breaking a sweat

List of A Bug's Life characters

This is a list of the fictional characters that appear in the Disney animated film A Bug's Life.



Flik is a pavement ant with grand ideas on how to improve life, but he's constantly put down by other, more serious ants for his ideas and inventions that do not seem to work. As well as his intentions for helping to improve life for the colony, he also has a crush on the heir to the ant kingdom, Princess Atta. One day, however, Flik makes a mistake that put all of the others in his colony at a risk: one of his inventions backfires, causing the offering of food for the grasshoppers to fall into the water. The grasshoppers, angry at this gesture, demanded double the food that would normally be given by winter. When Flik is made to stand trial for his crime, he puts forth the idea that he could go and get help from other, bigger insects. Although they find his idea ridiculous, the jurors cannot resist the idea of getting rid of Flik, and agree to let him go.

Flik is thus sent off, somehow failing to realise that he has only being sent away to get rid of him- he is not supposed to come back. At that point, Flik happens to find a troupe of recently-fired performing circus bugs which he had believed to be warriors due to their unintentional part in a barfight. The bugs have just been fired by their manager, P.T. Flea, for their incompetance. Flik returns to the colony with the bugs, where everyone is glad to see the bugs, except Atta, who is suspicious. Shortly after, however, Flik discovers that it was all a case of mistaken identity: the "warriors" were all nothing but circus performers. Flik begs them to stay and gets his wish when the circus bugs face a deadly encounter with a bird and save a young ant named Dot, who was the only admirer of Flik's work. Soon, Flik was able to speak with Princess Atta alone, where she apologises for treating him badly, (he kisses her briefly during this meeting, and she is touched- there is implication that she likes him as well deep down). For the time being, the animus between the circus bugs and Flik seems to die down, and soon after, he had formulates a plan to create a working model of a bird bird, which will act as a ruse to ward off the grasshoppers forever. For the next weeks, the entire colony, the circus bugs, and Flik himself were hard at work on the bird- but Flik keeps the fact that the bird was his idea a secret, clearly afraid that if they think it is his idea, the colony will refuse to implement it. The circus bugs take the credit for it.

But one night, as the colony hold a party to celebrate the completion of the bird, the former leader of the circus bugs comes to the anthill, looking for his performers- it turns out that his last attempt to save the show was a huge hit, and he wants them back. It is revealed that Flik had lied and that none of the "warriors" were not what they claimed to be. Atta banishes Flik from the colony, this time for good. As a downhearted Flik goes off with the circus bugs, Dot flies to him, telling him that the grasshopper swarm have come back and that Flik as well as the circus bugs are all needed to go and make some form of defense against the invaders. Flik heads back and with this, they all come up with an elaborate ruse: the circus bugs would act as a decoy to distract the grasshoppersl pretending that Atta had brought them for the grasshopper's entertainment. Flik, Dot and other young ants pilot the bird while this is happening.

The bird ends up crashing, when P.T. Flea sets fire to it, and Hopper discovers the ruse, while soon after deciding to kill Flik. Princess Atta immediately rushes to Flik's defense. Flik, the colony, and the circus bugs fight against Hopper and soon have him trapped and ready to be shot from a cannon in retribution for his wickedness. But soon Hopper is freed, and takes Flik along to kill him for humiliating him. Atta and some of the circus bugs attempted to catch Hopper. Only Atta succeeded in taking Flik to safety, and was told by Flik to stay down, out of sight. Flik had then been caught by Hopper and was about to be killed, or so it seemed, but then a real bird presented itself. Hopper believed it to be a trick and did not run. Flik then hid in the weeds while the bird caught Hopper and fed him to its chicks.

Some time later, Flik was finally more appreciated among the colony (as were his inventions), and was together with Atta, who had now become the queen. In the film bloopers during the film credits, Flik impersonates Buzz Lightyear by quoting his catchphrase, "To Infnity and Beyond".

Princess Atta

Worrisome heir to the throne of Ant Island, Atta has a long way to go to claim the throne. Easily frightened, strict and mostly a nervous wreck, Atta is trained by her laidback mother to be a good leader. Hopper doesn't see any potential in her. Atta is a kind person and cares deeply for her fellow ants, although she finds worker ant Flik annoying, due to his absent minded personality. Atta fools Flik into going away to find bigger bugs to protect the island, but Flik actually succeeds in completing the mission. During the construction of the giant fake bird, Atta begins to develop feelings for Flik. However, when P.T. Flea shows up and blurts out the truth about the bugs, Atta regrettably banishes Flik from the island. Atta later leads the ants in the rebellion against the grasshoppers, and helps rescue Flik from Hopper. By the end of the film, Atta is in a relationship with Flik and becomes Queen.

In the film bloopers during the film credits, Princess Atta takes fifteen takes with Hopper, laughing at Hopper all the way through, even going as far to call him stupid just to break down in fits of laughter. There is also a blooper where Atta's antennae gets hopelessly entangled with Flik's.


The young princess of the island, Dot is a sensible, confident and mature girl despite her age. But she still maintains the personality traits of a young girl. She wishes to fly, but her wings haven't fully developed. She eventually learns how to fly while being chased by Thumper. Dot befriends Flik and likes his inventions. She is Flik's biggest supporter during his quest to find help to fight Hopper and is overjoyed when he returns with help. Dot and Francis end up trapped during an attack from a bird, but are saved by Flik and the circus bugs. Dot and her fellow Blueberries make Francis their honorary "Den Mother" and develop a bond with him. When Hopper invades the colony, Dot flies to Flik and convinces him to help by handing him a rock, asking him to pretend it is a seed (something he told her earlier). Dot helps chase out Hopper's gang. In the end, she gains Atta's tiara when her sister becomes Queen. In the film bloopers, Dot forgets her "It's a rock" line much to the annoyance of the film crew.

The Queen

The aged queen of Ant Island and mother of Atta and Dot. The Queen may be old, but she is laidback and has a positive attitude most of the time. With a whistleblow, she is able to direct orders to her panicking colony during the arrival of the Grasshoppers. The Queen has a pet aphid named Aphie. The Queen is held hostage by Hopper, who intends to kill her to remind the colony who is in charge. Flik and the circus bugs intervene and save the Queen. In the end, she retires from the throne and gives her crown to Atta.


A short ant, Thorny is an intelligent guy who is a member of the Ant Council. Thorny has a deep dislike for Flik's inventions and harshly orders him to get back in line in the opening scene. Thorny is one of those deeply shocked by the revelation that the visiting circus bugs are really not warriors. By the end of the film, Thorny has realised that he has misjudged Flik's invention, and in the final scene, all the ants have one of Flik's grain-harvesting inventions during the harvest.

Dr. Flora

The colony's local medic and pharmacist, and the only female member of the ant council apart from Atta. Intelligent and one to worry for the health of others, Doctor Flora does her best to keep the colony's large numbers fit and healthy. She carries a large flower with her that contains healing water. Flora also appears to help the Blueberries- the young ant nursery, of which Dot is a member. She is seen caring for an ant who collapses with exhaustion while gathering food for the grasshoppers, and she also doctors Francis after his encounter with the bird. In the film bloopers, Flora falls for an ant who turns out to be a cardboard cuttout, and also gets her lines wrong misprouncing Atta's name as Abba.

Mr. Soil

Mr. Soil is a head ant in the colony. He is a thespian- the Queen tells us that he has played lead roles in colony productions. He is also good at rescuing ants from difficult situations. He helps a group of ants circling a fallen leaf, claiming it is nothing compared to a fallen twig in 1993. He leads the celebrations upon the arrival of the circus bugs, demonstrating his ability to play a banjo and leads the play portraying the future battle between the bugs and the grasshoppers.


An elderly, doddering ant with a walking stick. He is seen often with Thorny, agreeing with him continuously and repeating what he says. He dislikes Flik's harvesting ideas like Thorny, claiming the colony has always been harvesting the same way since he was a pupa. Cornelius seems to be in a romantic relationship with the Queen by the end of the film.

The Blueberry Troop

The Blueberry Troop is a group of young ants who are somewhat similar to a scouting group. Dot is a member of the group. There are about six to eight members, including her. Francis becomes the group's honorary "Den Mother" due to helping save Dot and they even change their bandanas to match Francis' pattern. They help Flik pilot the fake bird to frighten away Hopper.

The Colony

The ant colony is made up of at least three hundred ants. While most of the colony is blue in colour, the royal family is purple, likely due to inheriting the skin colour. The Queen, Princess Atta and Princess Dot are the most important people in the colony. Princess Atta forms the Royal Council with Mr. Soil, Thorny, Dr. Flora and Cornelius, although the Queen is also present at the meetings. The Blueberries are a kindergarten-like club for the young ants including Dot. Other notable members in the colony are Flik, an inventine but disliked worker ant, two unidentified ant boys who often poke fun at Dot, and the Queen's servants who use large leaves to shade her and Atta. There is also a light blue female ant who seems to work with Dr. Flora.

The Colony is built on Ant Island, a relatively small patch of land (but huge in the eyes of the ants) on the side of a river which is dried out. A large tree stands on top of the island, the ant hill built underneath it in a hollow chamber. The Offering Stone, a column of rocks with a leaf on top, is used to give food to the bullying grasshoppers who visit every two seasons. Across the riverbed is "The City", where bigger bugs live. The City is actually under a trailer. Birds live on the other side of the river, the ants fearing them.

The Colony is at the mercy of the grasshoppers, led by Hopper. The colony prepares food for the grasshoppers who in return, "protect" the colony from harm. Flik goes out to find bigger bugs to help the colony defend themselves against Hopper. He returns with a group of circus bugs who are mistook for warriors. The circus bugs go along with it after saving Dot from a bird. The Colony constructs a fake bird for battle, but the circus bugs are found out and are banished from the island along with Flik. The Colony are invaded by the grasshoppers. Dot, the only escapee, finds Flik and brings him back with the circus bugs. The grasshoppers are briefly fooled by the fake bird, but Hopper catches on and brutally has Flik beaten. Flik comments on the truth behind Hopper's need for the Colony, prompting the entire Colony to chase the grasshoppers away and live their own lives.



Leader of the Grasshoppers, Hopper is a cruel and bullying tyrant who can make even the toughest of bugs cower. Living with his gang of idiotic grasshoppers, including his moronic brother, Molt, Hopper likes to bully other insects into becoming his servants. He has done this to the Ant Colony on Ant Island, making them give the grasshoppers food every two seasons. The ants eventually turn on Hopper and his grasshoppers, using a fake bird to scare them off. Hopper likes to get away from it all- he is seen enjoying a relaxing massage in the scene set on the grasshoppers' island. Despite his meanness, Hopper has a sense of humour, and enjoys the circus on ant island. However, the bird is set on fire and Hopper angrily has Flik beaten as punishment. Flik and Princess Atta both monologue about how great the ants truly are, causing the other ants in the colony to rebel against Hopper. As Hopper is going to be shot out of the circus cannon, but it begins to rain. Hopper kidnaps Flik, but he is saved by Atta and the circus bugs. Hopper confronts Flik and tries to strangle him, only to be plucked up by a real bird and fed to its chicks.


Molt is Hopper's younger brother. Fat, a little dumb, gullible, laidback, but forever honest, Molt got his name due to the fact his skin molts off in flakes. Molt often tries to be scary, but he isn't taken seriously. Hopper is irritated by his brother's incompetence, and only puts up with him because he promised his mother on her deathbed that he wouldn't kill him (something which Molt appreciates). It seems that Molt is a good guy deep down, and he survives the rebellion against the ants and joins P.T. Flea's circus as a strongman. Molt is convinced by Axel and Loco that he should be vice president of the colony, being Hopper's brother. He often talks to much and when a person- usually Hopper- threatens him to be quiet he says "Shutting up."


One of the grasshoppers in the gang, Axel believes it is pointless to return to Ant Island and convinces Molt to give this idea to Hopper as his own, believing that he will get beaten for such an idea. Molt actually tells Hopper that Axel told him the idea, so Hopper extracts payback by burying Axel and his friends in a large pile of nuts, presumably killing them.


Loco is another grasshopper in the gang. Like Axel, he believes it is pointless to return to Ant Island and convinces Molt to give the idea to Hopper as his own. But things go wrong when Molt tells Hopper it was Loco and Axel that gave him the idea. As payback, Hopper buries the two and their friends in a pile of nuts, presumably killing them.


Thumper is Hopper's "pet" so to speak. Feral, vicious and almost doglike, Thumper is somewhat Hopper's bouncer, brutally beating any bug who stands up or disobeys Hopper. Thumper threatens Dot, prompting Flik to defend her. Many months later, Flik stands up to Hopper again and is punished by being brutally beaten by Thumper. Flik survives the ordeal and continues his stand off, prompting the rest of the ant colony to chase off the grasshoppers. Thumper tries to scare Dot but she smacks him and tells him to go home. He roars at her, but Dim appears behind Dot and roars monstrously, causing Thumper to race off after the other grasshoppers like a whimpering dog.

The Grasshoppers

The grasshoppers gang is made of about thirty members. They are all large and rather brutish, particularly Hopper, who acts as their leader. The gang visits the Ant Island every two seasons for food, and in return they "protect" the ants from bigger bugs. The gang live somewhere in a desert, possibly in Mexico, due to living underneath a sombrero against a cactus. The grasshoppers have mosquitos as servants, a musical band and also use them during darts games. Hopper has his own chamber where he often has a back massage. The grasshoppers invade Ant Island when the ants do not collect enough food, but are scared away by a giant fake bird and later the rebelling colony.

The Circus Bugs


Dim is a large blue rhinoceros beetle. Somewhat dim-witted as his name implies, but with a heart of gold, Dim hardly ever shows his beastly side. It is shown in the circus when he and Rosie do a beast tamer act, but Dim is accidentally hit by Rosie and he breaks down in tears. Like the other circus bugs, Dim is fired and later brought to Ant Island by Flik to help defeat the grasshoppers. Dim gets along well with the colony, particularly the young ants who walk underneath his shell, tickling him and causing him to laugh and stomp the ground. When travelling in flight, Dim carries most of the other bugs who cannot fly. He helps construct the fake bird, and when on the road again with the other bugs, he reminds Flik that he helped them with their lives. Dim is the one who plans to launch Hopper into the sky by jumping onto a circus cannon but this changes when it begins to rain. In the conclusion, some of the kids try to join the circus hidden in Dim's shell, but Rosie spots them.

See also: Dim Effect


Rosie is a black widow spider and sort of a mother figure to Dim. She acts as a beast tamer and also an acrobat in the circus, but is fired like the others. Rosie is a rather positive bug who has had a large number of husbands, seen explaining to an ant how her twelfth husband died, and now how she is a "black widow widow". Rosie ties up P.T. Flea during the saving of Ant Island, and participates in the decoy circus show so Flik and the Blueberries can save the colony.

P.T. Flea

Ringmaster and owner of the Bug Circus, P.T. Flea is a greedy short flea who is bossy and obsessed with money. His show is rather poor, due to the minimal amount of freedom given to the performers. On one particular night, P.T. Flea is suffering from his audience of flies who are either heckling the performances, walking out or asking for their money back. As the last of his audience leaves, P.T. Flea seizes a match and announces the show's finale "Flaming Death" in which Tuck and Roll will be fired towards some flypaper covered in flammable liquid but must be saved by Rosie before a flame lights the paper. However, because of Tuck and Roll's fighting, the act goes wrong and P.T. becomes stuck to the flypaper, but frees himself. However, the flypaper falls and lands on him, bursting into flames. He survives the flames and angrily fires the circus bugs.

However, shortly after he fired the bugs, the flies at the performance said that the fiery stunt was fantastic. This prompts P.T. to head out to locate the fired bugs, finding them on Ant Island where they are pretending to be warriors. Later on, to rescue the ant colony from the bullying grasshoppers, the circus bugs tie up P.T. and lock him in the back of the circus carriages. He is later freed and believes the large fake bird being used to scare the grasshoppers is real, setting on fire. He realises what is going on and helps defeat the grasshoppers. In the spring, he prepares to go on tour with the circus bugs, offering Flik a place in the tour, but the ant declines. P.T. starts getting mushy with the applaud for Flik and the coronation of Atta, and makes a quick escape before he gets too consumed with sadness.


Slim is a clown stick insect in the bug circus. Very intelligent but dramatic, Slim is a good actor but cannot show his talents properly due to his position in the circus as a clown. He complains to P.T. Flea about being only laughed at and always being cast as a prop, as he puts it - "the broom, the pole, the splinter" - although P.T. Flea sees him funny as a walking stick. Slim acts rather dull in the clown performances, due to the unfunny plots. He feels humiliated when he is fired by P.T. Flea, but is immediately excited when Flik offers to help them. Slim has a close relationship with Francis, acting as the foil to the ladybug's temper. Slim participates in the decoy circus act for the grasshoppers, acting as a temporary ringmaster and putting his acting skills to great use, juggling, telling good jokes and doing other such performances. During the panic on the island, Slim pretends to have had his eyes popped out, terrifying Hopper (although in the outtakes in the film's credits, the berries on his eyes sting him). He personally thanks Princess Atta for her kindness when the circus bugs leave Ant Island.


An overweight green caterpillar who acts as a clown. He eats a lot and dislikes performing on an empty stomach. He seems to love eating food and even offers to help an audience member finish eating his candy corn. Heimlich seems to originate from Germany due to his accent. He wishes to become a beautiful butterfly someday to have a better life. He eventually achieves his dream at the end of the movie, spending the Autumn in a cocoon. He hatches free and lands on the ground in his new butterfly form. However, he hasn't changed at all, only turned blue and growing small wings, which he finds beautiful. He's one of Flik's best friends. It takes the efforts of Flik, Francis, Manny and several ants to lift him off the ground and into the air. In Toy Story 2 Heimlich can be seen in the outtakes and if closely seen during the scene where Buzz Lightyear and the other toys are in the bushes, he is on a branch only to get whacked off by Buzz and a tiny scream is heard.

Tuck and Roll

Tuck and Roll are twin pill bugs who act as acrobats and human cannonballs. They speak a garbled language, often believed to be Russian. They are rather oblivious to what is happening around them, particularly when P.T. Flea fires them, both of them continuously saying "You're fired!". They fight at times, usually resulting in disaster. Roll rips off one of Hopper's antennas and he and Tuck using it in their act. They are very acrobatic, doing rather outlandish stunts to try and impress others. They develop a close friendship with Dr. Flora. In the post-credits outtakes, they both have a burping contest, Roll winning it by accidentally farting.


An aged and wise praying mantis, Manny is the circus' magician. He is known as Manton the Magnificent, with his wife, Gypsy, as his assistant. In the circus, he performs a transformation act called "The Chinese Cabinet of Metamorphosis", in which Gypsy flies into a Chinese takeaway box and is supposed to transform into something else. However, this act is mocked by the fly audience, prompting Manny to walk off-stage, leaving Gypsy trapped in the box. Manny is at first aggressive towards Flik when he first meets him, but overtime he grows to like him. Manny uses his metamorphosis act to amaze the grasshoppers, sneaking the Queen out of the process. Possibly as a way to keep him easy to animate and work with, Manny has normal hands instead of the traditional mantis fore-claws.


Gypsy is a gypsy moth and the wife of Manny. She is shown to be patient, carefree, and somewhat aloof, calmly taking problems as they come along and not once ever breaking a sweat over harsh situations. A part of P.T.'s circus, she is a performer in Manny's metamorphosis act, in which she switches places inside a Chinese takeaway box with a hand-picked volunteer from the audience, fooling the audience into believing that the volunteer has transformed into her. She helps save the Queen from Hopper using this same trick. She, in the box, switches places with the Queen while Dim transports the Queen to safety. She also gives the warning signal to Flik, who is attempting to operate a giant mechanical bird in which to scare Hopper, by fluttering and dipping her wings.


Francis takes on the role of "tough guy" among the circus bugs. He is a ladybug with a mean and tough attitude, and is particularly infuriated when someone mistakes him for a woman. This occurs when the Fly Brothers mistake him for a woman and start flirting with him. Francis flies over and begins insulting the flies, annoyed that being a ladybug automatically makes him a female. Francis is a clown in the circus and good friends with Slim and Heimlich, Slim acting as the foil to his anger. Francis actually does have a big heart and cares a lot for others. He wishes deeply to have a great audience and an even greater audience. During the bird encounter, Francis saves Dot from falling to her death, breaking his leg in the process when a rock lands on it. He becomes the Honourary Den Mother of the Blueberry Scouts, becoming good friends with them. He spends a large amount of the film with a cast on his leg but it heals in time.

The Fireflies

The fireflies are background characters who work in P.T. Flea's circus. They act as spotlights for the circus tent and in one case as searchlights. They never speak but are known to communicate with each other, one of them awakening the other just in time for a circus performance to begin. They are not fired with the other circus bugs. When the plan to save the ant colony from the grasshoppers begins, the fireflies become involved, locking a bound P.T. in the back of the circus trucks. The two act as searchlights during the fake bird scare.

The Drum Tarantula

This silent tarantula acts as the musician for the circus, using his many legs to play the makeshift orchestra. He likes playing the drums the most, performing drumrolls at a lot of dramatic moments. He is not fired like the rest of the circus bugs, but participates in rescuing the ant colony, locking a bound P.T. Flea in the circus carriages. He is last seen performing a drum roll when Hopper is to be shot out of the circus cannon.

Other Characters

The Fly Brothers and Thud

The Fly Brothers are bullying thug-like bugs who heckle the entire circus performance. Francis snaps when they call him a woman and he angrily confronts them. They are, however, impressed by P.T. Flea's Flaming Death act, particualrly when it goes wrong and P.T. is set alight. They later reappear in the bar where the fired circus bugs are at, bringing an overlarge fly with them named Thud. Thud only growls and roars, acting like a rather monstrous creature. The Fly Brothers taunt Francis but he, Slim and Heimlich perform a circus act to distract them. The circus bugs then attempt to flee when they realise the performance is not scaring the flies. They upturn the bar and destroy it, however the flies survive. In order to escape an inevitable beating, the circus bugs go with Flik to safety.


Birds are natural enemies of all insects, looking like giants to them. A relatively small, orange bird -- which appears to be of a fictional species of finch -- lives across the river from Ant Island and pursues Flik and the circus bugs in search of food. They manage to escape the bird without being harmed, except Francis who breaks his leg in the process. Upon learning Hopper is immensley afraid of birds, Flik and the circus bugs form a plan to create a fake bird to terrorise the grasshoppers. It does succeed until P.T. Flea sets the fake bird on fire and grounds it. The real bird appears again during Flik and Hopper's final confrontation, the bird plucking Hopper in its beak and feeding him to its chicks.


Aphie is a small green aphid who acts as a pet to the Ant Queen, with the traits of a spoilt dog. Aphid seems to like Flik and his inventions, as do the Queen and Dot. He is shown upset when Flik is banished from the colony. In the outtakes during the film's credits, Aphid urinates on the Queen who notices this and asks for a towel, sending Flik into hysterics.

City Dwellers

The City is a large "metropolis" based on New York City. It is actually situated under the floorboards of a trailer in the middle of a swamp. Various insects live in the city, including the circus bugs. Flik visits the city and meets several insects. Among these are a huge daddy long legs which towers over Flik when he enters the city, an aged homeless cricket whose wings were previously pulled off by a human and he plays an out-of-tune melody on his legs like a violinist, and an annoying insect who acts like a street mime. There is also a large insect seen briefly who is acting like a tour bus, describing such sites in the city as "empty bean can and dead rat".

The can-based bar where Flik meets the circus bugs has a variety of customers. The bar seems to be run by beetles or cockroaches. Flies are a common sight in the bar, eating a meal called the Poopoo Platter right out of a waitress' hand. A slug named Slick seems to be a regular customer due to a waitress addressing him by his name, but he learns that there is salt in his meal. Flik briefly speaks to a drunk mosquito while in search of warriors, but the mosquito ignores him, drinking a drop of blood and he falls unconscious. Two flies live out on the city outskirts, one named Harry is enchanted by the trailer's porchlight and is electrocuted.


Woody, the lead character from the film's predecessor Toy Story, makes a cameo appearance in the outtakes during the film's credits. He appears on screen and snaps a clipboard upside-down, ending the filming of a scene gone wrong.

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