If you are looking for a family-friendly film to enjoy this bank holiday weekend, then look no further than Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants.

Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants

Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants

Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants is the latest CGI animation to hit the big screen and sees Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo in the director's chair.

To celebrate the release of the film, we take a look at some of the best bugs to have appeared on the big screen.

- A Bug's Life

When talking about big screen bugs, there's no better place to star that A Bug's Life. Hard to believe, but it was back in 1998 when A Bug's Life hit the big screen and it was the second offering from Pixar.

A Bug's Life came three years after the release of Toy Story - the first CGI animated film that changed this genre forever - and really helped cement Pixar as a studio to watch out for as they delivered another gem of a film.

Using classic Disney storytelling and characters, A Bug's Life is a retelling of the Aesop fable 'The Ant and the Grasshopper', with a colony of ants who seasonally gather food for themselves and a wild gang of rowdy grasshoppers. When bumbling worker ant Flik destroys the food supply, the angry grasshoppers, led by the maniacally warped Hopper, threaten to kill the ants if they don't produce a new supply of food by the time they return.

Flik leaves the anthill in search of help and discovers a group of down-on-their-luck travelling circus insects in need of a job. Together they rescue the ant colony, and Flik even manages to win the heart of the Princess, happy days!

A Bug's Life is a movie that is full of spectacle and, once again, pushed the animation film forward. As well as being a stunning looking film, A Bug's Life features some fantastic voice performances as Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus bring to life some wonderful characters.

A Bug's Life was both a critical and commercial success and ended 1998 as the fifth highest grossing film - it was also the highest-grossing animation film of that year.

A Bug's Life

- Antz

Antz was another bug themed animated film to hit the big screen in 1998 and came courtesy of animation studio DreamWorks. It was the first animation film from the studio, which has gone on to bring us Shrek, Madagascar, and the How To Train Your Dragon animation franchises.

In this tale of the world of creepy crawlies, Central Park ant drone Z longs to be an individual of accomplishment, but Z's colony is a society that puts the value of the colony over personal achievement.

Young Z sets his sights on the colony Queen's daughter Bala- who is uninterested until Z successfully mounts a revolution within the colony for the advancement of individuality.

Antz saw Eric Darnell and Tim Johnson team up in the director's chair for what was to be the directorial debut for both men. Woody Allen, Dan, Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft, Danny Glover, Jennifer Lopez, Gene Hackman, and Sylvester Stallone made up the impressive voice cast list.

Antz was another terrific animation film that was as visually stunning as it was entertaining. It was another remarkable technical achievement for this genre as the animation genre was continuing to change during this time.

But it was also a movie that was a lot of fun and was a film that explored interesting themes and ideas for adults as well as for the kids. While the movie was a huge critical hit, it wasn't as big a success as A Bug's Life, taking $171.8 million.


- Pinocchio

Pinocchio was the second feature film from Walt Disney Productions back in 1940 and was based on the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.

The puppet, named Pinocchio, is not yet a human boy and must earn the right to be real by proving that he is brave, truthful, and unselfish. To help guide Pinocchio, the fairy assigns Jiminy, an extremely well-dressed Cricket, to be Pinocchio's conscience, but even with these wise words in his ear, the marionette goes astray and finds himself in a world of trouble.

Everybody's favourite little whisper in their ear, not only does Jiminy teach Pinocchio the ways of the world he is trying to be a part of, he also teaches him how to whistle, which as we all know is essential to keep spirits high!

Pinocchio is a movie that contains some wonderful morals and themes about working hard, being truthful, and behaving well as he is tempted to lie and go down the wrong path by a string of unsavoury characters.

Pinocchio was a movie that I grew up watching but it is only looking back on it as an adult, do you realise how dark a film it actually is.

Pinocchio remains one of Disney's most loved movies with Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket two of the most iconic Disney characters - and they have created quite a few over the years.


- A Monster In Paris

A Monster In Paris is a more recent bug themed film and hit the big screen in the UK at the beginning of 2012. The French animated film saw Bibo Bergeron in the director's chair and elements of the story were - very loosely - based on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.

It follows a Parisian scientist who is determined to create an important new invention with the help of his friend Emile, who attempt an experiment that has an unexpected side effect -- a tiny flea has suddenly expanded until it's seven feet tall. The enormous flea gets loose and it's not long before word is out that a monstrous bug is haunting Paris.

However, a nightclub performer makes a surprising discovery -- the big flea is not only gentle and friendly, he's a gifted guitar player, because of course! The giant flea is decked out in a suit and a hat, he's soon impressing punters as the new big hit in the city of love.

A Monster In Paris was one of the best alternative animation movies of 2012 and proved that not all the best films in this genre had to be made in Hollywood.

The story was back with quirk and charm while the setting captured the culture, the light and the love of the city of Paris. Thrown in some great gothic elements and you have a movie that really was a wonderful and rather unique watch.

While A Monster In Paris was an animation film that did go a little under the radar, it was a critical hit and was one of the best animation films of 2012.

A Monster In Paris

- James and The Giant Peach

We have seen many Roald Dahl books adapted for the big screen over the years and, in 1996, it was the turn of James and the Giant Peach - yes, it really was twenty years ago.

Karey Kirkpatrick, Jonathan Roberts, and Steve Bloom came together to adapt Dahl's book into a screenplay while Henry Selick was in the director's chair. This was only the second feature of Selick's career and his first since the success of The Nightmare Before Christmas three years earlier.

The movie follows a lonely young boy called James, who discovers a gigantic peach in the garden of his horrible aunties. This triggers an eventful journey across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City, with a group of talking, oversized insects, including a vampish spider, a sarcastic centipede, and a matronly ladybug.

James and the Giant Peach was a mix of live action and stop-motion animation, which captured the dark and sinister elements of Dahl's tale along with the film's book's humour.

Stop motion animation is a wonderful genre of film and James and the Giant Peach was one of the most visually striking films of 1996.

Despite being met with acclaim by the critics, the movie was not a box-office success and it failed to recoup its $38 million budget.

James and The Giant Peach

- Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants

Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo are in the director's chair this week for Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants. As well as being in the director's chair, the duo has also penned the film's screenplay.

Based on the popular Ceebies TV series, Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants tells a thrilling story set in the miniature insect world that surrounds us all.

In a peaceful little clearing, the remains of an abandoned picnic sparks warfare between two tribes of ants, both captivated by a prized possession; a box of sugar.

A brave young ladybug finds himself caught in the middle of the battle. He befriends one of the black ants, 'Mandible', and helps him to save the anthill from the assault of the terrible red ant warriors, led by the fearful Butor.

The film also manages the tall task of capturing imaginations without using any dialogue between its tiny characters. Good things come in teeny, tiny packages!

Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants is released 27th May, courtesy of Lionsgate UK.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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