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Other Lovable Bugs

Over the years I've seen various kinds of bugs in movies and TV show episodes who have reminded me of Mr. Wogglebug, and often in a good way of how I see him. This is because these are family films and animated TV Shows that I've seen. This is further evidence that insects in childrens entertainment can achieve success in being such, if just given the proper treatment from the filmmakers. Especially as I've noticed a lot of these other lovable bugs in childrens entertainment have a great deal of the qualities I see in Mr. Wogglebug. They are often either very smart and clever, very happy and optimistic, very talented with music or dancing. Sometimes naive and humorously so, and often very sensitive and tenderhearted. All of these are the qualities Mr. Wogglebug has in my visions of him. The first most lovable bug that reminds me the most of the Wogglebug is probably the unnamed beetle from the movie The Ant Bully. It was a movie about a very smart but meek little boy who was shrunk down to ant size so as to learn about the ants ways of life and how and why they protect themselves. He thus learned how to be a hero and protect those weaker than him with his cleverness and when he returned to his normal size he could stand up to his peers easily. The beetle who was only in a few scenes in the film and the trailer was voiced by Rob Paulson. He was a charming and happy fellow with big and bright eyes. In the trailer he was so anxious to be in the film even if he wasn't an ant. So in the film he appeared as a sort of symbolic character for the hero. His optimism and eagerness to do what was right and be a light in the darkness (symbolized in the scenes he rescued a trapped firefly and then later used it to guide his way to have a heroic moment of his own towards the end) provided good examples for how the hero could live up to being just such for the right reasons.

Among other insects who've won admiration in the hearts of viewers and readers of the world are these three noteworthy spiders. Ginger, the tap-dancing spider from the cartoon series of Beetlejuice. She was almost always seen tap dancing when she appeared in an episode if even briefly. She had a big smile and a high and squeaky voice (with a bit of a Brooklyn accent). Her dances were like her living essence, and she would always be devastated and heartbroken whenever she heard anyone didn't like them.

There's also Charlotte from the book and movie, Charlotte's Web. She was the most clever spinner of webs with words written in them. Which is something brilliant and unique for common spiders, and she wove her words in her webs to save the life of a pig named Wilbur who was her only friend and she was to him on the farm he was on also. She could sing in a happy or solemn way, she knew some big and fancy words, and she knew a lot about life she would express to Wilbur to make him feel better.

Another very smart and clever spider is Anansi from the African folk tales. Only he put his cleverness to be skillful in how did things instead of being a skillful writer and weaver. While in some versions of his stories he looks like a typical spider with African markings, there are other versions in which he looks much more like a man who has a spiderlike physique. Sort of a "Spiderman." Which is the name of superhero of today who has his genes mixed with a spiders to be such a hero in physicality and cleverness.

Another kind of insect who has been winning hearts of children all over the world again and again in different forms is a cricket. Especially Jiminy Cricket from Disney's classic Pinocchio. Jiminy has immortalized the long outdated phrase "Jiminy Crickets!" and has often provided a good example for Pinocchio and other children about what an official mentor of teaching right and wrong actually is. These come in all sizes of course. Jiminy did excellently at this even if he wasn't quite perfect himself. He is beloved for how is gentlemanly, happy-go-lucky, and very intelligent and generous in such ways. And of course for his ability to sing his film's theme song, "When you Wish Upon a Star." Which is why he has gone beyond Pinocchio in the Disney Kingdom.

In the 1996 movie version of The Adventures of Pinocchio, the cricket who became Pinocchio's mentor and guide on his adventures actually didn't show up until the middle of the film. He looked more "realistically" like a cricket than Jiminy. Though he like Jiminy narrated the story from the beginning, but he had a slight Brooklyn accent. He was also very wise right from the start in how he stated "When the heart is full and the heavens are listening, wonderful things happen." When he is finally revealed to be what he is and meets with Pinocchio he introduces himself with a name made from the first letters of four words in a sentence which spell "Pepe." Then when Pinocchio looks confused Pepe says, "You don't like the name?" and warns, "I'm very sensitive." Pinocchio assures him the name is fine by him.

There is also the titular character of the animated short film Cricket on the Hearth. He is basically Jiminy Cricket with a British accent. He tells the story of the film in narration from the start. He finds a kind man who lets him live in his house on the hearth. The man is a toymaker who has a grown daughter who says goodbye to her fiance when he goes away to war. The cricket watches their goodbyes and tears up very quickly saying that crickets like him just can't help but like this about these things. Then later the girl receives word her fiance has been lost at sea and is so upset she goes blind. Then after things seem to go slowly downhill from there but then slowly start looking up thanks to the cricket's interverence. Then he finds out the fiance was alive and had come to them in disguise and has been too ashamed to reveal himself to the girl because of what has happened to her. The cricket replies, "She needs you more than she needs six new eyes!"

Other excellent examples of lovable and heroic insects from movies who helped the humans to become the heros they were destined to become, were of course all of the bugs in James band of friends in the classic book by Roald Dahl and film by Tim Burton, James and the Giant Peach, about an orphan boy from London facing his fears and moving on from his past to get to New York city to fulfill his dreams. Each of the bugs serve a purpose in helping him to do these things. The movie did well at giving each of the bugs a distinct look and personality to go with them. Especially the cricket, centipede, and spider. As much as the transition between live-action and claymation to emphasize the magic of what made the peach grow and the bugs become humanized.

There's also the character of the Humbug from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. The author was obviously a big fan of the Wogglebug from The Land of Oz and the things he represented. As not only is the character of the Humbug obviously a second or third cousin to the Wogglebug (similar to how the Scarecrow in The Wanderings of Mumfie, and the one in The Scarecrow and his Servant are to the one in The Wizard of Oz), but the entire story is about having fun with words and visual puns. Such as another comrade for the boy hero Milo is a "Watchdog" who is a dog with a large clock in his body. Their journey is to go over The Mountains of Ignorance and find the twin princesses, Rhyme and Reason.

Then there's Francoure, from the recent animated movie, A Monster in Paris. He started out as a tiny flea and through a science experiment gone awry he grew to eight feet tall. He escaped the lab and at first was presumed to be a dangerous monster insect, but through the discovery of a bright and beautiful young woman he was revealed to be of a gentle and friendly nature who had exceptional musical talent also. Interesting to note this film has certain coincidences with both of my first two Wogglebug movies. But not in the same ways at all of course. I didn't see the film until after I thought of the plots for my films.

A few other insects in animated films and TV shows worth mentioning are Insectosaurus and Dr. Cockroach from the Dreamworks film, Monsters vs. Aliens. The former was gigantic fuzzy bug who never spoke (except in soft roars) but obviously was conscious of thing happening by the end, and he started out as being a tiny bug and grew so huge from a radiation science experiment gone awry. The latter character of Dr. Cockroach was an actual scientist who ended up accidentally having his genes mixed with a cockroach in a botched science experiment of his. He maintained his humanity though, and was the closest friend to Susan among the rest of the Monsters. Dr. Cockroach was obviously a spoof on the monster in the movie of The Fly, that came out in the 1960s. Which was a movie in which the same thing happens to a scientist, except he ends up with the head of a fly and not a cockroach and he lost his ability to speak. This movie was remade in 1988 with more up to date Science Fiction involved. Then the cartoon series of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that was airing its second season around then parodied it by having the character of Baxter Stockman have his genes cross-mutated with a fly when they both were about to be vaporized by Krang and Shredder. Baxter Stockman was depicted as a villain. Though he was a very sympathetic villain who was obviously suffering the whole time. First as a human when he was being bossed around by the evil Shredder who he joined because he thought he had nowhere else to go to. Then when he was half man and half fly and had only revenge on his mind to the point of insanity as the series progressed. He actually was in one episode per season after season 2 up until season 7 and then he was just never seen again. This show did this with a lot of other characters. Still it was always obvious to me that the Turtles needed to show Baxter Stockman who the real good guys and friends of his were and save him from Shredder and turn him back into a human as he wanted to be so that they would have an all the better chance at defeating the Shredder by gaining Baxter Stockman as their ally through their compassion for what he had suffered through.

It's worth mentioning about a lovable and heroic little fly named Zipper who was from the cartoon series of Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers. He was a hero known for his speed as a fly. He was always bright-eyed and smiling and dedicated friend and loyal companion to all of the other rangers who were mice or chipmunks. The reason Zipper was always so happy and eager to do what was right was because he was always cared about and made to feel he was needed on the force for all that he was worth. These are the elements that keep insects happy and wanting to be respectful to humans also. Because I've no doubt that if Zipper had been in the same situation as the fly that accidentally ended up being mixed in Baxter Stockman's genes when the both of them were thinking they were at the point of death by vaporization, the terrible results would have been much the same.

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