[Trying to get his potion to work] I Zoc, call upon the ancient elements. The wind that blows, rain that falls, fire that burns. Deliver your awesome power and transform my potion. Clacktiel. [Bangs the fire crystals against each other and sees that nothing has happened]
[To Hova] How could I pronounce it wrong? I made it up.
[repeated line] A wizard knows no such word.
This is our enemy. They do not save ants, they kill ants. He very nearly killed me [sighs] or does that not matter to you?
[To Lucas] Calling a human "friend". I tought that is impossible, until you came. [Lucas says to him "A wizard knows no such word."] Very true. Here. [He gives to Lucas the potion that will make him big again]. But just wait until you outside, before you drink it.
2nd Ant: Yeah, this is sleeping chamber. Go to sleep.
1st Ant: Don't make me come up there
Zoc: I'm so sorry. But I must have the final ingredient for my potion. Now what's more impotent? Me completing my life's work for the salvation of the colony- which includes you guys- or your sleep?
1st Ant: Sleep I'm going with sleep.
2nd Ant: Yeah, the second one.
Zoc: Well then I will try to be VERY quiet.
[With his staff, Zoc explodes the rock that he's on which makes some debris fall onto the sleeping ants.]
1st Ant: That's it. I'm coming up there. [A large rock suddenly lands on his head, making him unconscious]
Hova: Cross my heart. I will not eat you.
Lucas: I said cross your heart, not your butt.
Hova: I just did. See? Did it again. [to herself] Strange custom.
Kreela: What are you doing? Why aren't you grabbing the red ones?
Fugax: Well, it's actually quite simple sugar-lips. I HATE the red ones.
Kreela: Well I LOVE the red ones.
Fugax: Hate Them.
Kreela: I LOVE THEM.
Fugax: Hate them.
Kreela: Love them.
Fugax: Hate them.
Kreela: Love them.
Fugax: Believe me, you find me attractive.
Fugax: Oh, how you tease me with that sweet talk. [barks at her slovenly]
Kreela: Oh. You want some sweet talk? [grabs Fugax by the antennas] Cause I'll give you some sweet talk. Now grab a red one before I pull these off.
Fugax: Whoa, I need those.
Zoc: [stops Lucas from going in the ant hill] Hi there. How are you?
Zoc: Okay? That's good. It's good to be okay. Listen, I just want to show you something if that's okay with you. [brings a potion out and shows it to Lucas] You know what this is? This is the potion that will make you big again. I just wanted you to take a good long look at it because this is the last time you will ever see it.
Lucas: [stammers] Wha- What do you mean?
Zoc: I mean there is no way i'm ever making you big again. Ever. [serious] You are a threat to every ant in this colony. Especially to Hova.
Lucas: But I would never do anything to hurt her. I just-I-I just want to go home.
Zoc: Well if I where you, I'd go find help someplace else, because there is nothing for you. [The crystal on Zoc's staff starts to glow] Nothing. [Lucas stumbles backwards while Zoc stares at him sternly].
Hova: [sees Zoc coming in humming happily to himself but doesn't see Lucas] Where's Lucas?
Zoc: Isn't he with you?
Hova: [confused] No.
Zoc: Lucas? Lucas? Huh, that's weird. Well he's probably off destroying some other poor, unfortunate colony. You know how they are, destroyers.
Hova: Zoc, what did you do?
Zoc: Wha-what did I do?
Hova: Where is he?
Zoc: He's gone. [Hova runs out to look for him but Zoc stops her] He lead you into a trap, Hova.
Hova: There was no trap. He lead us to food, he was trying to protect us from-from...
Zoc: From what Hova? What?
Hova: From something.
Zoc: [sarcastically] Oh something. And I was worried it was from nothing. [angrily] He's blinded you, Hova.
Hova: [angrily] NO, you are the one that's blind. You are so consumed from your hatred for the humans, you only see what you want to see.
Zoc: Oh, come on.
Hova: [calmly] Zoc, I see a young pupa. A human learning our ways, becoming part of this colony,becoming an ant.
Hova: LISTEN TO YOURSELF ZOC. A WIZARD KNOWS NO SUCH WORD. So what are you now. [on the verge of tears] Certainly not the ant I love. [walks away from Zoc]
Zoc: Hova, I did it for you. For the colony.
Hova: You did it for yourself.
Zoc: Hova, I... [hesitates not knowing to say]
Fugax: He won't make it through the night alone.
Kreela: Fugax, your leg's still broken.
Fugax: Yeah, well I still got five good ones. Very good ones.
Kreela: You know? I think he really was trying to protect us from something. See ya, Zoc. [leaves the room with a heartbroken Zoc]
The project started after Jimmy Neutron came out. I was looking for the next project, and Tom Hanks sent the book to me, because The Ant Bully is based on a children’s book, sort of a picture book. And he was reading it to his son Truman one night, and he thought, “Hey, this might make kind of a good movie.” So he was a fan of Neutron, and really liked it, and he sent the book to me to see if I had a take on it. But yeah, I thought about it for a few days, and thought, “Aw, I’ve seen a couple of CG ants movies recently, maybe I could do it with bees or roaches or something.”
But really, the needs of the story dictated that it was really best told by ants, because they perfectly demonstrate the co-operation and sense of community, and I thought, “Well you know, this story is vastly different than the other stories,” and really, it had in my mind more in common with The Incredible Shrinking Man or Honey I Shrunk the Kids or something like that.
And I thought, if I was going to do it, how would I build this book into a film? And I started thinking about all the lessons that Lucas would learn, the story, and some of the set-pieces and action — battling wasps and being eaten by a frog and fighting giant exterminators and travelling back into his house and now seeing it from a different perspective — and I started getting excited.
And I started thinking how cool it would be to build this ant world and really depict it as this sort of advanced, somewhat alien civilization that we know nothing about that lives right under our feet — every day, epic struggles in the front yard and things that are going on — and I started getting really excited about the idea. And that’s one of the things that I went to talk to Tom about, and he definitely agreed, and so he said, “Let’s do it! Let’s make this!” And that’s kind of how it started.
But one of the things in the book is that, at the end of the story, the bully that had been picking on Lucas is suddenly shrunk down by the ants also. And it sort of ends with the ants now taking him down to teach him a lesson. And at first, I was staying kind of true to that. But then I invited the crew to bring some of their children up to watch it, and one of the kids said, “Oh, yeah, that’s cool, now Lucas is the bully,” or something like that, and I thought, “Whoa, that’s the wrong message!” If Lucas was party to the other kid being shrunk down and taken by the ants and didn’t do anything to stop it, then suddenly he was kind of being the bully himself in a way, and it was definitely the wrong message. So I redid the ending, and it was really more about Lucas being more proactive and displaying what he learned from his time with the ants, and kind of uniting the other kids to stand together against this bully.