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 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.
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 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
Walt Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies (DVD) 2001
Walt Disney's Timeless Tales Volume 1 (DVD) 2005
Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films Volume 5: Wind in the Willows (DVD) 2009