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The Grasshopper and the Ants

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : February 25, 1934

Running Time : 8:25

Synopsis

A grasshopper fiddles and plays through his day, tempting some of the worker ants to play with him, unaware that winter is coming and food will soon be scarce.

Characters

Grasshopper
Queen Ant

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Dick Heumer
Ben Sharpsteen
Tom McKimson
Cy Young
Ed Smith
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Leonard Sebring
Dick Lundy
Bill Roberts
Art Babbitt
Hamilton Luske
Les Clark
Layout
Hugh Hennesy
Story
Bill Cottrell
Albert Hurter
Music
Leigh Harline
Voices
Pinto Colvig

Source

Based on the story "The Ants and the Grasshopper"

Video

United States
Storybook Classics
France
Contes et Legendes de Jiminy Cricket
Italy
Le Meravigliose Fiabe del Grillo Parlante

DVD

United States
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 5 : The Wind in the Willows
Timeless Tales Volume 1
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Germany
Winter Wunderland Verschworung der Superschurken
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
France
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Italy
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Blu-Ray

United States
A Bug's Life : 2 Disc Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 38: Infested Silly Symphonies
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 35
Walt Disney Presents: More About Silly Symphonies

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Tom Wilkins : Certainly one of the top 4 Silly Symphonies ever made. I was delighted to hear the young "Goofy" voice in this cartoon. This cartoon sure had the perfect lesson to plan ahead and be safe rather than let time go by and end up in major trouble. The music was also fantastic. Although I believe I saw the re-released version (distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, not a United Artists Picture), it was simply one of the best Disney cartoons deserving of an award.
From Jerry Edwards : When a lazy grasshopper prefers to sing and dance rather than prepare for the winter like the ants, he finds himself starving and freezing when winter arrives. He collapses at the door of the ant colony and the ants carry him inside their warm abode, which is filled to the brim with good food. In return for room and board, the grasshopper "earns his keep" by entertaining the ants with his music.

This adaptation of the Aesop Fable is one of my favorite Silly Symphonies. It combines excellent animation with drama and humor.

One fun scene for me is when an ant is struggling to pull a cart of cherries through the mud. The grasshopper advises the ant to not work so hard - it's time to sing, dance, and play. The queen ant approaches, the work ant spies her and picks up the cart and scurries off.

Although I love this cartoon, I always get a mental picture of "real nature" where the grasshopper is at near death at the ant colony door - they would be swarming all over him and be carrying him into the colony - in little pieces...


From Ryan : I remember seeing this short on a video that I rented a long time ago. When I watched it, I said "That grasshopper sounds like Goofy!" That's because he was voiced by Pinto Colvig too. As I have mentioned in earlier comments, I'm not a big fan of the "Silly Symphonies," but I didn't mind this short too much.
From Chris : This is truly one of my favorite Disney Shorts. I had the record album and played it over and over and over when I was a child. I have tried to explain this story to my own sons (who are 20+ years old now) and I could never quite capture the wonderful story, pictures and song. Oh how I wish I had kept my original vinyl! Probably worth a mint now!
From Steve Spolar : Several years ago, my Mother found some drawings I had sketched from the first grade. Actually, it was a fairly detailed sketch of the Grasshopper from The Grasshopper and The Ants and written across the center of the drawing was "I don't want to work no more, the world owes me a living" I suppose that was my interpretation of the original lyrics. I really do not remember drawing the Grasshopper, but ironically, I live my life much the same as he did. My rating is a 10+.
From Karen : I would like to give The Grasshopper and the Ants a perfect 10. I grew up watching this short (I am 22 now) and still remember it very vividly. Wonderful story, wonderful animation, and wonderful music. I adore the way the grasshopper dances. I wish I still had the tape with this recording on it! I would love to watch it again.
From Baruch Weiss : It's been a long time since I've seen saw this short; nevertheless I enjoy it a bit. I give it a b+.
From Mike : As an adult I enjoy this short more than ever. When others slack off, I sing "The World Owes Me a Livin'" in my head. It gets a ten for sticking with me so long. Good ol' values in a fun, memorable package - that's quality animation.
From Gijs Grob : Easily one of the best Silly Symphonies: it has a catching song, great use of color and beautiful effect animation. Notice, for instance, the realism of the leaves blowing away during the autumn scene. One can even recognize which tree they're from! In contrast, the design of the ants looks a little primitive. But by now, the Disney staff has fully mastered the idea of character animation. This is best shown in the final dance scene: even in a crowd of look-alikes one easily recognizes the joyful ant the Grasshopper had tempted earlier.

Note that morality notwithstanding the grasshopper is allowed to do what he does best: sing and play. An encouragement to view art as an important contribution to society. Even so, the way the queen finally invites him is a real cliff-hanger.


From Sonia : One of my favorite shorts from childhood. Why are these cartoons not played anymore?
From Dino Cencia : I agree with Sonia up above. All of the Disney Animated Shorts on the Disney Channel should be on the Disney Channel should be on forever and on Toon Disney. But now the Disney Channel's not the same. The Disney Channel was better back in the 80's and the 90's, but now it's 2008 and now the Disney Channel's showing Zack and Cody, Raven, etc. But thanks to the Walt Disney Treasures, all you people out there can get it on DVD and watch one of the treasures because Walt Disney Treasures are the best DVD's for showing old cartoons. Anyway, to the cartoon. I loved this short! My favorite part is at the end when the grasshopper was playing and dancing with his fiddle and singing "I own the world a living!" The Grasshopper song reminds me of Goofy's theme. The Grasshopper and Goofy should sing their song together cause it's their song and Goofy's theme song. Great cartoon! I give it a 705 out of 705.

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