An effortlessly clever animated confection directed by Jimmy Neutron creator John A. Davis.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The Ant Bully, the latest computer-animated plea for interspecies understanding, provides a few moments of inventiveness and wit.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Writer-director John A Davis has one or two nice touches, but the film is disposable.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Though the story is predictable, the message is benign, and the visuals, particularly in IMAX 3-D, are stylized and surreal.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The movie is an epic adventure with a rigorously moral point of view.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
The movie has a great time playing with ideas of scope and perspective, shifting between microscopic and macroscopic.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
The Ant Bully's just a little movie about a little guy who turns into a little bug for a little while, and learns some big things in the process -- and sometimes, a little can go a very long way.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
The Ant Bully does not talk down to kids or feign to talk up to their parents with pop references, though adults may be amused (or maybe not) by the Christian parallel in the ants' religion.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
The Ant Bully is fun to look at, and Lucas' recognition of the strength in numbers leads to solid character growth.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
In a year when already we've been treated to a wonderful collection of animated films The Ant Bully is a delightful addition. It teaches us a lesson about acceptance without it cramming it down our throats.
Bill Zwecker - Chicago Sun-Times
The Ant Bully won't ruin anybody's childhood. Neither is it likely to make anybody's day.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
[It's] a rousing adventure capped with just the right measure of sweetness... John A. Davis shows heaps of invention.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
... unnecessary ...
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The film's heavyhanded lessons turn it from a fun romp through a cartoonish insect world to a predictable and preachy snoozefest.
Jeffrey E. McCants - Minneapolis Star Tribune
There's a sweet simplicity and humility to this film. Amid all the animation hype, it's just a very good movie. It's no big deal; and thus, it is.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The Ant Bully, in trying to match Antz or A Bug's Life, just digs itself into a big hole.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
The Ant Bully is lovely to look at but a headache to listen to.
Justin Chang - Variety
This generic exercise in computer-generated animation may provide passable entertainment for very young children, but adults will be less than enchanted by its preachiness, talkiness and Communist Party-line political views.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Bright visuals, snappy dialogue and a smart plot make The Ant Bully a welcome summer treat.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
The Ant Bully, which was three years in the making, seems fussed over and, occasionally, a little dull.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
The Ant Bully is a sore disappointment to anyone hoping for a turnaround to the recent downward quality spiral of animated films. In fact, this movie may represent a new nadir for 3D animation.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The animated version feels anonymously generic and charmlessly mechanical.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
The Ant Bully is never less than colorful and high-energy. But it's hard to shake the feeling that we've all gone up this hill before.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Cute animated movie with a message for kids.
Jane Boursaw - Common Sense Media
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
It's a fun adventure fantasy, and I was never bored...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
While the animation, particularly in the action set pieces, is indeed well done, it's nothing revolutionary nor imaginative that stands out from the rest in this CG-feature-a-week marketplace.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Isn't clever or inventive enough to make up for its repetitive and lackluster storytelling.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
One of those animated features you can enjoy even without a kid by your side.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
- Sydney Morning Herald
It's imaginative and amusing with its engaging characters and nicely crafted animation, even though the ants themselves are visually the least interesting ... Uplifting and bright.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Ten year old Lucas Nickle ( the voice of Zach Tyler Eisen) stomps an anthill after an encounter with neighborhood bullies. With the help of a magic potion, the ants shrink the boy down to their size. The insects are about to get even and Lucas will learn
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
...this visually arresting story of a young geek's friendship with some enterprising ants isn't as compelling in the script department.
Todd Jorgenson - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
The film acknowledges that faith is an important part of our social fabric, and if the film has any moral lessons to pass on, it implicitly roots them in a spiritual foundation.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
The new computer-animated movie, "The Ant Bully," knows a few things about bullies, most of which we already know--all of which bear repeating.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Even without too much sentimentality, and without any musical numbers, this is a fun-filled animated masterpiece that should only be seen in 3-D and on a 70-foot screen.
Michael Szymanski - Sci-Fi Weekly
- Baltimore Sun
It's not that Bully bugged me. It just never managed to fly.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Just another bug movie.
Neil Smith - BBC
As kiddie entertainment it works well, with simple humour and lots of action. But there's not a lot to appeal to any accompanying adults.
Olly Richards - Empire Magazine
It all seems very workaday.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Enjoyable, brightly animated adventure with strong characters, superb gags and a script that isn't afraid to throw in a spot of political subtext.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Besides keeping us entertained and occasionally thrilled, there's a nice sense that the film is actually saying something.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Kiddie-friendly toilet humour, a whiff of suspense and familiar voice actors make it passably entertaining, but there's little warmth or emotional satisfaction to be had from its cynical characters.
Anna Smith - Time Out
It does have a spunky pace and the clever humor Davis' team brought to the Jimmy Neutron movie and TV series.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Ant Bully, though short and well voiced, is nowhere near as important or influential as it tries to make itself seem and it feels more unnecessary than anything else.
Michael Ferraro - Film Threat
Crawling with marvelous microcosmic animation ... A family cartoon for anyone who ever smashed an ant-pile as a kid and lived to regret it.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
The only thing it inspired in me was a sudden urge to spray the screen with Raid.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Families should swarm to "The Ant Bully.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Since it's hot out, and worth a matinee, take the kiddies.
Eric Lurio - Entertainment Insiders
It's not a lot more than the movie that came out between last week's Monster House and next week's Barnyard.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
What wants to be fast paced and exciting ends up a chaotic, screechy thing.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
It's like Marx's "Communist Manifesto," only funnier.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
There's quite a bit of inventiveness here, which I found myself getting caught up in, even though it was a foregone conclusion where the film was heading.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
...too many similarities to previous animations like Antz and the recent Over the Hedge often give The Ant Bully the feel of an also-ran.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Kids have always had a love-hate relationship with ants...and The Ant Bully ingeniously explores this childhood inconsistency.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Dave White - Movies.com
... good family fun.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
This is an exceptional family film --- it's well written, gorgeously animated and funny.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The Ant Bully is too flawed to be a true classic, or even the best of this busy year. But when it stops talking and starts moving, it reaches breathtaking heights that almost make up for its lows.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
If the Ant Bully story is generic, it is never plodding. It zips along quite nicely, aided by the especially well-constructed action sequences.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
The brilliance of The Ant Bully is in the crafty way it delves into the minds of ants as they plot to save themselves from extermination... Davis creates a marvelously labyrinthine society for them, right below the surface of a bland suburb.
Ruthe Stein - San Francisco Chronicle
The screenplay is blessedly free of mediocre songs and light on flashy pop-culture in-jokes ...
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
The film has frequently astonishing sequences that make it hard to look away from the screen, lest you miss something special.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
... it's hard to dislike a movie that teaches useful lessons about team play.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Even as the story drags a bit, it balances enough gross gags for the kids (poop jokes!) with verbal trickery for the adults, -- so every member of your colony will feel satisfied.
JR Griffin - E! Online
It would be wrong to dismiss The Ant Bully as just another bug movie.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
[T]he movie certainly means well, and its worthwhile message (teamwork is good, selfishness is bad) should penetrate the brains of kids old enough to stay in their seats and pay attention to it.
Christy Lemire - Newsweek
... a visually inventive charmer that nimbly juggles slapstick comedy, action sequences, and coming-of-age 'life lessons' with a refreshing minimum of sap.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
While the picture has the star power of Nicolas Cage and Julia Roberts voicing insects in love, they're not nearly as interesting a couple as Woody Allen and Sharon Stone in Antz.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
Bruce Campbell provides a hint of carefree wiggle room when the rest of the production is controlled to within an inch of its life.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
... The Ant Bully is just a great ride, but all that moralizing diminishes the fun of feeling ant-sized yourself and being immersed in Lucas's incredible adventures.
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
a likable if unspectacular comedy with a message... The voicework by all concerned is terrific.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
The Ant Bully isn't a kid classic, but it's an enjoyable diversion until the next ant movie comes along.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Shorter than Cars, a little funnier, a little uglier, a little better.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Families with youngsters and 'tweens' looking to escape the summer heat should have a fine time.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The movie's overall cleverness makes up for its derivativeness.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
The Ant Bully is the summer's best family movie -- funny, action-packed, sometimes disgusting, sometimes affecting.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
If your kids bully you into seeing this movie, do yourself a favor and check it out in 3D. The movie gets extra points when seen through those glasses.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Bruce Campbell... and Paul Giamatti... are hilarious even when they have only their voices to work with...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It's strong enough to keep younger children from getting (you'll pardon the expression) antsy -- and that alone should keep parents happy.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Here's something I haven't felt from a CG animated film so far this summer: pure delight. Ant Bully supplies this sensation over and over again.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
The ant community resembles an ideal socialist collective as imagined by H. Rider Haggard.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The whole thing is so mean-spirited, cruel and crude that all the funny jokes in the world couldn't make up for it.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Like the insect world it depicts, The Ant Bully, based on John Nickle's book, is neatly structured and cohesive, but a little small-scale.
Bridget Byrne - Boxoffice Magazine
You'll likely step a little more carefully around an anthill after going on the delightful animated journey The Ant Bully.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
A fun-filled, enormously entertaining fable about family, friendship and fair play
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
In spite of its predictability, it's a nifty story in the abstract, and Davis certainly makes the most of the opportunity to examine the world from an ant's-eye view ...
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Wittily manipulating scale to generate the requisite fright factor, the movie is stuffed with visual delights both lyrical and visceral.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
So well animated, voiced, written, and directed, it defines itself as one of the best animated flicks this summer, rightfully standing beside 'Monster House' and 'Cars.'
Steve Crum - Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
Luc's transformation from ant destructor to ant protector illustrates a lesson told many times before, but rarely with such down-to-earth charm.
Stephen Williams - Newsday
...visually OK, with a number of clever lines...
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
The art direction and animation are superb, but it may be worth the extra bucks to see it in IMAX 3-D.
M. K. Terrell - Christian Science Monitor
a movie where the writer and director had some neat ideas for three or four scenes, then tried to force a story to evolve around them.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Plenty of the script's stabs at humor bugged me, but The Ant Bully is at its best when showing how insignificant insect problems look to the human world above.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
It may be too intense at times for wee ones, but kids of 5 and up testing the limits of their independence in the big world should relate to Lucas, dig the crazy insect world and embrace the imagination behind the colorful adventure.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
If you see [it] in IMAX-3D, the sheer visual extravagance may make up for its storytelling defects and acute lack of charm. Otherwise, you'll reach for the insecticide.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Pleasant, but not dynamic, it's old-fashioned feel and narrative deficiencies bound to leave most audiences cold.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
A computer-animated gem as ingenious as a children's book you don't mind reading aloud again and again.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Ant Bully won't battle your Pixar collection for DVD shelf space for that matter, neither will Pixar's latest, Cars -- but nor will it have you staring at your watch.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
This Aesop-like fable is brought to life with cheery good humor -- and some potty jokes -- both of which will be a hit with school-age kids. And there are some nice lessons about teamwork and empathy to keep the adults happy.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
If we have to use insects to teach the value of cooperation, how about switching to bees for a change?
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
It all adds up to a peculiar whole; fun I suppose, but not what you'd call a picnic.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
The Ant Bully has enough poop jokes and dopey inspirational moments to win over young children for a while, but it does nothing to set itself apart.
David Cornelius - eFilmCritic.com
The Ant Bully is the first of the summer's many animated features that doesn't somehow feel familiar.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Ant Bully goes solidly about its own little task of telling a cheery, swift tale that is aimed directly at children.
Laura Kelly - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Has an ace in its anthill...political allegory that separates this one from the pack.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
With Monster House already being presented in 3-D at theaters worldwide, there isn't a single reason to recommend The Ant Bully.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Achieves many surprising pleasures during its run, with its splendid animation bursting with a crispness of imagery that puts most of the stylings this year to shame.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
You'll be wishing that you and your kids had something better to watch. Well, you do. It's called Monster House, and it's probably just one screen over.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
first-rate animation, dizzying action sequences, and masses of imagination, but no real heart
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
This uneven high-concept animation begs for ideological comparison with the superior Antz, also set in ants colony. If in 1998 Woody Allen fought for freedom and non-conformity, this hero gets civic lessons about togetherness and collective welfare.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The Ant Bully exhibits little of the humanity that characterized Pixar's 1998 arthropod adventure A Bug's Life.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine