The Ant Bully

  • Review Date: November 27, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Cute animated movie with a message for kids.
  • Review Date: November 27, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters bully others, take revenge, think only of themselves, and fail to see the "big picture" around them. However, the characters also learn important lessons about compassion, teamwork, and loyalty. Some burping and other bodily function jokes.

Violence & scariness

Some intense scenes involving menacing spiders, frogs, wasps, flyswatters, bullies, and the exterminator. Lucas is eaten, then spit out by a frog. After being shrunk down, he's in constant danger from the regular-sized humans. The ants threaten to dissect and study him.

Sexy stuff

Mild. The exterminator's private parts are attacked by bugs.

Language

Some name-calling, such as "Hey, Pukas!" Mild profanities, including "butt".

Consumerism

Mild, including jelly beans, potato chips, gossip mags, and other household and grocery store items.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A "magic potion" is used to shrink Lucas. The exterminator smokes a cigar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some scenes might be a little scary for very young kids –- in particular, menacing spiders, frogs, wasps, flyswatters, and bullies try to wipe out entire civilizations (the ants). Also, Lucas is in constant danger after being shrunk down to ant size. There's some name-calling, mild profanities (such as "butt"), and bodily function jokes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Ten-year-old Lucas (voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen) is having a tough time adapting after a recent move. His family isn't any help and he's the number one target of the local bully. Lucas vents his frustrations by taking it out the anthills in his front yard. He kicks them, stomps them, squirts them with the garden hose, and fries them with a magnifying glass. The ants are tired of the abuse by Lucas The Destroyer and are ready to fight back! They put a single drop of their magic potion into Lucas's ear, which shrinks him to ant size. He's taken deep below the ant hill, where the Head of the Ant Council (Ricardo Montalban) proclaims him guilty of "crimes against the colony." To earn his freedom, Lucas is sentenced by the wise Ant Queen (Meryl Streep) to live among the ants and learn their ways. He suddenly finds himself in an incredible world teeming with life -- and peril -- that he never noticed or even imagined before. Nurse Ant Hova (Julia Roberts) tries to teach Lucas the ways of the colony and help him find that one special talent he has to contribute, but she has her hands full (all six of them). Eventually, Lucas's newfound "ant skills" are put to the test when he's asked to help his new friends defend the colony against certain annihilation from the local exterminator, in an epic life-and-death struggle waged on the front lawn.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Guess what? It's not all about us! That's right, there are lots of other worlds out there humming along quite nicely without us, thank you very much. And with Oscar-nominated director John A. Davis (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) and producer Tom Hanks to remind us of that, this is a fun family movie with some great life lessons.

While most kid movies spout valuable life lessons of one sort or another, the ones that work don't talk down to kids. This movie falls into that category, using humor and grace (not to mention an impressive cast of voices) to tell a good story and remind us there's more to life than our own little world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of compassion, teamwork, and loyalty. Sometimes we try to "go it alone," but it's always okay to ask for help when we need it. How can this help us as we grow into adulthood and face new challenges? It's okay to be strong and stand up for ourselves, but is it ever a good idea to "take revenge" on someone? Also, find some examples of communities around us that we don't often see or notice. Why is it important to know about these communities, and how do they fit into our world?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 28, 2006
DVD release date:November 28, 2006
Cast:Julia Roberts, Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, Ricardo Montalban, Zach Tyler
Director:John A. Davis
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:for some mild rude humor and action.

This review of The Ant Bully was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bynglore April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Least of all Insect Movies

My first impression of the ants left me wishing the ant bully would have been victorious in his mission. The best part of the movie was the Grandma (the deleted scenes actually gave me more entertainment then the movie itself). I just could not get "into" this movie. The moral lesson was fair, and the ideas seemed fresh but the movie was dull throughout (it was no "Bugs Life"). My rating for this movie would have to be 1.7 stars.
Kid, 9 years old September 5, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

comedy animaition

funny and some sex
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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