A Bug's Life: The Bugtastic Guide

When A Bug's Life came out in 1998 I quickly became obsessed with it. It was my number one favourite film for a long time, and is probably a big part of why I love insects today. I related strongly to both the awkward yet creative Flik and the determined tomboy Princess Dot.

Of course, as a kid I pretty much wanted any available A Bug's Life merchandise, and I ended up getting this book, as well as - I think - a Filofax insert of some kind. My favourite about both was the illustration style. I still love the line-work and colours in these illustrations so much (I remember the Filofax insert had some really cute sticker designs in the same style).

I was also a really big fan of this kind of tie-in guidebook format that was really popular at the time. I also had Bart Simpson's Guide To Life, which was along the same lines and similarly enthralling. I guess this format takes a lot of inspiration from magazines and it's exciting to turn the page to find a new and different spread each time.

I've scanned a few of my favourite pages, and I still find the page and layout design in this book really impressive. Dot's Blueberry guide, above, is probably my favourite as I love the soft colour palette, the blueberry background motif, and the in-world concepts of Blueberry badges expanded upon (obviously I pretended I was a Blueberry).

Out of all its contemporaries, A Bug's Life had some excellent tie-in material, and I remember being thrilled to expand the A Bug's Life universe canon in my own imagination, as well as getting to see lots of fascinating making-of stuff. All of that extra information and fun stuff added on top of the film itself made A Bug's Life even more impactful to me back then, and I still love it the most.

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