Welcome back to my Disney+ Battle series where I compare and contrast two Disney or Pixar animated films on five categories to see which one is the better film. Previously, I’ve compared Golden Age Disney films against each other or Pixar films against each other. But, this week, I’m comparing one of the films from Disney’s Wartime Era against the second ever Pixar film. So, let’s see who wins “Saludos Amigos or “A Bug’s Life?”


“Saludos Amigos” is a collection of shorts put together to make a movie. This was common by Disney during World War II and in its immediate aftermath due to financial struggles. The four shorts have different protagonists including Donald Duck, Goofy and Pedro the airplane. All three serve as the lead character of their shorts, but none stands out as a true protagonist of the film. Meanwhile, in “A Bug’s Life,” Flik is an ant who is always trying to make things easier for his colony but keeps messing up. He makes things tougher instead of easier. But, when being sent on a mission as “punishment,” he finds a circus of bugs that arrive to help the ant colony overthrow the terror of the evil grasshoppers. Flik is the clear protagonist of his film, while it’s hard to tell who would be the best protagonist of “Saludos Amigos.” Point to “A Bug’s Life.”

Saludos Amigos 0 | A Bug’s Life 1


The antagonist is there to stand against the protagonist. In “Saludos Amigos,” there isn’t really an antagonist. The point of the film is to appeal to the South American nations to side with the United States during World War II. It’s a propaganda film that’s entirely meant to build up goodwill with the Latin nations. On the other hand, Hopper may be the best villain given to us by Pixar studios. He is one of the most evil villains I’ve seen with his manipulation of the ant colony and keeping them supporting him out of fear. He is the equivalent of a cruel, vicious dictator. That’s pure evil. That’s an excellent antagonist. Point to “A Bug’s Life.”

Saludos Amigos 0 | A Bug’s Life 2


Sometimes, it’s the supporting characters that make the movie. “Saludos Amigos” introduces us to Jose Carioca, one of the best supporting characters in the history of Donald Duck cartoons. While that’s a big one that we’ve seen for years, “A Bug’s Life” introduces us to an entire circus of supporting characters. Francis, Heimlich, Slim, Manny, Gypsy, Tuck, Roll and PT Flea help make this movie as good as it is. Add in Princess Atta, Princess Dot and the rest of the ant colony and it pushes this film to new levels. So, do you go with one supporting character who is iconic or a group of supporting characters who helped elevate the movie. Well, I’m going with quantity here. Point to “A Bug’s Life.”

Saludos Amigos 0 | A Bug’s Life 3


Neither of these films has an iconic song when we look at them. There’s no “When You Wish Upon a Star” or “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Both have music that enhance the storytelling, but nothing stands out. Both scores are beautiful, but I think the score of “Saludos Amigos” serves its film better. The Latin music gives the film a distinct feel that fits in with its intent of swaying South American nations to side with the United States. Point to “Saludos Amigos.”

Saludos Amigos 1 | A Bug’s Life 3


“Saludos Amigos” gives viewers their first feature film look at Donald Duck, Goofy and Jose Carioca. But, there’s not a lot about the shorts I remember. Meanwhile, “A Bug’s Life” gives us Flik accidentally destroying the offering, the circus getting into a fight with the flies, Flik finding the circus and bringing them back to the colony, the circus distracting the grasshoppers to rescue the queen and the bird catching Hopper and feeding him to its young making Flik the hero. There are more memorable moments in “A Bug’s Life.” Point to “A Bug’s Life.”

Saludos Amigos 1 | A Bug’s Life 4

The winner of this battle is “A Bug’s Life” by a count of 4 to 1. I wasn’t sure what to make of this one, because “A Bug’s Life” doesn’t seem to have the fanbase that other Pixar films have, but the films from the Wartime Era faced struggles other films will never have to deal with. What do you think? Which film is better?

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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