- “So, being a ladybug automatically makes me a girl! Is that it, flyboy?!”
Francis is a drag queen in the circus. Unfortunately, the effect is so convincing that insects are always mistaking him for a real girl (with the fact that his actual species being a ladybug not helping matters either). He is very short-tempered and aggressive, and it doesn't help that he's constantly being mistaken for a girl just because he's a ladybug. He is great friends with Slim and Heimlich, who try to keep him calm. He also carries Slim when the circus troupe flies.
Francis is an aggressive ladybug and a clown in P.T. Flea's circus troupe. Francis is fed up of constantly being mistaken for a girl and even picks a fight with a couple of audience members during a performance when they attempted to woo him, unaware of his actual gender.
Francis' aggressive nature makes others cry, particularly maggots and, later, the kid ants when he becomes a "den mother" to the Blueberry troops. Apparently, he was a "natural mother" according to Dr. Flora. Francis seems to have a strong friendship with Slim and Heimlich. While transporting over long distances, Francis has to carry Slim, who, despite being a stick insect, doesn't have wings and cannot fly. When they arrive at Ant island, he makes a speech about Hopper and his gang that they going to knock them dead. During the play with Dot's Blueberries, he was not scared, but near the end of the play, he's starting to get scared as one Dot's Blueberries pretends to be dead causing him to faint.
When a bird attacks the insects, Francis sees Dot falling and rushes to catch her, but they fall into a huge gap in a canyon, where a large rock crushes Francis' leg, and another one hits him on the head, knocking him unconcious. He and Dot are saved by the efforts of Flik and the other troupe, and the colony, cheers for the bugs' bravery.
Because of his efforts, Dot and the Blueberries make Francis their "den mother." This annoys Francis at first, but he eventually warms up to the Blueberries while his broken leg heals. When P.T. Flea arrives on the island, Francis serves as an indirect catalyst for Flik's banishment, as he spills the beans that the idea of a makeshift bird was invented by Flik.
Much later, when Hopper takes Flik hostage attempting to fly away with him, the circus bugs give chase. Francis loses grip of Slim while flying through a tree and is unable to locate him in the branches.
At the end of the film, when the circus troupe is about to leave, Dot and the Blueberries are seen crying as they hug Francis. Francis also helps Manny carry Heimlich since Dim is carrying the circus wagon.
Francis exists as a walkaround character, though mostly participates in various Pixar parades. At Disney California Adventure in A Bug's Land, Francis is featured in the spinner attraction, Francis' Ladybug Boogie.
- Toy models of Francis and other characters from A Bug's Life can be seen in Toy Story 2 at Al's Toy Barn.
- In an outtake, Francis is revealed to have a twig stuck in his nose when he turns around, causing Slim and everyone else to laugh hysterically.