Movie Clip Discussions

Bug’s Life, A (replace fear with courage)

Dynamic Image

1998, Walt Disney/Pixar

Main Point: Replace Fear with Courage

Attention Grabber: Movie – A Bug's Life
The movie is about an ant named Flik who must help save his colony from a gang of freeloading grasshoppers in order to get back in good graces with the Queen. He is an independently-thinking ant, whose inventions have been notorious for going terribly wrong. The movie is a great movie with lots of great humor and a wonderfully-written storyline.

Clip: “Around the leaf?”
The clip that we're using today takes place in the very beginning of the movie. Some ants are traveling in a line when a leaf falls down and blocks their path. The ants panic until one ant, clearly a leader in the group, figures out that they can just go around the leaf. Although simple, the clip shows a wonderful contrast between those who panic and those who with courage thrive. The clip is approximately one minute into the film.

Scene Introduction:
Sometimes when crisis hits, we respond in fear or panic instead of in strength and courage. We’ve all heard people say, “Be strong” or “have courage!” That’s a great thought, but how? We’re going to watch a scene from A Bug’s Life, in which the bugs are marching in single file and a leaf falls to the ground in the path that the ants are going in. This creates a disruption and the ants don't know what to do. Fortunately, a leader comes along and comforts the ants that their situation isn’t dire and the solution to their problem is attainable.


    Key Lines:
    FIRST BUG IN LINE: I’m lost!!! Where’s the line?! What do we do?!

    ANOTHER BUG: We’ll be stuck here forever!

    MR. SOIL: Do not panic! Do not panic! We are trained professionals. Now, stay calm. We are going around the leaf.

    FIRST BUG: Around the leaf? I don’t think we can do that.

    MR. SOIL: Oh, nonsense! This is nothing compared to the “Twig of ‘93”. (He begins to guide them around the fallen leaf.) That’s it…that’s it…good! There you go, there you go! Watch my eyes; don’t look away. And here’s the line again!

    FIRST BUG: Thank you! Thank you, Mr. Soil!

    MR. BUG: Good job, everybody!

Stop here at approximately 0:01:37.

Transition Statement:
You know, I love this clip. It's funny and it's frustrating all at the same time. At first, it's really funny…the idea that those ants would be so clueless. But after a couple seconds, there's also a part of you that sees how easy the solution is, and you just feel sorry for those ants who are just clueless. And you know, I'll bet that if some people could see our lives and see how we react to certain situations, they too would laugh… and feel sorry for us. Today we're going to talk about how we react in times of crisis. In our discussion groups, we'll discuss panic and courage in times of crisis.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let's go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we'll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format–a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we get started, let's go around the circle. Tell everyone your name and if you had to be a bug of your choice, what you would choose to be.
  2. ASK SOMEONE: How did the first bug in line react to the crisis?
  3. ASK ONE OR TWO: How did some of the other characters react in the scene?
  4. ASK A FEW: Thinking about the characters and their reactions in that scene, did any of those bugs remind you of the way you react when crisis happens? Why?

  5. ASK A FEW: What effect does your typical reaction to crisis have on the situation?

  6. ASK ONE OR TWO: In the clip, what did some of the other bugs say or do to help? (Some panicked, some stayed calm and put it in perspective, etc.)

  7. ASK A FEW: One of the bugs helped the other bugs overcome their crisis or fear. How can wise counsel help us replace fear with courage?

    • Read Joshua 1:7-9 (NLT):
      “Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. [8] Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. [9] I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

  8. ASK SOMEONE: What are the first words of this passage, that are also repeated later on? (Be strong and courageous!)
  9. ASK ONE OR TWO: In the passage, the Lord mentions a few disciplines we can practice to help us be strong and courageous. What are some of those? (Obey His commands, read His Word, and take comfort that He is always there)

  10. ASK A FEW: How would obeying God’s law help us have courage and strength in crisis?

  11. ASK A FEW: How would reading the Bible help us have courage and strength?

  12. ASK A FEW: How does it help us be strong, knowing that God is with us everywhere we go?

  13. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Would any of these disciplines help you this week? What’s a specific action you will do to bring more courage into your life this week?

You know, looking at those ants getting stuck just because of a leaf falling from the tree is almost hard to watch. The solution is so easy! But for some reason, most of those ants just don't get it! And you know, it's very similar with our life. In difficult times and times of fear or crisis, often the answer to overcoming these times is simple. In order to restore courage and hope in our lives, we just need to obey God, read His Word, and know that He is with us! That's it! Please don't underestimate how powerful this is. With just a couple disciplines, you can easily bring a new sense of courage into your lives that you didn't even know existed. Remember what action you said in your discussion group for this week. Don't forget it. This may be a new start of a courageous life for you.

Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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