The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)
As in the classic fable, the grasshopper plays his fiddle and lives for the moment, while the industrious ants squirrel away massive amounts of food for the winter. With his song, he's able to convince at least one small ant until the queen arrives and scares him back to work. The queen warns the grasshopper of the trouble he'll be in, come winter. Winter comes, and the grasshopper, near starvation, stumbles across the ants, who are having a full-on feast in their snug little tree. They take him in and warm him up. The queen tells him only those who work can eat so he must play for them.
- The short starts with a grasshopper, playfully hopping and playing his fiddle. As he rests for a bit, he observes a colony of ants working hard to store food for winter.
As one little ant struggles with a cartload of food, the grasshopper talks to him, expounding his philosophy of how the 'world owes him a living,' and gets the little ant to dance along to his fiddling. However, their revelry is cut short when the ant queen appears, frightening the little worker back to his duties. The ant queen cautions the grasshopper that when winter comes, his tune of merriment will be different. However, the grasshopper chooses to ignore her, and goes on with his carefree attitude.
Shortly afterward, the winter cold and snow come. The ants retreat to their home in a hollow tree. Meanwhile, the grasshopper struggles against the cold to find food, before knocking at the ants' door for salvation. Several of the workers take pity on him, allowing him to warm up and eat.
These actions are observed by the queen. She crossly confronts the grasshopper, who pleads with her to let him stay. The queen then gives the grasshopper his fiddle, allowing him to stay with the colony if he will entertain them through the winter months. The grasshopper joyously bursts into song, singing of the lesson he's learned from the ants.