ANTZ Image


By Chris Gore | September 28, 1998

Z is a dissatisfied worker ant who we meet in the middle of a therapy session which makes a lot of sense because Z’s voice is provided by Woody Allen. Z wants something more than the life of a worker and when he meets Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) he switches places with his soldier ant pal Weaver (Sylvester Stallone) to get close to the beloved queen-to-be. Z becomes the unlikely survivor of a termite war and a hero but not before he oversteps his bounds and is catapulted on an adventure with the princess which takes them in search of the fabled “Insectopia.” “Antz” is Dreamwork’s computer animated ant movie and worthwhile competition for “A Bug’s Life” from Disney which opens in November.
The film is basically a Woody Allen movie — you know, the early funny films that he used to make. The basic plot is not much different than “Bananas”, “Sleeper” or “Love and Death”. The computer animation itself is eery because the ants look, well, so real. They look more like humans in an ant shape with realistic-looking skin and teeth. The character design is less cute and more reminiscent of the ants from the classic “Outer Limits” television episode “The Zanti Misfits.”
“Antz” seems to be geared more toward adults. There is a political sub text that is handled hilariously and more adult humor that will whiz high above the heads of the single digit aged set. This is not really a bad thing, since the film is a smart, animated Woody Allen movie. Whether a Woody Allen cartoon can beat Pixar and it’s much cuter-looking ant film remains to be seen, but “Antz” succeeds at pushing the technology as well as and offering intelligent family fare that won’t leave adults bored. Great fun.

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