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Episode 21 of 25

A Bug‘s Life (Be Kind, Rewind Edition!)

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On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 92% based on 88 reviews and an average rating of 7.87/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters – and another smashing early success for Pixar." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film a score of 77 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote, "Lasseter and Pixar broke new technical and aesthetic ground in the animation field with Toy Story, and here they surpass it in both scope and complexity of movement while telling a story that overlaps Antz in numerous ways." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "A Bug's Life, like Toy Story, develops protagonists we can root for, and places them in the midst of a fast-moving, energetic adventure." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Will A Bug's Life suffer by coming out so soon after Antz? Not any more than one thriller hurts the chances for the next one. Antz may even help business for A Bug's Life by demonstrating how many dramatic and comedic possibilities can be found in an anthill." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying "What A Bug's Life demonstrates is that when it comes to bugs, the most fun ones to hang out with hang exclusively with the gang at Pixar." Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film four out of four stars, saying "A Bug's Life is one of the great movies – a triumph of storytelling and character development, and a whole new ballgame for computer animation. Pixar Animation Studios has raised the genre to an astonishing new level".

Richard Corliss of Time wrote, "The plot matures handsomely; the characters neatly converge and combust; the gags pay off with emotional resonance." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B, saying "A Bug's Life may be the single most amazing film I've ever seen that I couldn't fall in love with." Paul Clinton of CNN wrote, "A Bug's Life is a perfect movie for the holidays. It contains a great upbeat message ... it's wonderful to look at ... it's wildly inventive ... and it's entertaining for both adults and kids." Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune gave the film three and a half stars out of four, and compared the movie to "Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (with a little of another art-film legend, Federico Fellini, tossed in)." where "As in Samurai, the colony here is plagued every year by the arrival of bandits." On the contrary, Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post wrote, "Clever as it is, the film lacks charm. One problem: too many bugs. Second, bigger world for two purposes: to feed birds and to irk humans."