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Review: National Geographic‘s “A Real Bug’s Life”

In November, ‘A Bug’s Life,’ the film that followed Pixar’s debut with ‘Toy Story,’ will reach its 25th anniversary. It also happens to be my favorite Pixar film.

My interest was immediately piqued upon learning that National Geographic was releasing ‘A Real Bug’s Life.’

This nature documentary, inspired by Disney and Pixar’s ‘A Bug’s Life,’ is a concept that I find exceptionally intriguing, and I can attest to its excellence.

The series takes us on a journey through nine distinct micro bug worlds around the globe. It explores the lives of tiny creatures, such as dung beetles in Africa’s Serengeti and jumping spiders in New York City, aiming to showcase the power and resourcefulness of these small animals. These creatures play vital roles in ecosystems, engaging in activities like pollination, pest control, and serving as food sources for other animals.

This five-part series is narrated by Awkwafina, and it’s a match made in heaven. Her delivery of bug facts, infused with humor and wit, meets and perhaps even exceeds expectations. With her unique style, she elevates what would already be a great nature documentary into an outstanding one. Awkwafina’s engaging narration adds a delightful layer to the educational content, making the series not only informative but also incredibly entertaining.

Now to my favorite part of the documentary: the cinematography. It’s not uncommon for nature documentaries to feature stunning visuals, and ‘A Real Bug’s Life’ certainly lives up to this expectation. Some shots are so brilliantly executed that you might wonder if they’re real — and indeed, they are.

For instance, the documentary offers a bug’s eye view of the world, providing a unique perspective, and captures a scene of two spiders fighting on the side of an apartment building, filmed at a striking 90-degree angle.

The combination of humor, stunning cinematography, and a uniquely fun concept makes ‘A Real Bug’s Life’ an effortlessly enjoyable watch.

You can view the trailer below:

National Geographic’s upcoming Disney+ Original series “A Real Bug’s Life” will premiere with all five episodes on January 24, 2024.

Tom Hedley
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