The Ant Bully Maybe it's because the Ant Queen (summer's movie MVP, Meryl Streep) is so excellently magisterial. Or because Nurse Ant Hova and Wizard Ant Zoc (Julia… The Ant Bully Maybe it's because the Ant Queen (summer's movie MVP, Meryl Streep) is so excellently magisterial. Or because Nurse Ant Hova and Wizard Ant Zoc (Julia… 2006-07-28 PG PT88M Animation Comedy Kids and Family Nicolas Cage Alan Cumming Paul Giamatti Julia Roberts Zach Tyler Warner Bros.
Movie Review

The Ant Bully (2006)

MPAA Rating: PG
ANTY MAIM A little boy learns it's not nice to fool with mother nature -- or ants -- in Bully
Image credit: Ant Bully: Warner Bros.
ANTY MAIM A little boy learns it's not nice to fool with mother nature -- or ants -- in Bully
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jul 28, 2006; Rated: PG; Length: 88 Minutes; Genres: Animation, Comedy, Kids and Family; With: Nicolas Cage, Alan Cumming, Paul Giamatti, Julia Roberts and Zach Tyler; Distributor: Warner Bros.

Maybe it's because the Ant Queen (summer's movie MVP, Meryl Streep) is so excellently magisterial. Or because Nurse Ant Hova and Wizard Ant Zoc (Julia Roberts and Nicolas Cage, both of them loose and playful — yes, Cage is playful, not gloomy!) are such a cool formicary couple. Or because the goggling, goofy-glasses IMAX 3D experience (available, as they say, in select theaters) magnifies the charms, and the dramas, of very teensy insects and one temporarily tiny boy. All I know is, the kind of life lessons that usually gum up the fun go down as easily as jelly beans in The Ant Bully, an effortlessly clever animated confection directed by Jimmy Neutron creator John A. Davis, who also wrote the screenplay.

True enough, it's not nice to be mean. And in the beginning (as in John Nickle's illustrated kids' book of the same name), 10-year-old Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler Eisen) persecutes downward, stomping a convenient anthill after being tormented by the neighborhood blobby brute. And only when Lucas himself is shrunk (by, oh, the usual — a magic potion whipped up by Zoc and dropped in the kid's ear) does he learn what cooperation, friendship, and awesome ant culture are all about. Yeah, yeah. Point is, bugs — and a bug-size boy —are funny. And, following Monster House, another PG cartoon turns out to be a secret clubhouse for the cool kids this summer.

Originally posted Jul 26, 2006 Published in issue #889 Aug 04, 2006 Order article reprints