The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)

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Ideally suited for its target Depression-era audience, this 1934 cartoon begins in Springtime, as a carefree, top-hatted grasshopper fiddles away while a colony of ants industrially stores away food and provisions for the winter (a project that requires saws, carts, and a full marching band). The Ant Queen warns the Grasshopper that "You'll change your tune when winter comes," but the Grasshopper merely laughs and reprises his signature song "The World Owes Us a Livin'." Come wintertime, and the Grasshopper starves and freezes outside while the ants enjoy a rich banquet in the warm comfort of their tree-trunk domicile. Fortunately, the Queen is merciful, and invites the Grasshopper inside to join the festivities--but only if he has truly learned his lesson. Among other highlights, the transition from Spring to Winter is brilliantly conveyed in early three-strip Technicolor.