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  • A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.

    Winter is coming, but the GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANTS have very different ways of preparing for it. While the ants are diligently storing food, the Grasshopper is only dancing around & playing his fiddle. When the snows come, perhaps he'll play a different tune...

    Aesop's Fables provided the source for this very enjoyable cartoon. The intricate labors of the ants give lots of interest for the eye. `Oh, The World Owes Us A Living', the Grasshopper's song, would eventually become, with a slight revision, the theme for Goofy; Pinto Colvig voiced both characters.

    The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most fascinating of all animated series. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack. Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with SNOW WHITE successfully behind him and PINOCCHIO & FANTASIA on the near horizon, Walt phased out the SILLY SYMPHONIES; they had run their course & served their purpose.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Disney version of the timeless fable about a grasshopper who mocks the ants for working hard to ready themselves for the coming winter instead of playing, only to turn to those same ants for food and shelter when the winter hits. It's a gorgeous cartoon with rich, vibrant colors that just pop out at you. It's Disney and, in the 1930s, there was no one coming close to Disney in the animation field. The music is fun, including the song "The World Owes Me a Living," which would later become Goofy's theme song. Coincidentally, the grasshopper is voiced by Goofy himself, Pinto Colvig. As another reviewer noted, this short changes the ending to the original story, where the grasshopper is turned away by the ants and has to lie in a bed of his own making. Basically he is left to starve to death! Well times change and by the 1930s there were a lot of Americans starving and looking for a helping hand, so it's not surprising the ending was changed to the ants helping the grasshopper. Hopefully he learned his lesson and worked harder the next summer. Doubtful, of course, but we can hope.
  • The Grasshopper and the Ants is a very enjoyable Silly Symphony, about a fiddle playing grasshopper and a group of ants. The animation is beautiful, and so is the music. The characters are really likable, especially the grasshopper. Also watch out for the original voice of Goofy, the one and only Pinto Colvig. Adapted from Aesop, this silly symphony has some funny moments with a simple story and a nice moral, and a couple of poignant ones- the part when the grasshopper is pleading to the queen is bound to break someone's heart, again it could be to do with how Colvig delivered the line. And the part when the Ant Queen says "Go on with your fiddle... and play" was just perfect. My final verdict is a fun and very enjoyable silly symphony. A definite 10/10. Bethany Cox
  • Just watched this Disney Silly Symphony on YouTube. In this one, a grasshopper fiddles away singing, "The World Owes Us a Living" while the worker ants prepare for the winter storage. The queen of them warns the grasshopper of what will happen if the grasshopper doesn't prepare himself but he pays her no mind. Then the blizzard comes...If the voice of the grasshopper sounds familiar, that's because it's the same one that will voice the eventually popular Goofy: Pinto Colvig. He provides ample charm here despite his character being somewhat lazy in nature. And when he does learn his lesson, he changes the words to reflect that learning. I'm sure the Depression audience that watched this in theatres came away with that attitude as well and possibly whistled that tune going out. Uncle Walt himself probably liked it as well since it became-with a few note changes-Goofy's theme as well. So on that note, I highly recommend The Grasshopper and the Ants.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A message so simple even a seven year old would understand it, which she did - my granddaughter that is, after we finished watching the story. The moral is a simple one that registers even with youngsters, but somehow along the way it gets twisted, flaked and formed for those on an ideological mission to subvert the obvious, which is, you get out of life what you put into it.

    I have no idea how much restoration might have gone into this 1934 Silly Symphony, but watching today it's simply glorious. The colors are outstanding and the animation first rate. If you turn your head when the grasshopper first speaks one might easily think it's Disney character Goofy talking, another voice created by the warm hearted Pinto Colvig.

    Eighty plus years doesn't diminish the message of this classic Aesop fable, but besides that it's fun and amusing. It packs more punch than Spongebob Squarepants and you'll have a grand old time watching it. Especially if you have a seven year old companion by your side.
  • The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)

    **** (out of 4)

    Excellent animated short from Disney has a grasshopper dancing around playing his fiddle while a bunch of ants are hard at work since winter is coming. The ants continue to work as the grasshopper continues to play and before long it's winter and someone is left with no food or shelter. This type of story certainly wasn't anything new or original and it's certainly been borrowed from over the decades but this here is still a lot of fun to watch. For starters, as you'd expect, the animation is of very high quality and it's certainly great fun just to see the beautiful colors and drawings. Another major plus is that the music score is actually quite good and the songs being done by the grasshopper are catchy. Of course, there's a big moral to the story, which comes across perfectly well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've seen this numerous times. I can't help but be torn between the joy and freedom that the grasshopper has in the early moments of this cartoon. He spits and plays his fiddle while the ants trudge along and store food. They are working for a queen and she must be satisfied. Granted, the big guys is continually warned. As we adults continue to fail our children with low expectations from them, so does the grasshopper find himself in desperate straits, only to be rescued from his indiscretions by benevolence he does not deserve. Of course, in the original, he pays the price. But he is such an engaging fellow that he lands on all six of his feet.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a color Silly Symphonies short produced by Disney studio. There will be spoilers ahead:

    This is an absolutely beautiful short, with great animation, backgrounds and design. The characterization is excellent and it's quite engaging. Given that this is Disney, the ending is a bit different from the original fable.

    If you know the Aesop's fable from which this springs, you know the story. While the ants toil, a grasshopper plays his fiddle and laughs at the ants for working. When it's pointed out to him that winter is coming, he laughs that off as well, saying winter is a long way off.

    Cue winter. The transition between seasons is handled marvelously, which is to be expected. The ants are warm and cozy, the grasshopper is in a world of hurt and goes to the ants hoping for help. The ants, being decent sorts, help the grasshopper avoid freezing and starving, while the grasshopper sings a different song, saying he's learned his lesson and that working is actually a good idea. When you think about it, that's actually a better lesson than having the ants turn callous, turn the grasshopper away and have him die. A "road to Damascus" moment has more teaching value than a "serves you right" moment.

    This short is available on the Disney Treasures Silly Symphonies DVD set and it and the set are great. Most highly recommended.
  • Very good, one of the best shorts at Disney. With a great animation and fantastic morals. Highly recommend.
  • This Silly Symphony is based on Aesop's Fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. While the Grasshopper is all play and no work, an army of ants harvest food for the winter. And, when the freezing whether arrives, the ants enjoy a warm feast while the grasshopper goes hungry.

    Disney added nice touches of animation, music, and voice acting (one whom you may recognize as later voicing Goofy), which all blended well with a good message of hard work, diligence, and second chances.

    Grade A
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Grasshopper and the Ants" is an 8-minute cartoon by Disney and this one came out back in 1934, so it is already way over 80 years old. But it is in color already and has sound and is from that time where Disney still focuses on the characters that weren't Mickey, Donald and Goofy. But this does not mean that the voice actors weren't there already. For example, the legendary Pinto Colvig (Goofy) voices the grasshopper in this little fable we have here about a grasshopper who prefers to make music while the hard-working ants prefer for winter. So eventually, the hopper is out in the cold and has to beg for mercy to the ants, but there is a happy ending here as in so many Disney films and I guess artists will also be fairly happy with it. No denying animation in 1934 was miles and miles ahead of live action, at least when it comes to the United States. Of course, saying the animation is also much better than anywhere in the world at that time is certainly an accurate statement. I enjoyed the watch here. Not one of my very favorite Disney cartoons, but still a pretty good watch with decent music, solid comedy and, most of all, beautiful animation.
  • When this cartoon begins, you'll no doubt notice that it's the voice of Goofy (Pinto Colvig) playing the grasshopper. It's pretty hard not to notice that distinctive voice!

    As far as the cartoon goes, it has the usual exceptional color animation you'd expect from a Disney cartoon of the era and there is no comparison between the Disney shorts and those of the nearest competition. Also, unlike some of their Silly Symphonies, this one benefits from having a lot less singing--a definite bonus. What did surprise me, however, is that despite all this wonderfulness and a great timeless story, the script actually changed the ending--and completely changed the moral lesson. Instead of an admonition to work hard lest you die of starvation in hard times, it shows the ants taking pity on the stupid grasshopper and sharing their food. This seems to give the moral lesson that you should reach out to help the lazy! An odd ending indeed. Without this happily ever after sort of ending, it might have earned a 10--it was that good. But the morally questionable ending detracted from what should have been a timeless lesson.
  • Bones72922 November 2002
    I give this animated short a 10/10. It's just so charming. I guess something about a grasshopper prancing around playing good fiddle music just warms the heart.

    Despite the queen's warning, the ants accept the grasshopper out of the cold, showing their kind nature, something we should all strive for. The grasshopper also admits he is wrong, which is another important lesson. And when the queen says, "Now take your fiddle... and play!" that moment is perfect:

    "I owe the world a living! I owe the world a living! I've been a fool all year long. Now I'm singing a different song! You were right; I was wrong!"

    That just gets me all choked up.

    Ya gotta love Disney.
  • A happy grasshopper dances into town (or undergrowth) playing his happy fiddle. A bunch of ants living in a nearby tree colony are busy syphoning off the treasures of a recently pilfered picnic as the grasshopper takes one of them aside to groom. The ant queen turns up and warns him not be such a carefree renegade as winter is coming soon.

    Sure enough, winter does come very quickly and the happy grasshopper is freezing and starving in the snow before he comes knocking on the door of the warm, well-fed ant colony where they nurse him back to health.

    Underlying message of the cartoon: if you fail at life just wait until someone gives you a handout.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Beautifully animated for the time, and pointlessly changes the entire story meaning. In the fable the grasshopper pays for his irresponsibility and laziness. Here he gets a free pass because it feels good. No lesson learned. No responsibility taken. Pretty much perfect for our times when you think about it.
  • .............WELL, AT LEAST not in the USA, anyway!

    THAT THIS TULY ancient story would be adapted to the screen by Mr. Walt Disney & Company. Assigned to being an installment in Disney's SILLY SYMPHONIES, the production of this animated short subject was assured to being rendered first rate.

    ALTHOUGH THE STORY is really more than quite familiar to everyone, it received a new and upbeat "facelift". As only a studio such as that which was and is Disney could pull something like this off.

    IN ADDITION TO the basic premise of carefree & really lazy grasshopper's being contrasted to the highly industrious ant colony. Everything was fine for the grasshopper while the Summer Sun sines. He scoffs at the ants working so hard in stock-piling for the Winter's tough times. Winter comes and the foolish grasshopper is literally left out in the cold; while the "Chumpy" ants are safe, warm and well fed down in their below ground level home.

    THIS Disney VERSION takes pity on the tobacco spitter and has him being treated as a guest by the magnanimous generosity of the ants. The point is still made, albeit with a happy and not so fatal an ending.

    NEXT TO THE usual brilliant animation and beautiful Technicolor visuals, the greatest asset of this film is its employment of voice actor Pinto Colvig. The man who was best known for his giving speech to characters such as Disney's GOOFY and Max Fleischer's GABBY, gave real "life" to THE GRASSHOPPER & THE ANTS. Particularly memorable is his solo singing of the very lively and meaningful tune: "The World Owes Me A Living!"

    BOY SCHULTZ, THAT ought to be a real hit today!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The most important innovation that accompanied Disney's switch to Technicolor was the animators' ability to communicate mood through their contrasting use of colour. 'The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)' is a particularly good example of this. Note the bright and glorious reds, blues and green as the Grasshopper dances through his spring wonderland, playing his fiddle and exclaiming "the world owes us a living." As the season approaches its end, a dull overcast sky and the brown and grey hues of dying autumn leaves signal the end of the year's rich months; I particularly loved these shots, as they convey so effectively the ever-increasing sadness as dusk approaches, when your previously joyous recreations take on a subdued and distant air. The arrival of winter is forecast primarily by the white snow, and the Grasshopper's previously-green body becomes a sickly blue from frostbite. Meanwhile, in a surprising contrast, the mood inside the ants nest remains bright and festive, predominantly utilising deep reds to symbolise warmth, comfort and security.

    Like several Silly Symphonies, 'The Grasshopper and the Ants' was adapted from an Aesop's Fable, and so tells an important story with a good moral. The Grasshopper, who is idly whittling away his spring, laughs off the ant-queen's suggestions that he prepare for the cold season, and soon finds himself frozen and hungry in the winter snow. Aesop's original tale had the Grasshopper being mercilessly turned away from the ant nest and perishing, but Walt Disney had a warmer heart than this; he offers the Grasshopper a winter-time refuge, on the single condition that he rightly earn his living by playing his fiddle for the colony. The Grasshopper was notably voiced by Pinto Colvig, who also voiced Goofy, and the song introduced here ("The World Owes Me a Living") would subsequently become Goofy's theme. Overall, this cartoon, directed by Wilfred Jackson, is nicely-animated, very entertaining and suitably touching. Similar Symphonies, telling a simple story with a nice moral, include 'The Ugly Duckling (1931 and 1939)' and 'The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)'