In Bugs! 3D we experience a magical and illuminating live-action film about the hidden world of insects. This unique film tells the story of life and death in the wilds of the tropical rain forest, using stunning macro-photography and 3D imagery to accurately convey the tiny dramas of bug life on a grand scale.
Bugs! 3D follows the life cycles of a mantis and a butterfly, from their birth to their inevitable encounter in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where predator meets its prey.
Bugs! stars Papilio, a butterfly, and Hierodula, a praying mantis, who live in an abandoned hut by a river, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and a supporting cast of other intriguing and extraordinary insects.
When Papilio emerges all alone from an egg, deposited on a leaf, she resembles a bird dropping to help camouflage her from predators. This tiny caterpillar will undergo one of Nature's miraculous transformations in her short life span of eight weeks. An herbivore, she eats citrus leaves constantly, increasing her weight one hundred times in a few weeks - the equivalent of a human growing as heavy as a hippopotamus in just a weekend!
Nearby, Hierodula is born, bursting from an egg case along with two hundred brothers and sisters, sliding down a thread, and climbing up into the world, already a mini-mantis. A carnivore, he eats other insects, but takes his time on his hunting expeditions. His life span ranges from nine months to a year.
Along the way, we meet a host of other animals,, which, in various deceptive guises, also inhabit the rich, green and humid world: Leaf Cutter Ants which consume 20 of the rainforest's leaves; Rhino Beetles battling for the favours of a female; the Trilobite Beetle hiding his tiny head under armor plating; a Scale Bug disguised as a ball of fluff; an aggressive Spiny Katydid; an Orchid Mantis which resembles the flower and the Thorn Bug, identical to a thorn. In addition, scorpions, tarantulas, frogs, lizards and a colony of three-million bats which consume two and half tons of bugs every night, skitter across the screen, some magnified 250,000 times their normal size.
As Hierodula grows, he sheds his hard waxy chitin armor. Temporarily vulnerable, he hangs as still as he can, avoiding a predatory lizard, until his new layer hardens.
Meanwhile, Papilio has spun a silken girdle suspended from a branch. In her final moult, the old caterpillar skin splits to reveal a final layer. This hardens to form the chrysalis, which resembles a leaf bud, a perfect camouflage.
Now an adult, it's time for Hierodula to mate with a female mantis, twice his size! He's lucky. She doesn't bite his head off in the height of their passion, which stretches out for several hours. One encounter results in two hundred eggs.
In a miracle of metamorphosis, Papilio emerges from the liquefied contents of the chrysalis as a beautiful red and black butterfly. Her adult life is a mere three weeks, so once her wings are dry, she must find a mate, and quickly. Her feminine finery soon has her clasped to a male after which she will lay hundreds of single eggs left to fend for themselves on the citrus leaves of her old home.
Fluttering amid the blooms, Papilio dips her proboscis deep into the base of the flowers to drink sugary nectar, pollinating the plants as she forages, a process essential to their survival. Unbeknownst to her, Hierodula is lurking nearby, awaiting his daily meal. It's survival of the fittest, as Hierodula snaps her up in his extended jaws, releasing her wings which flutter down to the surface of the river.
Papilio's brief life may be over. But it has not been wasted. Nearby, her daughter has just hatched, and the cycle of life goes on.
Director Mike Slee remarks, “By revealing the extraordinary small world of the insects on the all enveloping and captivating large screen, and adding the extra experiences of the amazing sound in these theatres, Bugs! 3D will give us a new perspective on some of the oldest creatures on earth.”
From metamorphosis to mastery, predator to prey and community to concealment, extraordinary large-format 3D images will bring your students face-to-face with this amazing universe of creatures. Bugs! 3D will magnify the miniscule world of insects and explore the miracle of their success.
Ross Anthony - Big Movie Zone
Andrew Pulver - The Guardian