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Tell Us Your Favorite Family Films
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When we dusted off Pixar's A Bug's Life, first released in 1998, we weren't sure whether it would capture our kids' attention after ten years of newer animation technology. But it didn't take long before our whole family fell for the clever story about an ant colony that frees itself from the tyranny of the grasshoppers. The film features Flik, an ant who has invented a quicker method to harvest grain for the grasshoppers. Because he bungles the job, Flik's colony is in danger so he hires a band of nine "warrior insects." Our kids thought these bugs were engaging, and laughed along with film's inside joke -- the insects weren't real warriors, but circus performers who thought Flik was a talent scout. Consider this a vintage Pixar celebration of a world where a raindrop is a dangerous missile and a dandelion pod is the perfect aircraft for an ant. We promise you, after screening A Bug's Life, your backyard grass will never look quite the same!
After meeting the parade of insect personalities in A Bug's Life, our kids were excited to meet their new friends in a real life setting. We visited our local Insect Zoo (we found one at both a Natural History Museum and a Zoo, see links below for ideas from our city editors), and our kids got face-to-face with a black widow spider, a desert scorpion, a hissing cockroach, walking sticks and lots of other creepy crawlies. Our daughter fell in love with a small-eyed click beetle, and is quite convinced it smiled at her. Our son found a stick bug, like the one in the film, and peppered the zookeepers with questions: "What do they eat?" "Are tarantulas poisonous?" The docents were happy to answer questions and patiently described the bugs' diet, terrain requirements and whether they were protected species. We surprised our kids with pads and colored pencils, our sneaky method to slow them down enough to really look at the small exhibit. Our kids left the insect zoo with their own entomological drawings as well as some scientific facts about what it really means to lead "a bug's life."
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Film:
Our Tips for Talking to Your Kids about this Film:
Visit an Insect Zoo
Time Allotment: One hour
Age Recommendation: 3 - 12.
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Adventure: