We start off the DreamWorks Animation Canon by taking a look at its first film, the 1998 Antz. At first glance, it seems to have a lot in common with the 1998 Pixar film, A Bug’s Life, so much so that there was a whole big controversy going on at the time between the two companies because Jeffrey Katzenberg had apparently stolen the idea when he left Disney and co-founded DreamWorks Animation. But, in terms of story and tone, the films are quite different.
While A Bug’s Life is more kid-friendly and lighter in tone, Antz is a movie that really earns its PG with language that I won’t even use, lol. The story of Antz has to do with a worker ant known as Z, voiced by Woody Allen. Every ant in the colony has been assigned a specific position since birth and he was chosen to be a worker. But, he has problems fitting in with the societal mentality of the colony and would rather everyone think for themselves and make their own choices.
One day, he happens to meet the Princess Bala, voiced by Sharon Stone, and falls in love with her. Jump forward a bit and he and the Princess end up far away from their colony and in the outside world. It’s completely new to them, but Z is enthusiastic because he’s heard tell of a place called Insectopia out there. It’s supposed to be a sort of “insect paradise” where he wouldn’t have to work again. He’s determined to find this place (if it exists) and the Princess is forced to tag along too.
Along the way, they meet up with a wasp couple, Chip and Muffy, voiced by Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin, respectively. Chip is a bit stuck-up and thinking him more elite than the “lower classed walking” bugs, but Muffy is more of an SJW with the desire to assist any underprivileged bug that comes her way. Fortunately, Chip deeply loves his wife, so he listens to her and does what she says.
Unfortunately though, Muffy is not long after swatted dead!
Now you may be asking, why am I putting a character who dies like 2 minutes after we meet her as the forgotten/minor character of the film? Well, she’s actually kinda important. She is the one responsible for changing Chip’s viewpoint. Chip sees that Muffy has died believing in her principles and he now would continue to live his life the way Muffy would have wanted. There’s a scene later on in the movie where Chip helps Z rescue a kidnapped Princess Bala. Had Chip not helped Z, Z wouldn’t have been able to save Princess Bala in time as he’s not able to fly (the princess was kidnapped by a flying bug). And Chip wouldn’t have helped had it not been for Muffy.
So we dedicate the forgotten/minor character today to Muffy who shows us that if we live by certain principles and ideals, maybe others after us will pick up the reins and follow them as well!