Blu-Ray Review: Pixar Continues HD Dominance With ‘A Bug’s Life’

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CHICAGO – If you have yet to jump on the Blu-Ray bandwagon or are new to the HD revolution and have yet to see a Pixar film in 1080P, the new edition of “A Bug’s Life” would be a great place to start. With releases like the great one for “WALL-E” and now this gorgeous transfer for “A Bug’s Life,” Disney/Pixar produces HD video clarity that really must be seen to be believed. Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

With this week’s release of the fantastic “Up,” Pixar is back in the cinematic conversation. With Pixar back in the spotlight, go back to one of their earliest films, the underrated “A Bug’s Life,” a film that has held up surprisingly well in the decade since its release.

A Bug's Life was released on Blu-Ray on May 19th, 2009.
A Bug’s Life was released on Blu-Ray on May 19th, 2009.
Photo credit: Disney

I’ll admit that I had kind of buried “A Bug’s Life” in my own movie world. I’ve seen “Finding Nemo,” both “Toy Story” films, “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” and “The Incredibles” multiple times but I hadn’t seen “Bug’s” since its theatrical release. Not only is the film better than I remembered but it looks great. The fact is that Pixar is so far ahead of their peers that their old films still look like they could come out today.

If you’re late to the Pixar wave and have never seen the “Bug’s Life,” the story is almost refreshingly simple. It’s the tale of the little ant that could. After grasshoppers threaten his home, an ant searches for fellow bug warriors and finds a hilarious group of circus bugs. “A Bug’s Life” is imaginative, delightful storytelling that hints at the matserpieces this studio would soon produce.

A Bug's Life was released on Blu-Ray on May 19th, 2009.
A Bug’s Life was released on Blu-Ray on May 19th, 2009.
Photo credit: Disney

The new Blu-Ray release for “A Bug’s Life” imports the production and design material from previous releases and includes two great new Blu-Ray features - “The First Draft” and “Filmmakers’ Round Table”.

“The First Draft” includes all-new, never-before-seen animated sequences from the original story treatment with an introduction by John Lasseter. It runs just under 11 minutes and offers a window into the writing process of a Pixar film.

Even cooler is the “Filmmakers’ Round Table”. For 21 minutes, John Lasseter (Co-Director), Andrew Stanton (Co-Director), Darla Anderson (Producer), and Kevin Reher (Producer) reflect on the creation of the film ten years ago, and share their most memorable anecdotes.

The old special features about the production are extensive and detailed. They include sections on “Pre-Production,” “Deisgn,” “Production,” and “Sound Design”. Outtakes and publicity stills are also included.

John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich provide a commentary track that has been imported for this release.

Finally, Disney includes two shorts. The first is the great “Geri’s Game,” the Academy Award-Winner for Best Animated Short Film that played before the theatrical release of “A Bug’s Life” and the second is a classic Silly Symphony from 1934 called “Grasshopper and the Ants”.

Short films, a commentary track, detailed production featurettes, new bonus features, and a perfect video and audio transfer. What more are you looking for from a Blu-Ray release? Pixar continues to guide the way in not just the quality of the films themselves but their HD releases as well.

Check out a clip from the Filmmakers’ Roundtable before you buy “A Bug’s Life” for yourself.

Featurette: Filmmakers roundtable

‘A Bug’s Life’ is released by Disney Home Video and features voice work by Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere, Phyllis Diller, Richard Kind, David Hyde Pierce, Denis Leary, Madeline Kahn, and Bonnie Hunt. It was written by Andrew Stanton & Don McEnery & Bob Shaw and directed by John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton. The Blu-Ray was released on May 19th, 2009. It is rated G. content director Brian Tallerico

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