This morning I went to a special press screening for The Ant Bully, the CGI-animated film about a kid who is shrunk down to ant-size, and learns to respect and protect the ants he’s been terrorizing. It’s a pleasant film, good fun for the family, and has some nice messages. The plot is kinda predictable at times, but it’s still told in an engaging way that was dynamic and fresh. Interestingly, it has some pretty heavy talent involved: Nicholas Cage, Julia Roberts, Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep, Regina King, Lili Tomlin, Cheri Oteri, Larry Miller, Bruce Campbell, and others all lent their vocal skills to the film.
The screening was special in that it was shown in 3D IMAX. I have to say, this film looked GREAT in 3D! Introducing the film was producer Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks!), who was in fine comedic form, entertaining the audience. This was The Money Pit Tom Hanks – not Philadelphia Tom Hanks. Was nice to see him with a sense of humor -it’s been way too long! (Speaking of long – his hair was much more normal than it was in The Da Vinci Code!)
After the film, Hanks moderated a Q&A with director John A. Davis, actors Cheri Oteri, Larry Miller, Regina King, and Zach Tyler. I asked the obligatory question about the music – but since it was being taped for EPK (or DVD) materials, hopefully it will appear elsewhere! After the session ended and people were leaving, I did get to ask Hanks privately about a Motion-Capture vs. Keyframe animation question, which he answered quite nicely. He’s redeemed himself from the Wag the Dog incident of 1998, in my book.
The Ant Bully is definitely worth checking out in 3D. Like The Polar Express, it’s probably only “alright” in 2D theaters, but still entertaining and satisfying.