Thursday, January 28, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT
Creepy crawlies are cool - really
You'll like these guys
It is a computer-animated story about a colony of ants that hire a group of clumsy, mercenary bugs to protect them from marauding grasshoppers. It is a Pixar production - the same company that made the smash hit Toy Story.
To tie in with the release, the Natural History Museum will re-open its Creepy Crawlies gallery, which has undergone an extensive refurbishment over the last six months. Some old favourites are back, such as a giant animatronic scorpion which moves its tail and pincers.
You can even "walk through" a termite mound. "Termites, like ants, are very social creatures," says Dr Bob Bloomfield from the Museum, "so we've represented one of their huge colonies.
"It displays insect specimens from the Museum's vast entomological collections of over 30 million insects," says Dr Dick Vane-Wright, the Museum's Head of Entomology.
"We hope visitors will look at insects, spiders, crabs and other arthropods in a new way.
On land, sea and in the air, there may be as many as 10 million species of these mini-beasts alive today."
Humans need insects
The new movie is sure to be a big hit with cinema-goers, but will the exhibition hall enjoy the same success - or will it just give people the creeps?
"But counterbalancing the problems they cause, they obviously have major positive impacts as well. We only have to think of bees as a very simple example. Without them, pollination would collapse and many of the crops we rely on would disappear as well.
The gallery opens to the public on Tuesday, 2 February. And although the Museum charges an entrance fee, this will be waived for children from April. The Website can be accessed through the Museum's own site and will go live on Monday.
A Bug's Life image courtesy of Buena Vista Films