Back in 1995 Animation company Pixar via Walt Disney studio released an entirely Computer animated movie called Toy Story (Oh you've heard of it!) the movie was the first of its kind and wowed audiences (including the six year old me!) of course Computer graphics had been featured in animated movies since the late 80's but never before had a full length animated movie been entirely rendered in CGI and there was initially uncertainty as to how audiences would respond to this new way of filmmaking. I don't need to tell you Toy Story was a huge hit and led to the end of traditional hand drawn animation and the rise of Computer generated animated movies! In 1998 Pixar followed up their first feature with A Bug's Life which again proved to be a major box office hit despite competition from rival studio DreamWorks with the similar but inferior Antz, which has been accused of directly ripping off A Bug's Life in order to hurt the movie's financial success! Of course A Bug's Life was champion at the box office and has since become a cherished classic in the Pixar cannon and though both films can be enjoyed in their own rights Pixar's effort has far more charm!
Amongst the companies promoting the movie were McDonald's who put out a set of eight different action toys, as they had for the previous Disney movies Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, producing some very nice, fun little figures to collect with the purchase of a Happy Meal! here we will take a look at the full set:
Flik: The kind hearted inventor with a eye for Princess Atta sets out to seek help in defeating the evil Grasshoppers who have forced his Ant Colony to harvest food for them leaving little for the Ants themselves! He finds help in the form of a group of unemployed circus Bugs who are mistaken for brave warriors only when they return to the colony it soon becomes clear there has been a terrible misunderstanding!
Flik here is a simple pull back toy who once revved up speeds away at some speed! He is depicted astride a leaf with a backpack and sports a very good likeness of the animated character and features glittery paint applications! overall a very nice looking figure!
Princess Atta: Heir to the throne of the Ant Kingdom Atta is nervous about her new responsibilities though she has the loyal inventor Flik supporting her and to prove his worth he promises the Princess he will go to the big city and return with some much needed help!
as with Flic princess Atta has a pull back feature and is again featured riding on a leaf but with added floral decoration! Again this is a nice representation of the on screen character and has a similar glittery paint job and clear plastic wings. Very nice!
Princess Dot: The youngest of the two princesses Dot is curious and free spirited with none of the anxieties of her older sister! She idolises Flik and offers him support when things seemed hopeless!
Dot is a very sweet little figure sat astride some kind of mushroom she bounces along when wound up!
Dim: As his name might suggest Dim here isn't the sharpest tool in the box but when it comes to helping take on the Bag guys his sharp snout and large bulk certainly comes in handy!
The great thing about these figures is that they are pretty much in the right scale with each other so the rhinoceros beetle Dim is rather appropriately one of the largest figures in this set! He is nicely detailed and scutters along when wound up!
Heimlich: voiced by the late Pixar animator and voice artist Joe Ranft, Heimlich is one of the most memorable and funny characters from the movie! The German caterpillar dreams of one day becoming a beautiful butterfly but for now he performs as the clown in P.T flee's circus before being recruited along with his fellow performers to battle some Mean spirited Grasshoppers!
Like the other figures in the set Heimlich is very nicely detailed and resembles the character very closely, he also has a glittery paint job and a wind up feature which when activated sends him slinking along!
Rosie: Very much the mother figure of the group of outcast bugs despite being a black widow spider who has had many husbands (all of who have died!)
Once again this is a nice looking figure particularly for a fast food premium and is one of the largest if not the largest figure in the set! She is a wind up like most of the toys seen here walking along when activated!
Francis is a ladybird who is often mistaken for a female and so has to play up his toughness which is comically represented here in his grumpy facial expression and closed fists as though he is ready for a fight! His action feature is a wind up mechanism that once wound up makes it appear as though Francis is walking along, swaying his head from side to side! Along with a great gimmick this figure also boasts a very good likeness of the on screen character and is one of the best figures in the set!
Hopper: The leader of the mafia-like Grasshopper gang Hopper is feared by the Ants and revered by his fellow Grasshoppers but the only thing that Hopper fears himself are Birds (after an earlier encounter left him blind in one eye!) a fear which the Ants eventually use to their advantage!
Hopper, of all of the bad guy's to feature in a Pixar production, is the most like a classic Disney villain and could have been cut from the same cloth as Hades or scar and it is clear from his menacing expression he is one evil bug! Hopper's action feature is obviously inspired by his namesake you simply wind him up and he hops about! like the majority of these figure Hopper has a glittery paint job and features a fantastic likeness that does his on screen appearance justice!
A Bug's Life was only the second feature produced by animation company Pixar who had previously found major success with the award winning Toy Story and it is truly one of their best efforts to date despite often being overlooked in favour of the likes of Finding Nemo and The Incredibles! Pixar lead the way in computer generated animated films that seem to dominate the box office nowadays and yet A Bug's Life still remains one of the better animated movies to be made in this way and these McDonalds kid's meal toys are really great examples of giveaway premiums that not only perfectly capture the look and feel of the characters and movie they are inspired by but are fun and engaging in their own right!