'Outtakes,' informs us that these funny outtakes were designed to be seen in an uncredited reduced image area, and can be seen here as a high-resolution full-screen video presentation and they are as follows:
The Story Behind the Outtakes [3:17] What is really nice about this particular special feature, is that you get contributions from the likes of Lee Unkrich [Supervising Film Editor/Co-director of 'Toy Story 2']; John Lasseter [Director/Executive V.P. of PIXAR]; Thomas Schumacher [President of Walt Disney Feature Animation]; Bill Kinder [Editorial Supervisor]; Leo Hourvitz [Technical Director]; Craig Good [Senior Layout Artist] and Joseph Henry "Joe" Ranft [Story Supervisor for the voice of 'Heimlich'].
Original Outtakes [2:31] Here you get Outtakes and Bloopers that were included with the film's initial release.
Alternative Outtakes [2:30] This is what is called a 'refresher' set of Outtakes and Bloopers that were included with new prints of the film during its extended release.
Special Feature: Maximum Your Home Theater! It tells you that to get the most out of your Home Theater, you have to follow the simple tests. It also informs you to use the left and right arrow keys to page through each test, which consists as: 1. Getting Started; 2. Aspect Ratio and Framing; 3. Brightness; 4. Contrast; 5. Gama; 6. Audio.
Sneak Previews: Disney Blu-ray 3D Promotion [1080p] This includes Disney's 'A Christmas Carol;' Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland;' 'BOLT' and 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.' Next up is Disney Film Promotion: 'TRON Legacy.' Next up is Disney/PIXAR Film Promotions: 'CARS 2.' Next up is Disney/PIXAR's Blu-ray and DVD Release 'CARS.' Next up is Disney/PIXAR's Toy Story 3: The Video Game. Next up is Disney's DVD and Blu-ray Releases: 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2' and The Search for Santa Paws.' Plus: DisneyLand Paris Promo: New Generation Festival.
Finally, PIXAR and Disney continue to set the ultimate standard for high definition on Blu-ray Disc and 'A Bug's Life' is no exception. it isn't often that a disc comes along that boasts a fantastic film, a perfect 1080p video transfer, an equally perfect 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, and an engaging collection of extensive supplemental special features, and a generous helping of exclusive content. This is a fine fun computer animated film for the entire family and also big fans, especially like me of PIXAR's adventurous different storylines and especially with this value-added Limited Edition SteelBook Blu-ray package with loads of wonderful extras, reference-quality picture and sound that is so easy to give a thumbs up for my ultimate praise and is definitely a 5 Star rating. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom