The Grasshopper and the Ants (film)

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The Grasshopper and the Ants
Silly Symphony series
The Grasshopper and the Ants.png
Title card.
Directed byWilfred Jackson
Produced byWalt Disney
Story byBill Cottrell
Voices byPinto Colvig
Music byLeigh Harline
Animation byArt Babbitt
Dick Huemer
Albert Hurter
StudioWalt Disney Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date(s)
  • February 10, 1934 (1934-02-10)
Color processTechnicolor
Running time8 minutes
CountryUnited States
Preceded byThe China Shop
Followed byFunny Little Bunnies

The Grasshopper and the Ants is a 1934 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. Part of the Silly Symphonies series, the film is an adaptation of The Ant and the Grasshopper, one of Aesop's Fables. It was directed by Wilfred Jackson and stars Pinto Colvig as the voice of the grasshopper "Hop."

The film introduced the song "The World Owes Me a Living" (later "I Owe the World a Living") by Leigh Harline and Larry Morey[1], which later became associated with the character Goofy who was also voiced by Colvig. According to Leonard Maltin on the Walt Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies DVD, this was an early example of the idea of having a character turn blue with cold, when full-spectrum Technicolor was still new at the time.


Hop entertains the ant colony after they take him in during the winter

The grasshopper is playing his fiddle, dancing and eating leaves. He notices some ants working hard collecting food. He laughs and calls an ant to him. He tells the ant that there is food on every tree and he sees no reason to work. He dances and sings that The world owes us a living. The ant begins to dance too. The queen ant arrives, carried in a sedan chair, and sees the ant playing instead of working. The ant notices the queen and immediately goes back to work. The angry queen warns the grasshopper that he will change his tune when winter comes. The grasshopper blithely dismisses the queen's warning, saying that winter is a long way off.

Autumn passes and winter arrives. The grasshopper trudges through the snow, cold and hungry. He finds one withered leaf, but it blows away before he can eat it. Meanwhile, the ants are feasting on their stored food. The grasshopper knocks on their door and collapses. The ants carry him inside and warm and feed him. The queen ant approaches him. He begs to be allowed to stay. She tells him that only those who work may stay, and tells him to take his fiddle. Thinking that he is being dismissed, he starts to leave, but the queen tells him to play the fiddle. While the ants dance, he happily plays and sings I owe the world a living!

Home video release[edit]

  1. Walt Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies (DVD) 2001
  2. Walt Disney's Timeless Tales Volume 1 (DVD) 2005
  3. Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films Volume 5: Wind in the Willows (DVD) 2009
  4. A Bug's Life - Bonus Feature (Blu-Ray) 2009, 2016



  1. ^ "WORLD OWES ME A LIVING". ASCAP. Retrieved January 12, 2018.

External links[edit]