Every spring, the ant colony gathers food for the grasshoppers under Hopper's tyranny. While most ants climb on stalks to harvest grains for the fellow worker ants, Flik did not like doing this since he was using his invention to help harvest grain faster without climbing up the stalk. However, when Flik's invention accidentally causes the food for the grasshoppers to be lost, he decides to find tougher insects to help fight against the grasshoppers so that they can work together with the colony. However, whenever an alert comes, they use a snail shell as horns to sound alarms whenever grasshoppers arrive at Ant Island. Thanks to Flik's plan, the colony no longer collected food for the grasshoppers as they are all banished from Ant Island.
- Main article: Flik
- Main article: Atta
- Main article: The Queen (A Bug's Life)
- Main article: Dot
- Main article: The Blueberries
Dr. Flora serves as Ant Island's doctor as her name suggests. Usually, she arrives towards any ant that is injured or needs medical condition. For instance, for an ant who passed out during the summer while collecting food for the grasshoppers, she helped cure an unconscious ant back to good health.Dr. Flora was voiced by Edie McClurg.
A professional ant, Mr. Soil serves as the head ant of the colony. He helps other colony members what to do whenever an obstacle blocks their path. However, he does not tolerate any ant who does not help the colony properly.Mr. Soil was voiced by the late Roddy McDowall.
The elder of the ants, Cornelius uses a real walking stick and like Thorny, he has a strong dislike for Flik whenever he uses inventions to speed up production faster.Cornelius was voiced by David Ossman.
The grumpy member of Ant Island, Thorny uses an abacus to know how much grain is harvested. However, he doesn't get along with Flik due to his inventions and his clumsiness.Thorny was voiced by the late Alex Rocco.
Role in the film
The ant colony is introduced as a large colony of ants living in Ant Island. Together, they work hard collecting and keeping food for the grasshoppers due to Hopper's tyrannical rule by giving types of foods such as grains and berries by stacking them on a large leaf on top of the offering stone. According to the Queen of Ant Island, she explains that the routine the ants do is the same routine they do every year for the grasshoppers. Whenever the worker ants hear alerts, they always follow as the Queen commands them to put food on the offering stone and also to return to the anthill before the grasshoppers arrive. However, Flik's invention accidentally causes the food from the offering stone to fall down, causing the grasshoppers to lose their food and threaten to force the ants to get more food for them.
When Hopper arrives, he explains to Atta about the life cycle: the sun growing the food for the ants to pick up, the ants collecting them for the grasshoppers, and the grasshoppers eating them, to which Molt interrupts telling them that the life cycle also includes the bird eating the grasshoppers. Hopper gives the colony another chance to prepare more food for the grasshoppers before the rainy season just as he warns them that he cannot guarantee safety and there are other insects that can provide advantages or disadvantages to them. As a result, Hopper forces the ants to double the amount of food for them before they arrive back to Ant Island before the last leaf falls due to Flik's accidental incident with the food he did.
During court, Flik tells the colony to find other bugs that can help fight the grasshoppers to which the Queen never thought of this idea to which according to the colony, they never leave Ant Island due to other predators that eat ants. Atta then accepts Flik's request to leave Ant Island just as he plans to leave the island. When Flik is planning to leave, the colony cheers for his plan to help save Ant Island from the grasshoppers. Flik then leaves the colony using a dandelion seedling to leave Ant Island to find tougher bugs to fight against the grasshoppers.
Back at Ant Island, Flik recruits a troupe of circus insects whom he thinks they are warriors to help protect the colony. Flik introduces the other insects to the ants just as Francis tells Princess Atta that they will promise the fight back the grasshoppers to save the ant colony. Mr. Soil tells the South Tunnel Elementary School students to present a play portray centering on a prophecy of the grasshoppers threatening to take over the colony after the last leaf falls. Atta then announces to the colony for thanking Flik for bringing the Circus Bugs to fight back; however, the troupe is revealed not to be warriors but rather circus performers. Later, the colony notices the Circus Bugs chased by an enormous bird preparing to eat them. However, after the bird retreats after gripping its talons on a thorny branch, the ant colony applauds to the circus troupe for chasing off the bird.
In order to keep the Circus Bugs from leaving, Flik plans on building a fake bird to scare off the grasshoppers just as Atta also announces to build the bird to scare away the grasshoppers to which the colony agrees to do this plan in order to protect the colony even though the ants no longer do this in the present. The colony then decides to build the bird using sticks, nuts, and leaves and then hang it from top of Ant Island's tree with help from the Circus Bugs to which the plan was successful. The ants then celebrate the successful plan of constructing the fake bird while Mr. Soil alerts Thorny to know if there are any grasshoppers arriving back at Ant Island to which Thorny found no sign of the grasshoppers as they plan on fighting back. When Thorny sounds the alarm thinking another threat is coming, Atta sends the ants to prepare for battle. However, it turns out that it is P.T. Flea looking for his circus troupe. When P.T. finds his missing circus performers, the ant colony turns against Flik for a poor strategy, declaring this official and causing Flik to be punished for lying to all the ants about this useless strategy. As a result, Flik is banished from Ant Island for lying to all the ants and for betraying the colony. Just as Flik is banished from Ant Island, the last leaf falls.
Just as the grasshoppers arrive back at Ant Island during winter, their leader Hopper confronts the ants for the insufficient amount of food just as he threatens to kill the Queen and all the ants of Ant Island. Dot manages to escape the ambush after overhearing a grasshopper talking to another one planning to kill the Queen in an attempt to take over the anthill by flying towards P.T. Flea's Circus to warn Flik about this. Dot warns Flik to return to Ant Island because Hopper is planning to kill the Queen and the entire colony, invading the anthill. Flik and the Circus Bugs arrive back at Ant Island with help from Dot where the group notices Hopper abusing the ants. Flik, the Circus Bugs, and the Blueberries work together in a plan to scare the grasshoppers away via fake bird. Just as Flik, Dot, and the Blueberry scouts take off, the ants, the grasshoppers, and the rest of the Circus Bugs scream in horror. After Flik and the small ants leave the fake bird caught on fire, the whole colony and the Circus Bugs then confront Hopper for breaking nature's cycle. Just as Atta plans to banish the grasshoppers for breaking the cycle, the ants fight against the grasshoppers as they bring Hopper to a cannon for him to be banished from Ant Island and never come back again. However, it rains across Ant Island, disrupting the plan.
Fortunately, Hopper is eaten alive by one of the bird's chicks during battle with the rest of the grasshoppers banished from Ant Island once again. The next day, a few ants join P.T.'s troupe alongside a reformed Molt while Flik remains in the ant colony. Atta then thanks the Circus Bugs for helping save the colony from Hopper with Flik being congratulated as a hero while Atta becomes the new queen of Ant Island and Dot becoming the new princess. The ants then bid a farewell to the circus troupe just Thorny tells the harvester ants for a celebration for successfully protecting Ant Island thanks to Flik's victory.
- Mr. Soil was Roddy McDowall's only role in voicing a Pixar character before his death in October 1998, one month prior to the film's release.
- Thorny's voice actor, Alex Rocco, was born on Leap Day.