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It's Tough to be a Bug!
It's Tough to be a Bug! is a nine minute 3-D (or 4-D, as Disney likes to call it) movie starring the characters from Pixar's A Bug's Life. Of the four Disney 3-D movies at WDW, this is the most intense. In addition to the usual flying items from the screen (in this case, acorns) and water sprays, there are animatronics in the theater itself, and a number of physical effects that add greatly to the experience, but often frighten young children.
It's Tough to be a Bug! is one of the original Animal Kingdom attractions, having opened on April 22, 1998. Interestingly enough, the attraction opened a full seven months before its inspiration, Pixar's A Bug's Life, opened in theaters.
Perhaps because the two films were developed essentially in parallel, Disney was able to get Dave Foley (Flik) and Kevin Spacey (Hopper) to voice the same roles they have in the theatrical film.
It's Tough to be a Bug! is an enjoyable show, and the physical effects surpass anything at WDW since Alien Encounter closed down (don't even mention Stitch). The jokes are as corny as you would expect, the 3-D gags are clever, and the storyline includes a crisis and resolution without getting too preachy. However, the intensity of the bug attack makes this attraction a tough call for parents of younger children. The Hopper audio-animatronic is large and quite complex, and is nearly in the lap of some audience members. The hornet and spider attacks occur in the dark with loud noises. All in all, parents should consider their children's fear of the dark, fear of bugs (especially bees and spiders), and fear of loud noises when deciding if they should ride.
But for those who won't be driven out, this is really a good show, Disney 3-D
magic at it's best.
The queue winds past several Tree of Life animals and movie posters for bug movies. When you are admitted to the theater, you are given your "bug eyes" (3-D glasses) and, as usual, are asked to (say it with us) move all the way across the row before sitting. The narrator's voice admonishes you to avoid buzzing, stinging, pollinating, etc. during the show.
Flik makes his appearance through a hole in the ceiling and introduces the bug kingdom. He starts the show, causing the "curtain" to dissolve into a flock of butterflies who (eventually) clear the way, revealing the stage. Flik then introduces the first three acts, which are:
A Chilean tarantula who fires quills at acorns. Both types of object come right at you. This usually causes the first exodus from the theater.
A soldier termite - a.k.a. the Termite-ator - who sprays the audience with acid.
A stink bug, who aims at a flower, but before she can fire, a pesky mosquito brings the flower out over the audience.
So to this point, you've had things flying at you, you've gotten wet, and you've experienced Disney's magic of smell.
Now comes the part that generates the most screaming and fleeing. Hopper (the head grasshopper and chief villain from A Bug's Life) comes out and berates Flik for making friends with humans. "Friends don't exterminate friends, do they?" He then coordinates an attack on the audience. The theater goes dark, and Hopper calls a squadron of hornets to sting the humans (you'll get a dull prick in the back and probably jump just from the surprise of it). Dozens of black widow spiders descend from the ceiling in just enough light to see their hourglass markings. When this doesn't work, Hopper takes over the battle. Fortunately for us all, before he can finish his monologue, a chameleon snaps him up ... then spits him out ... then chases him away.
This allows Flik to return for the big production number at the end. A cast of honey bees, dung beetles, and dragonflies sing the finale:
After Flik wraps up the show, the narrator asks you all to wait for the "beetles, maggots, and cockroaches" to exit. Wait for it.
This YouTube video appears to be a true capture from the projection system, so you don't get the blurry double images. Enjoy.
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