Atom Ant

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Not to be confused with Adam Ant.
Atom Ant
Atom Ant.png
Also known as The Atom Ant Show
Genre Animation
Written by Tony Benedict
Warren Foster
Directed by Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Voices of Don Messick
Howard Morris
Janet Waldo
Henry Corden
Composer(s) Ted Nichols
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Producer(s) Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run 2 October 1965 – 31 August 1968

Atom Ant is a cartoon ant and superhero, created by Hanna-Barbera in 1965. Atom costarred in The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show (sharing top billing with Secret Squirrel). In syndication, Atom Ant aired alongside Precious Pupp and The Hillbilly Bears.

Biography[edit]

Atom Ant (originally voiced by Howard Morris, then by Don Messick in later episodes) is a superhero ant operated out of an anthill in the countryside, where he possessed such things as a mainframe computer and exercise equipment. His powers mostly consisted of the ability to fly, superspeed, incredible strength, and invulnerability. His catchphrase was "Up and at 'em, Atom Ant!"

He was often contacted by the police, who sent him out on an assignment. Some of these missions parodied those of Batman. The police force was constantly shown to be underfunded and inept, as they relied on Atom Ant to do all their police work. As seen in "Nobody's Fool," the only two police officers were the chief of police and deputy chief. The department only possessed one rusted patrol car.

Atom Ant fights various villains including recurring ones like Ferocious Flea (voiced by Don Messick) and mad scientist Professor Von Gimmick.

Episode listing[edit]

Title Original airdate
1 "Up and Atom" 2 October 1965 (1965-10-02)
A criminal called Big Fats Dynamo makes a prison break. Atom Ant, sent to recapture him, outsmarts him to the point of a knock out.
2 "Crankenshaft's Monster" 9 October 1965 (1965-10-09)
Mad Doctor Crankenshaft creates a little glob that increases in size with every bite to eat. Atom Ant reduces the glob's size with a spin.
3 "Gem-A-Go-Go" 16 October 1965 (1965-10-16)
The Tura Lura Topaz gets stolen by Fancy Finger Finnegan. Atom Ant has get through Finnegan's traps to catch him and recover the jewel.
4 "Ferocious Flea" 23 October 1965 (1965-10-23)
A Show Director and his Ferocious Flea rob a lot of banks without leaving a trace. Atom Ant follows their trail and blows their cover.
5 "Rambling Robot" 30 October 1965 (1965-10-30)
A robot built by Junior goes out of control and smashes things in his path. Atom Ant has a hard time smashing the robot then rebuilding it.
6 "Nobody's Fool" 6 November 1965 (1965-11-06)
Two thugs operate in a robbery while their accomplice Anastasia Antnic waylays Atom Ant, but she turns against the thugs.
7 "Atom Ant Meets Karate Ant" 13 November 1965 (1965-11-13)
A criminal and his partner Muscles send an ant called Mr. Muto to take care of Atom Ant, but they get into a friendly chat instead.
8 "Fastest Ant in the West" 20 November 1965 (1965-11-20)
Atom Ant is summoned by a town Sheriff to take care of the outlaw Rowdy Dowdy, who isn't giving up easily.
9 "Mistaken Identity" 27 November 1965 (1965-11-27)
Ferocious Flea takes Atom Ant's identity and sets him up for robberies. Atom Ant unmasks Ferocious in his latest heist.
10 "How Now Bow Wow" 4 December 1965 (1965-12-04)
Ferocious Flea and Bone Brains steal a first prize dog from a dog show. Atom gets the two out of the way and returns the dog.
11 "Dragon Master" 11 December 1965 (1965-12-11)
Dr. Strange puts Atom Ant in a time machine taking him to the Arthurian Times. Atom Ant saves the kingdom from a dragon before returning to his time.
12 "The Big Gimmick" 18 December 1965 (1965-12-18)
Atom Ant battles Dr. Von Gimmick in his gigantic robot. Dr. Von Gimmick attempts to get the ant out of the way with his one weakness: A picnic.
13 "Super Blooper" 25 December 1965 (1965-12-25)
Atom Ant assists the actor playing Super Guy to make him look genuine in front of the public, especially dealing with a bank robbery.
14 "Wild, Wild Ants" 1 January 1966 (1966-01-01)
Atom Ant battles the Anthill Mob on a picnic raid, until they're resigned to join Atom in his fitness club.
15 "Dina-Sore" 8 January 1966 (1966-01-08)
Atom Ant takes on a museum dinosaur, which has become animated by a bolt of lightning until the beast is driven out to sea.
16 "Amusement Park Amazement" 15 January 1966 (1966-01-15)
Atom Ant holds off Dr. Von Gimmick's dangerous weaponry and finally gets him to build the amusement park he intended to construct.
17 "Bully for Atom Ant" 22 January 1966 (1966-01-22)
On a vacation in Mexico, Atom Ant helps a man named Chicken Enchilada to fight in a bullfight in order to win the hand in marriage of his beloved Concita.
18 "Termighty Mean" 29 January 1966 (1966-01-29)
Dr. Von Gimmick assigns Atom Ant to capture his escaped super eating termite Godzilla. Atom Ant manages to tame the termite with a stick of bubble gum.
19 "Nine Strikes You're Out" 5 February 1966 (1966-02-05)
Mad scientist J. Dastardly Deeds clones himself eight times with the aid of a cat's mythical nine lives, and Atom Ant takes them out.
20 "Go West Young Ant" 12 February 1966 (1966-02-12)
Atom Ant assists soldier ants in a battle against a red ant tribe. Atom Ant challenges the chieftain's son to a settle a peace between the ant divisions.
21 "Knight Fight" 10 September 1966 (1966-09-10)
With the world at peace, Atom Ant goes to the Middle Ages to assist a kingdom to fight an evil black knight.
22 "Pteraducktyl Soup" 17 September 1966 (1966-09-17)
A Pteraducktyl brought to life by a scientist rampages through the city. Atom Ant has trouble getting it to stop.
23 "Up in the Air Squares" 24 September 1966 (1966-09-24)
Buildings are being taken away by a magnet chopper driven by Toadstool. Atom Ant saves the city hall then proceeds to recover the police building.
24 "Mouse Rouser" 1 October 1966 (1966-10-01)
A mouse sends for Atom Ant's help to protect him from a cat. Atom Ant stops the cat from further bothering the mouse, but the cat has a dog chasing him.
25 "Killer Diller Gorilla" 8 October 1966 (1966-10-08)
Atom Ant battles a giant gorilla, who treats the city like a toy. Atom eventually drives the gorilla away.
26 "Rock-a-Bye Boo-Boo" 15 October 1966 (1966-10-15)
Atom Ant keeps a village safe from a Roc and her egg. The Roc ceases her attacks when her egg hatches.

Other appearances[edit]

  • In the early 1990s series, Yo Yogi! with Don Messick reprising Atom Ant. In the episode "Super Duper Snag," it was revealed that his Atomic Helmet is his source of power.
  • Hi-Tech Software released a budget labeled computer game for the Commodore 64 in 1990 called Atom Ant: Up and Atom. The idea of the game is to fly and collect a certain amount of bombs scattered around high rise buildings and 'atomize' them in a special bubble-like device at the top of each area (a game design influenced by Tehkan's Bomb Jack).
  • Cartoon Network produced a short cartoon in their "Groovies" series featuring Atom Ant which contained bits of audio tracks from the Atom Ant cartoon, as well as audio from the classic Cold War civil defense film, Duck and Cover. The short can still sometimes be seen on Boomerang.
  • Atom Ant as a picture made a cameo in the "Agent Penny" episode of the Super Secret Secret Squirrel segment of 2 Stupid Dogs.
  • Atom Ant made a cameo in a MetLife commercial that aired in 2012.
  • Atom Ant's catchphrase of "Up and Atom!" is also used by comic book superhero Radioactive Man in The Simpsons.

DVD release[edit]

The episode "Up And Atom" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol. 1. The episode "Atom Ant Meets Karate Ant" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol.2. The episode "The Big Gimmick" is available on the DVD Best of Warner Bros. 25 Cartoon Collection Hanna-Barbera.

Production Credits[edit]

  • Produced and Directed by: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
  • Story: Tony Benedict, Warren Foster, Dalton Sandifer, Michael Maltese
  • Musical Direction: Ted Nichols
  • Story Direction: Alex Lovy, Lewis Marshall, Paul Sommer, Art Scott, Steve Clark, Art Davis
  • Voices: Don Messick, Howard Morris, Janet Waldo, Henry Corden, Allan Melvin, Paul Frees, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl
  • Animation Direction: Charles A. Nichols
  • Production Supervision: Howard Hanson
  • Animation: George Kreisl, Irv. Spence, Edward Aardal, Don Lusk, Bob Carr, Don Patterson, C.L. Hartman, Bill Hutten, Dick Lundy, Allan Wilzbach, Carlo Vinci, Ken Southworth, Jack Parr, Rudy Cataldi, Jerry Hathcock, Louis Kachivas
  • Layout: Willie Ito, Dick Bickenbach, Brad Case, Lin Larsen, Homar Jonas, Bruce Bushman, Alex Ignateiv, Walter Clinton, Morris Gollub
  • Background: Richard H. Thomas, Ron Dias, F. Montealegre, Bob Gentle, Fernando Arce
  • Camera: Frank Paiker, Charles Flekal, Norman Stainback, Roy Wade, Frank Parrish
  • Film Editing: Warner Leighton, Don Douglas, Larry Cowan, Greg Watson, Dan Finnerty, Tony Milch, Kenneth Spears, Ed Warschilka, Milton Krear
  • Sound Direction: Richard Olson
  • Atom Ant
  • Copyright C MCMLXV-VI Hanna Barbera Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • Approved MPAA Certificate No. 19034
  • RCA Sound Recording
  • This Picture Made Under the Jurisiction of IATSE-IA Affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O
  • A Hanna-Barbera Production

External links[edit]