The Ant Bully

The Ant Bully is a 2006 computer-animated film Based on the 1999 children's book and produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone, John Davis and Keith Alcorn's DNA Productions and directed by the aforementioned Davis. Released in movie theatres on July 28, 2006 by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment and Legendary Pictures.

The story is about a lonely 10-year-old boy named Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler Eisen) who has just moved to a new neighborhood. His parents, who fail to understand his problems, go on a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, leaving him with his older sister and his Grandmother (Mommo), who obsesses over aliens and UFOs. Tormented by a local bully and his gang, Lucas in turn attacks an anthill, flooding it with a squirt gun. This terrifies the ants, who call him Peanut the Destroyer (Peanut being his mother's nick name for him). One ant, an eccentric wizard named Zoc (Nicolas Cage), tries to fight back. His girlfriend, a nurse ant named Hova (Julia Roberts), believes in finding a more peaceful solution by attempting to communicate with Lucas. She is almost crushed by Lucas while trying to do so but is rescued by Zoc. After a devastating attack floods the hatching chambers, the leaders of the colony decide to use a potion (which Zoc made from some magical gemstones) to shrink Lucas down to size of an ant.

Meanwhile, the local exterminator, Stan Beals (Paul Giamatti), convinces Lucas to sign a contract to kill the local vermin. Late that night, Zoc and a small troop of ants sneak into Lucas's house and pour the potion into his ear. Lucas wakes up and discovers that he is now as tiny as an ant (since his underwear didn't shrink with him, he is also naked). The boy is then carried to the anthill and cast down into a world of giant caves, caterpillars, and ants. Zoc insists that Lucas should be killed, but he is overruled by the imposing, awe-inspiring Queen ant (Meryl Streep). In her wise reasoning, she sentences Lucas to hard labor until he can be considered an ant, for she believes that the colony could be improved this way. Hova volunteers to train Lucas, much to Zoc's mortification. Hova develops a delicate friendship with Lucas when they both learn more about the differences between ants and humans. But when she forces him to undertake a mission foraging for coveted sweet-rocks (known to humans as jelly beans) under the supervision of a tough female ant named Kreela (Regina King) and a macho scout leader named Fugax (Bruce Campbell) Lucas is ultimately unsuccessful. Suddenly, the ants tending the caterpillar herds are attacked by wasps. Lucas tries to save himself at first; when he finds a discarded firecracker, he uses it to scare away the wasps. This earns him the admiration and respect of all the ants – with the exception of Zoc, who believes him to be still an incorrigible Destroyer who only cares about himself.

Lucas is then invited to eat with the ants; he is introduced to honeydew, a preparation made from the feces of caterpillars. This disgusts Lucas, who is soothed by Hova and a delicious alka-root in a water drop. Lucas is later shown a painting which depicts the Great Ant Mother and the evil “Cloud-Breather”, whom Lucas recognizes as an exterminator. Lucas is told of the prophecy that the Great Ant Mother will return one day to them and will shower the ants with honeydew, while the Cloud-breather, all insects' mortal enemy, will spell destruction for all of them. He and his new friends go back to his house, where he tries to call the exterminator to cancel the contract but dials a pizza restaurant instead. Then Lucas' sister comes home and they are forced into hiding until dark. When Zoc finds out about the contract, he accuses Lucas of further treachery and tells him that he should find another wizard because there is no way that he will give Lucas the potion to turn him back again. Lucas runs away, frightened, and Hova becomes angry with Zoc. But when Lucas is swallowed by a frog, a repentant Zoc uses alka-root to free him. Afterwards, while the others sleep, Zoc and Lucas discuss the differences between ant society and human society. Lucas keeps yawning and Zoc is disgusted by it, at first thinking he was ill. Zoc states that in essence humans work for personal gain whereas ants work for the benefit of the colony. Here, he starts acting a like a father-figure for Lucas while he is an ant.
That morning, Fulgax wakes everyone up screaming, 'Praise The Mother!' seeing a large pink ant with white wings and a crown over her head. Upon further inspection, Lucas realizes that the 'Ant Mother' is actually a giant balloon that Beal's Pest Control uses as a symbol. While the colony is cheering, Zoc uses his magic to teleport them to the center of the crowd. 'That is not the Ant Mother! It is a Cloud-Breather!' Zoc yells.

Lucas reveals everything to the other ants; although initially angry at him, they are placated by his plan of defense. He enlists the aid of their natural enemies, the wasps. During the battle with the exterminator, Lucas saves the lives of Hova and an injured wasp. Finally, with the help of a beetle and glowworm also rescued from the frog earlier, and the leader of the wasps, he injects Stan Beals with a potion that reduces him to infantile size. The queen then pronounces Lucas an ant. She names him Rokai, as such to be forever known by the entire colony. Zoc gives him the antidote to the shrinking potion. Once full-size, Lucas stands up to the bully and inspires other kids to do so, including members of the bully’s own gang. The bully runs away and Lucas and the other kids become friends. Lucas then showers the colony with jelly beans as a farewell gift.

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