The Ant Bully

Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler, Marci X) is constantly picked on by the neighborhood bully because he’s smaller. In turn, the young loner focuses his frustrations on the ant colony that thrives in his front yard. Fed up with constant attacks by Lucas “The Destroyer,” the colony’s wizard Zoc (Nicholas Cage, The Weather Man) devises a potion that will level the playing field and shrink Lucas down to size—their size.
Somebody might have forgotten to pass the memo to the creators of The Ant Bully that all successful animated films these days cater not just to children, but their parents as well. With a genuinely sweet story and loads of colorful characters, there’s no denying that this flick—which was produced by Tom Hanks (The Polar Express)—will be a big hit among the young ones. However, it’s not something that’ll keep us interested for very long.
Sure, there are moments that inspired a snigger or two out of us, particularly scenes that involve the overly enthusiastic and optimistic bug, or the voices of Paul Giamatti (Lady In The Water) and Bruce Campbell (who seems to have adapted that over-the-top gung-ho attitude of his cult Evil Dead character Ash into animated form). But those aren’t exactly the sophisticated laughs that we’re used to from the likes of clever animated comedies Shrek and Ice Age.
The rest of the cast does a rather forgettable job. Meryl Streep (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) as the Queen Ant is nothing more than a cameo and Julia Roberts (Ocean’s Twelve) didn’t really stand out, despite her character playing the rather important role of Hova, the leading female ant.
The animation itself, while certainly nowhere near the level of the genius over at Pixar, is still quite eye-catching. The big bug battle early in the movie between the wasps and the ants was probably one of our favorite bits of the whole movie. The Ant Bully isn’t a bad movie per se. It’s just that it doesn’t successfully crossover from young kids to adults, or even older kids. If your children are any older than 10, don’t even bother with this one.