Antz or Bugs it's all the Same
"Antz" is by no means a terrible animation but neither is it an especially good one, in the world of animation it is distinctly average. And that is a major problem as whilst it's entertaining to watch you it's also rather forgettable despite a list of stars lending their voices to the various characters. So whilst watching Z woo the Princess and save the day is good fun at the time it doesn't have anything magical to make it stand out from the crowd and stake a claim to being something special.
As one of millions of worker ants Z feels completely insignificant, but when he meets the beautiful Princess Bala he perks up. Convincing his best friend Weaver, a soldier ant, to swap places for the day Z sets out to meet up with the Princess, but unfortunately finds him in the midst of a war started by General Mandible. Returning a hero Z soon discovers that General Mandible has a devious plan a foot to wipe out all the worker ants and create a new super race of ants, leaving him and his new friend Princess Bala to try and put a stop to it.
Whilst the idea of watching an animation about Ants, that's not Antz, is quite clever the storyline itself isn't. We meet neurotic Z and basically watch him moan about his life, suddenly find something interesting when he meets the Princess and through a series of circumstances goes on an adventure before saving the day. As such there is no hiding from the fact that the storyline to "Antz" is as plain and ordinary as they come.
What is strange for an animation aimed at younger audiences is the level of humour seems more of a level which older audiences will find amusing. I don't mean that it is risque but having Woody Allen voicing the neurotic Z is not going to be as amusing for younger audiences as is for older ones. And that is just one of the many jokes, the in gags which work at a higher level which means for adults "Antz" is more amusing than those animations solely focused on younger audiences. Although it's not all adult orientated as there is plenty of cute, visual jokes which will please younger eyes.
But none of it is memorable, not a single scene really captures your imagination, engraining itself in your mind for posterity. I find myself sitting here trying to remember a line of dialogue or a clever bit of animation which really made me pay attention and sadly there was none. What this means is that "Antz" is a very ordinary animation, one which seems to have been made because of the popularity in digital animation rather than because someone had a good idea for a movie.
Strangely for a movie which has one impressive list of stars voicing the various characters few really stick in your mind. Most notably Woody Allen as Z is sort of memorable but mainly for the humorous neurosis he installs into the character and Sylvester Stallone is quite funny as the voice of Weaver. But beyond that the likes of Gene Hackman, Christopher Walkern, Sharon Stone, Anne Bancroft and Dan Aykroyd all pass pretty much unnoticed which in the case of Sharon Stone who voices Princess Bala is quite surprising.
What this all boils down to is that "Antz" is very much an average animation. It's sort of entertaining whilst watching it with many of the jokes working more at an adult level but once watched it is also instantly forgotten. But it is harmless fun and whilst many of the gags will fly over younger audiences heads "Antz" will still amuse them.