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Minuscule Adventure, A


Stars: None

Director: Thomas Szabo, Helene Giraud

Though not the film you'd want to see if you hate insects or suffer from formication (the feeling of ants crawling over your skin), the first 25 minutes of this animated/live-action adventure are clever and funny - well up the standards of Pixar shorts, in fact.

A ladybird parent rescues a ladybird child after he's been set on by a swarm of bigger bugs, which, after a fierce chase, are handily dispatched into the clutches of an eager spider. The scene shifts to the local village, where a nighttime column of ants infiltrates one of the local shops with an eye (or several) on stealing sweets.

Just as their leader has succeeded in separating a sweet tin from its shelf, a swarm of red ants appears, and another chase ensues, ending with the black ant leader cornered, and sending out an SOS with his antennae (the equivalent perhaps of the 'Twilight bark' from Disney's 101 Dalmatians).

The call for help is answered by, of all insects, the ladybird parent (and, against orders) his son but, in the ensuing fracas with the red ants, Ladybug Junior falls into a crate destined for Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.

The parent pursues across the Atlantic, but, once in Guadeloupe's beaches and jungles, the film rather loses its way, as Junior dodges death from tarantulas and praying mantises, and it falls upon the local six-legged fauna to lend a hand (or feeler).

All the humans and bigger animals are depicted as live-action, but their roles are boring and often rob the film of its unique feel. Pretty landscapes though, if a little too much of them. The first two reels of this one merit nine out of 10, but the rest, sadly, is no more than a five. There is, however, a nice scene in the credits that will make you laugh.

David Quinlan

France/Guadeloupe/China 2018. UK Distributor: Signature. Colour by Flair.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Sep 2019