Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trivial Pursuits: Bug Facts

In recognition of today's Blu-ray debutof the Disney/Pixar favorite A Bug's Life, here are some fun facts about the movie:

  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug, a 3-D animated attraction starring Flik and Hopper, made its official debut on the opening day of Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22, 1988, seven months prior to the release of A Bug’s Life in theaters on November 25.
  • A second version of It’s Tough to Be a Bug opened at Disney’s California Adventure on that theme park’s opening day as well, February 8, 2001. Since, it has been joined by a whole Bug’s Land area, including Flik’s Fun Fair, which features such kiddie rides as Francis’ Ladybug Boogie and Heimlich’s Chew-Chew Train.
  • Dave Foley (who originally auditioned for the role of Slim) returned to voice Flik in It’s Tough to Be a Bug, but Kevin Spacey declined to reprise his vocal performance of Hopper, so Bug’s Life co-director Andrew Stanton took over as the nasty grasshopper.
  • Stanton can also be heard in the film itself, along with director John Lasseter; they voice the flies being zapped by the bug zapper.
  • In that same scene, the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story can be seen parked next to the mobile home.
  • Randy Newman’s jolly score for A Bug’s Life won a Grammy Award and was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Newman’s end title song, “The Time of Your Life”, was also nominated for a Grammy.
  • The film itself also won awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Casting Society of America, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild and the Golden Satellite Awards. It also received nominations from the Annie Awards, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts and the Saturn Awards.
  • High School Musical diva Ashley Tisdale gave one of her first performances in A Bug’s Life, as the lead Blueberry Scout. She originally auditioned for the role of Dot.
  • The film also marked Roddy McDowall’s last performance; he voiced the supervisor ant Mr. Soil.
  • The plot of A Bug’s Life strongly resembles not only Seven Samurai and its American western remake The Magnificent Seven, but also the comedy Three Amigos! A line (“Boy, these folks are sure hard up for entertainment”) is even “borrowed” from the latter.
And be sure to "toon" later this week for my Toon Talk review of the new Bug's Life Blu-ray.

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