In this adorable family adventure, YouTube star Lisa Schwartz plays a plucky ladybug named Ruby. Longing for the beauty and freedom of Golden Canyon, she escapes her laboratory cage and joins forces with Master Dan, a crafty dragonfly. With help from a hungry frog king, an artistic earwig, and a stinky dung beetle, they make their way to this magical land. The talented voice cast also includes Norm MacDonald (Billy Madison, “SNL”) and reunites Napoleon Dynamite stars Jon Heder and Haylie Duff.
Ruby is an innocent, adorable little ladybug who has spent her entire life in captivity. Enclosed in her glass habitat, Ruby dreams of a place she can be a real bug─free, wild, and happy. After a chance encounter with a smooth-talking dragonfly, Master Dan (Jon Heder, of Napoleon Dynamite fame), Ruby summons the courage to break out of her enclosure. Promising her a simple journey to Golden Canyon (the hippest place for a bug to be), she and Master Dan leave the laboratory in pursuit of the famed locale. In this animated adventure, we watch as Ruby and Master Dan encounter danger, disappointment and courage along the way.
Ruby proves time and time again that bravery isn’t based on the size of your muscles or how loud you can get. She demonstrates courage and integrity by doing what’s right, even when it means putting herself at risk. Master Dan reveals himself to be a very poor friend early on, but Ruby remains loyal to him. He’s selfish, egotistical, and put plainly─a liar. Ruby, or “Googly Eyes” as he calls her, doesn’t abandon Master Dan or turn on him. Instead, she shows him—and everyone she meets—extreme kindness during their whirlwind trip. She demonstrates more courage, integrity, and spunk than anyone would expect from a tiny ladybug─and she manages to make friends everywhere she goes. During the course of the story, viewers watch the ups and downs of Ruby and Master Dan’s path to Golden Canyon. When they arrive to find that things are not what they seem, Ruby doesn’t give up. In signature Ruby fashion, she makes a positive out of what could be considered negative by helping others.
The Ladybug follows in the footsteps of many insect-focused films (Antz, A Bug’s Life) and creates an unlikely heroine with a fresh quest. When I first heard the title of the film, I thought it may have been about a superhero. As I watched, although it wasn’t a superhero film, my theory was not disproved. Ruby is every bit a hero in her own little way. She stands up for what’s right, shows kindness to others, is quick on her feet, and handles every situation with grace. To quote Shakespeare, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
The Ladybug features a strong, positive role model, nice animation, a cute story with solid lessons and adventure for the whole family. The film isn’t big on character development─you won’t really find any deep content, but it is a cute story with a very positive role model (can bugs be role models?), lots of age-appropriate adventure, and loads of integrity. This film shows young and old alike that you can pursue your dreams and still be kind and thoughtful while doing it. In a culture obsessed with getting ahead at any cost, The Ladybug is a breath of fresh summer air.
The Ladybug has been awarded the Dove-Approved All Ages seal.