The Disney-Dreamworks Wars: A Bug’s Life VS. Antz


For decades a fierce rivalry between two animation giants has shaped the very landscape of the industry. Disney, through Pixar and their homegrown animation department, against Dreamworks, founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. Each company releasing certain films that have drawn many comparisons. In this series we shall compare those films and see which is superior. 

The first chapter is the one that started it all, A Bug’s Life by Pixar and Antz by Dreamworks. Many already know that Antz exists since Katzenberg feuded with John Lasseter and Steve Jobs over the idea of a film taking place in an ant colony. Despite similar settings, both films are vastly different. 

A Bug’s Life (1998)

The film is an adventure of an ant named Flick (Voiced by: Dave Foley). An inventor whose invention gets the colony into trouble with the leader of a gang of grasshoppers named Hopper. Flick then sets out to find a group of mercenary bugs to help fight the grasshoppers, but finds a group of circus bugs. They help the ants gain confidence in working together and in the end save the colony from the evil grasshoppers.

The film is generally made with all ages in mind. With this being the studio’s second film after Toy Story they have some better animation than their previous feature. However, the only downside is that the story is somewhat predictable with the “liar reveal” trope of the bugs not being mercenaries but circus acts with a third-act break-up before coming back to save the day.

But if you want a film that both young kids and adults can enjoy then this is the preferred choice. 

Antz (1998)

Taking place in an ant colony a worker ant named Z (Played by: Woody Allen) doesn’t feel that he is of any worth and wants to stand out. But being in a colony with millions of ants where your individual thoughts have little to no meaning he feels rather depressed. At the bar, he meets the ant princess Bala who is in disguise. He falls in love with her and after she leaves he becomes obsessed with seeing her again.

Meanwhile, an ant general named Mandible wants to “cleanse the colony” of those he feels are weak by flooding the city. Z, desperate to see the princess, switches places with his friend Weaver, a soldier ant. Z unknowingly is sent off to war and returns home as the only survivor. Through hijinks, he and the princess are lost in the wild and have to stick together to survive. 

They set off for a legendary place called Insectopia. On their journey, they slowly begin to fall in love and they finally reach their destination, which is actually a trash can. The princess is then found by a soldier and Brough back to the colony. Z rushes back and general Mandible’s plan is found out. Z, Bala, and his friends are able to convince the ants to work together to save everyone from drowning, showing that they are strong together. With the general defeated, Z and Bala decide to rebuild the colony together.

This film is definitely more for older kids/teenagers due to some minor swearing, adult references, and a LOT of violence. The huge battle sequence sees hundreds of ants and termites meet their demise. It is definitely not for young children. But if you’re looking for a film that deals with someone feeling insignificant but proves their worth by the end then you may like this one.

Verdict: Tie

While both films have their similarities both are very different films each with their separate pros and cons. If you can’t decide which one you’d rather watch ask yourself what kind of meed you’re in and select based on that/ If you want to have fun then choose A Bug’s Life. If you want a more serious story then choose Antz. You can’t go wrong with either. 

Which films should we compare next time? Let us know.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.