A Bug’s Life (1998)

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On behalf of “oppressed bugs everywhere,” an inventive ant named Flik hires a troupe of warrior bugs to defend his bustling colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers led by the evil-minded Hopper. (Letterboxd)
Some of the extra computer-y 90s PC game animation bugs me a bit (couldn’t resist) but that’s the only real flaw of this excellant offering of clever world-building (see the bug bar–where everyone can get a good buzz), great humour, and an engaging protagonist in the creative but hard-luck Flik. The surprisingly dark antagonist climax (“Let this be a lesson…Ideas are very dangerous things!”) and the inspiring hero moment after (“You’re wrong, Hopper”) highlight some compelling themes as well.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Inside Out (2015)

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After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. (IMDb)
Numerous creative anthropomorphisms and objectifications of the mind entertain (room of abstract thought), intrigue (the idea of personified emotions controlling another person doesn’t always click but there is lots of potential–see the charming final glimpses into other minds), and move (the pit of forgotten memories, crumbling identity islands). Simple and sweet stories with nice messages on both levels lose a little bit of impact and depth of characterization by having to share screen time.
7/10 (Good)