2. A Bug’s Life
Its Influence: Seven Samurai (1954)
Initially, the substratum for A Bug’s Life premise came from an ancient fable titled The Ant and the Grasshopper. The movie, however, becomes something else entirely. At the heart of A Bug’s Life is a western, and at the heart of the western is Akira Kurosawa, a longtime practitioner and innovator of the samurai film, Japan’s answer to cowboy films. A Bug’s Life shares strikingly similar beats to Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954): the ants are the villagers, Flik is the recruiter, the “warriors” (actually circus performers) are the samurai and the grasshoppers are the bandits. In the tradition of Kurosawa, A Bug’s Life is a western comedy of errors.