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In the movie, Flik is an unconventional, inventive ant who’s desperate to make a difference to his colony's way of life. He is also sweet on Princess Atta, but he has a tendency of making things worse for himself.
He does this by eliminating the pile of food for the grasshoppers, and then causing the leader, Hopper, to double the offering that has to be completed by the end of autumn by an accident.
During his trial, the royal council reprimands him with Atta sentencing Flik to dig in the tunnels for one month, but Flik suggests recruiting 'bigger bugs' to help with fighting the grasshoppers away.
After the royal council approves his idea (assuming Flik will not be around to cause any more trouble), Flik departs Ant Island and ventures to The City (rubbish under a caravan) where he mistakes a recently fired circus troupe for warriors when some of them do an act based on Robin Hood.
After Flik comes back to Ant Island with the circus troupe, he introduces the ants to the troupe, but they refuse to believe the reason Flik has recruited them and fly across the stream from the Ant Island, with Flik in pursuit.
After a nearly fatal encounter with a bird in which Dot, Atta's little sister, is rescued by the circus bugs, Flik is given the privilege to speak with Atta herself, in which Atta apologizes to Flik for her unkindness.
Learning from Atta that Hopper is frightened of birds, Flik comes up with an idea and tells the circus bugs they’ll build a makeshift bird, controlled from the inside, to frighten Hopper away, as long as they keep the idea secret from the rest of the colony.
The idea goes into motion and Atta thanks Flik for finding the "warrior bugs," getting their antennas tangled, but when the circus troupe's leader, P.T. Flea, shows up at the island in search for them, Flik's mistake is made public to the colony.
A disappointed Atta sees Flik through his fibs and selfishly and regrettably has him exiled for real this time. Downhearted, Flik departs Ant Island with the circus troupe. However, Dot catches up with him and tells him Hopper, who invaded the island with his grasshoppers, will slaughter her mother, the Queen after they have finished gathering food.
Flik is still disappointed with what he has done to the colony and does not want to do anything, but when Dot brings him a rock and uses Flik's words from the beginning of the film, Flik regains his confidence and returns with the circus bugs to Ant Island, where he, Dot and the Blueberries climb aboard the "bird" and take control of the model.
The plan almost works, but the "bird" misdirects and crashes into the circus wagon, freeing P.T., who sees the "bird" and sets it on fire, prompting Flik to crash-land the "bird." Hopper, realizing that he has been tricked, as he starts to blame Atta again, Flik angrily reveals himself to Hopper that the bird trick was his idea, only for Hopper to call in his henchman Thumper to savagely beats up Flik when Flik confesses that he is accountable for the mayhem. As everyone gets sad and scared for Fliks life.
Despite the injuries he has sustained, in the film's turning point, Flik angerily stands up to Hopper and exposes his plot to slaughter the Queen and how ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers, but they’re awesome creatures who are strong in number.
Upon hearing Flik's monologue, every ant in the colony, including Atta, becomes awestruck to realize that Flik is not only being completely honest, but also that he is brainy and strong-minded, something the ants haven’t noticed before.
As Hopper roughs Flik up again, Atta rushes in to stop him, which tells him to depart and helps Flik up, commending him for his courage.
As the ants charge at Hopper's gang and frighten the grasshoppers away, Flik and the other ants seize Hopper and shove him into the circus cannon, but rain starts to fall, prompting the ants to run for it, but Flik is still wounded and collapses while he’s running.
As Atta rushes over to help Flik up, but Hopper completely enraged at Flik for ruining everything, he pops out of the cannon and takes Flik as he flies away to kill him.
The circus bugs attempt to give chase, but they’re unable to do so as they end up being stuck in a tree. However, Flik is saved by Atta, who he instructs to take him across the stream to the different side where he has previously encountered the bird.
As Atta watches antsily, Flik faces Hopper who backs him to the bird's nest and ruthlessly chokes him. As the bird shows up, Hopper idioticly thinks it's fake as it roars at him, Hopper freaks out as he tries to get away but catches the bird's attention, it picks up Hopper in its beak, Atta quickly pulls Flik to safety and they cringe as the bird lowers Hopper into the beaks of its chicks.
When spring comes, the circus bugs make ready to leave and P.T. Flea asks Flik if he is sure he cannot come on a tour with them, to which Flik answers that he belongs on the island as well as with Atta, who has since made up with him.
The circus bugs thank Flik and they, along with the ants, applaud at Flik for his heroism and brilliance. Atta approaches Flik and kisses him, choosing him as her mate afterwards.
Flik rushes over to help Heimlich, who has emerged out of a cocoon, still a caterpillar, but now with small butterfly wings, into the air afterwards. Although asked to travel with P.T. Flea, Flik politely declines, stating that his place is with the colony. As Flik waves goodbye to his friends, he is taken to a tree root by Dot and Atta for a better view.
They can't know the truth! The truth, you see, is bad! I will be branded with this mistake for the rest of my life! My children's children will walk down the street, and people will point and say 'Look! There goes the spawn of Flik the Loser!'
~ Flik, after Heimlich suggests that he tells the truth.
You're wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers! I've seen these ants do great things, and year after year, they somehow manage to pick enough food for themselves and you! So-so who's the weaker species?! Ants don't serve grasshoppers! It's you who need us! We're a lot stronger than you say we are! And you know it, don't you?
~ Flik, while standing up to Hopper and praising his colony for being strong in numbers during his speech.
~ Flik in an outtake, using Buzz Lightyear's catchphrase.
Flik makes a cameo in Toy Story 3 as a hopping toy.
Flik is the first main protagonist of a Pixar movie to be an animal, albeit, an insect.
Flik is similar to Z as both are ants and both are in love with and later start a relationship with the princess of their colony (Atta and Princess Bala). Both are at first disliked by their love interest but they later return their feelings. Also, their respective films were both released in the same year, 1998.
Rick Moranis, Michael J. Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ralph Macchio, Hank Azaria, Matthew Broderick, Jim Carrey, Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider, Martin Short, Jason Lee, Scott Bakula, Tom Hulce, Bill Pullman and Thomas Gibson were all considered for the role of Flik before Dave Foley was cast.