|“||Oh, please! I was slumming it. Don't you get it? The only reason I chose you, is because you were the most pathetic bug in the joint.||„|
|~ Bala to Z|
Princess Bala is the deuteragonist of DreamWorks' 1st full-length animated feature film Antz. The daughter of the Queen Ant of an ant colony that live in Central Park, and is expected to follow royal responsibilities but wants to be free. When she comes across Z, they don't get along well. As soon as their relationship blossoms, Bala is given the courage to stand up to her evil fiancé General Mandible and help Z save the colony.
She is voiced by Sharon Stone. In the Japanese dub from the movie, she is voiced by Masako Katsuki.
Bala is first seen talking briefly with her fiance General Mandible before he leaves with his second-in-command Colonel Cutter, who gives Bala a larvae he was holding. Afterwards, Bala talks with her mother The Queen over her reluctance to marry Mandible (who secretly planning to kill the Queen and the colony's worker ants in order to restart the colony with only soldier ants loyal to him), but The Queen assures her that Mandible will make a good husband for her. She then talks with Bala about everyone having their place in the colony before asking Bala if she would prefer carting dirt all day to which Bala tells her not to be so dramatic.
Bored with royal life, Bala decides to go to the workers' bar with her two handmaidens and passes herself off as a palace worker. She then goes over to a worker ant named Z, who instantly falls in love with her, and invites him to dance with her. A fight soon breaks out between the worker and soldier ants, causing Bala and her friends to flee the bar, not before Bala bids farewell to Z and gives him a kiss on the cheek.
Bala is later seen with The Queen waving off the Queen's most loyal group of soldier ants that are going to battle a termite colony. Z (who went undercover as a soldier) is among the soldiers and tries to get Bala's attention, but fails.
Sometime later, Z returns to the colony as the sole survivor of the termite attack. He is brought before Bala and her mother The Queen. Bala recognizes Z as the worker she danced with, unwittingly blowing his cover. After Z was nearly arrested for impersonating a soldier and dancing with General Mandible's fiancee, he pretended to hold Bala captive, but both ants fell through a trash chute. Bala was nearly rescued by soldier ants, but their rescue attempt was interrupted by a boy burning ants with a magnifying glass. Bala resisted Z but eventually joined his quest to Insectopia after she was nearly eaten by a Praying Mantis. After Z rescued her from a giant shoe, she fell in love with him after he reached Insectopia. However while Z was getting fire wood, she was kidnapped by Colonel Cutter and taken back to the Colony. Z follows after them on a wasp named Chip, whom he and Bala met earlier who lost his wife Muffy to a fly swatter.
Taken into Mandible's office, Bala demands him to tell her what he truly has planned for the colony. When Mandible dismisses her by saying he will explain everything later, Bala bravely states to Mandible that she never liked the way he thinks, or the way he runs the colony, or him and calls off the wedding, stating that things are going to change around here. Mandible replies that things are going to change before having Bala forced onto a chair. Bala questions Mandible on what he thinks he is doing and says that her mother will have his head. Mandible replies that he doubts it and nonetheless explains that he plans to drown the Queen and workers (which Mandible refers to as "the filth") with his MegaTunnel (which the workers had unknowingly been building), but will spare Bala, so she will be his queen in the new colony. Bala tells Mandible that he is crazy, but he claims that he believes that history will see things differently. Mandible then imprisons Bala in his office, saying that one day she will thank him.
As Bala throws a chair out the window to make her own escape, she spots Z right beside the window. Overjoyed that Z had come back for her, Bala pulls Z inside and kisses him. Z prepares to take Bala out the colony, but Bala tells him that they can't leave: when she was brought back to the colony, she discovered that Mandible has sinister ulterior motives, and believes that he will attempt to kill her mother. When examining the schematics of the megatunnel, Z discovers to his horror that Mandible plans to seal the Queen and all the worker ants in the tunnel, where they will drown once the diggers break through to the lake where the megatunnel leads to.
Z and Bala quickly leave the office and rush down into the megatunnel, making it inside just as the soldiers seal up all the exits. While Bala runs to her mother to warn her, Z runs into the tunnel to stop the diggers from breaking through. When he reaches the end, he reunites with his friends Weaver and Azteca and yells at the diggers to stop. Despite Z's warnings, the foreman is determined to follow orders, and he grabs a pick and strikes it into the wall. It is this final blow which sends the water crashing through, and Z and the others flee into the main tunnel, and the rapidly rising water traps all the workers on a hill in the middle of the tunnel. Spotting several workers helping each other onto a branch, Z gets an idea. As Weaver holds him up on his shoulders, Z yells for everyone to listen. The workers almost immediately recognize Z who quickly tells the workers to make a ladder out of ants to reach the ceiling, and they set to work at once. Bala is forced to separate from Z in order to help her aged mother, and the two share a loving embrace before Bala climbs up the tower with the Queen, while Z remains at the base with Weaver and Azteca to serve as support.
By the time the water is up to their chests, the tower of ants has fully formed, but is a couple of ants short of the ceiling. While Weaver uses all his strength to hold up the tower, Z and Azteca climb up to the top, and Z succeeds in reaching the ceiling, and quickly claws through to the surface where Mandible is giving a speech about his vision to his soldiers. Z's hand breaks through the surface, causing a collapse which forms a huge hole in the ground. Mandible is shocked and furious when he recognizes Z, and grabs a spear. Barely clinging to the edge, Z is helpless as Mandible raises his spear to kill him, but is suddenly punched away from him by Cutter, who has grown tired of the general's cruelty. Cutter helps Z up from the hole, but an enraged Mandible snaps and charges at the colonel, only for Z to push Cutter out the way at the last second. Mandible runs into Z and the two of them fall back into the megatunnel. While Mandible is killed falling on an exposed tree root, Z falls into the water and is knocked unconscious by the impact.
When Cutter arrives with seemingly dead Z, Bala begs for him to awaken. She uses CPR and Z revives! On awakening, Z utters 'yowch', and he and Bala kiss. Z is lauded for his heroism and presumably marries Bala. Together they rebuild the colony, transforming the colony from a conformist military state into a community that values each and every one of its members.
- Jennifer Aniston, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Drew Barrymore, Jenna Elfman, Meg Ryan, Jessalyn Gilsig and Susan Blakely were considered for the role of Princess Bala.
- In the original script for Antz, Bala was engaged to an ant named General Formica (whereas Mandible was a major). However unlike Mandible in the final film, who spared Bala, Formica would have left Bala to die alongside the Queen and the workers in the Megatunnel, claiming that there were more princesses where Bala came from. Bala was also going to have a friend who was in a relationship with Colonel Cutter (back then known as Carpenter). However, this idea was scrapped as the relationship between Carpenter and Bala's friend would have distracted the viewers from the two main relationships; Bala and Z and Weaver and Azteca. Instead Bala's friend was replaced by her ladies-in-waiting.