The Ant Bully is yet another computer-animated ant movie that was released recently. The first two were Antz and A Bug’s Life, which were both released in close proximity in 1998 by Dreamworks and Pixar, respectively. Warner’s take on the common six-legged bugs with the Ant Bully is a tad different than the earlier two, yet with some similarities.

The story of The Ant Bully follows the bully himself, Lucas “Peanut the Destroyer” Nickle, who is abused by his “friends” and takes out his frustration on the ants in his yard. The ants subsequently take revenge on Lucas by shrinking him down to their size, and then put him on trial as the destroyer of their home. The queen of the colony sentences Lucas to become an ant and work in the colony to learn some empathy. And so begins his little adventure.

The ants in The Ant Bully are crafted more toward the jagged brown style of Antz than the smooth colorful style of A Bug’s Life. Particularly, they accentuated this angular characteristic in the details of the ants faces. I’m not sure why they chose to do this, but there it is. Otherwise, the story renders quite well. I would be interested to see the IMAX 3D version, to see how it differs from the flat screen.

The story of the bully is much more complex than the simple “save the colony” idea put forth by both Antz and A Bug’s Life. The theme of valuing teamwork is present throughout. It also puts a good spin on the bully situation in general.

There are more simple details in this movie about interesting bug facts than in the other films. The crack about Lucas being inside-out was humourous and educational. I wonder how much actual bug fact went into these movies. Obviously, bugs don’t talk, but in this movie wasps also attack the ants, which doesn’t seem like something they do in nature.

The Any Bully doesn’t have any music, which suits me fine. There are magic elements, where there is a potion used to transform Lucas and make him smaller, but I can’t see parents being opposed to this sort of thing unless they’re also opposed to other harmless movie magic. This is a story about ants that talk after all. There are also some more interesting adult themes concerning how to punish Lucas for destroying the ant hill.

Both Abby and Riley enjoyed the movie. They’ve wanted to see it again. It’s enjoyable for an adult to sit through, unlike some more of the made-for-kids shows that I can’t stand. If you’re looking for a movie to take the kids to, The Ant Bully is a pretty good choice. In my mind, it stands out over the other two buggy offerings.