Saturday, July 29, 2006

So Communists Aren't Bullies?

Stuart K. Hayashi


When I was at the theater, I saw a trailer for a movie called The Ant Bully that I found rather ominous.

At first, I was a bit hopeful for the movie, because the computerized drawings looked remarkably similar to the drawings from the Woody Allen cartoon Antz, which was surprisingly pro-individualist.

But the preview made The Ant Bully look like the opposite. When the little boy becomes ant-sized, the ants teach him the values of collectivism and about putting "Society" above the individual.

Sure enough, the only Hollywood movie reviewer to see through that kind of trite propaganda is James Ward of the Louisville, KT, Courier-Journal. He writes,

Once the boy is downsized to an ant, he learns such valuable lessons as worshipping an ant queen, the importance of becoming an unquestioning member of a team and subverting your needs for the good of the whole. Of course, that good is determined by, you guessed it, the queen.

If you think this sounds like some sort of totalitarian society -- Stalin's Soviet Union, for example -- you'd be right. All that's missing is a bunch of stern secret police ants that drag anyone who doesn't subscribe to the colony's groupthink off to the ant version of Siberia.

Oh, well. It's kind of sad that only one reviewer can see through collectivism. But it's better than none.

I guess we know which movie critic wouldn't be too popular in that aforementioned ant colony.


FOLLOW-UP from Thursday, August 3, 2006: Oh, it looks like Objectivist movie critic Scott Holleran also took the movie to task for its propaganda.

It is for that very reason that most critics love it.

Peter Canavesse and Eric D. Snider praise the movie on account of its hamfisted preachiness.

Fortunately, Justin Chang and Lou Leminick don't.