2012 45¢ A Bugs Life
Mail a Smile
Issue Date: June 1, 2012
City: Orlando, FL
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Disney’s earliest discussions of a bug-related movie were in 1988 and revolved around a peaceful bug living in a militaristic colony. Army Ants, as it was named, never panned out.
Six years later, the men behind the popular Toy Story developed a new idea based on Aesop’s fable, “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” But they added a twist – instead of the grasshopper begging for food, he would demand it. The story’s other inspiration came from the 1954 Japanese film, Seven Samurai, in which a farming village hires a group of samurai to protect them from bandits seeking to steal their crops. Initially, the main character, Flik, was to be part of the circus (equivalent to the samurai), but was later made the character that hires the circus bugs.
Pixar’s animators created a “Bug-Cam” to aid in their research. Attaching a mini-camera to a stick, they wheeled it into the company garden to see what the world looked like from a bug’s view. Many of the artists were surprised at nature’s translucency. The film’s director, John Lasseter, remarked, “It was like living in a world of stained-glass windows.”
From a scientific standpoint, real bugs come from one of only two groups. Interestingly, none of the characters in the movie are members of these groups, so none of the bugs in A Bug’s Life are actually bugs.