Western Animation / Gallavants


An animated film from 1984, Gallavants follows the adventures of a member of a species of anthropomorphic ants called Gallavants, who live in a colony called Ganterville.

Like real ants, they have a highly structured society where every individual has a role to play in the colony. Also, like real ants, they are ruled by a queen. All Gallavants are born from eggs and raised by the Attend-ants (if you're not prepared for a lot of bad ant puns, stop reading now), the resident nanny ants. Once they reach a certain age, they are taught by the local Major Mentor, who makes it his job to teach them the ins and outs of Gallavant society. A Gallavant is considered to be an adult when he or she receives a 'kabump'. This takes place at a large ceremony where all Gallavants of a certain generation receive their kabumps. Or so that's how it's supposed to go...

One certain Gallavant, named Shando, is convinced that he doesn't need lessons to find his place in the colony. He desires to be a music ant but is too lazy to put any effort into learning what he's supposed to learn.

He gets into a series of misadventures, which include a failed attempt at getting a kabump and nearly getting eaten by a Vanterviper. Ultimately, he is able to earn his kabump and fulfill his dream of being a music ant.

A staple of mom-and-pop VHS rental stores and of Nickelodeon's "Special Delivery", the Gallavants are still much-loved in their native Scandinavia but are known in America only for this movie. Which is, in case the plot description didn't clue you in, really weird. A review can be read here.

Not to be confused with that similarly named live-action musical/comedy by Alan Menken.

Gallavants provides examples of:

  • A Head at Each End: The vanterviper.
  • Action Girl: Eegee, a female Gallavant. Eventually joins the Enforce-ants, the group that protects the colony from Vantervipers
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Teetor often does this
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:Orange ants? A purple amphisbaena? Yup!
  • Big Eater: Bok, who at one point downs four drinks at one time
  • Cool Teacher / Cool Old Guy: Major Mentor Teetor
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Shando goes blind and sings a creepy song on how he'll never see the light of day again.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Babags wears a bow on one antenna.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The Gallavants have four of them.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The term for young Gallavants is GIT, or Gallavant-In-Training
  • Gender Bender: Played with the Vanterviper- Edil, the red head has a female voice, while Wyce, the blue head, has a male voice.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Are the kabumps....their reproductive organs?
  • The High Queen: Queen Mallikam
  • Informed Flaw: Shando is supposed to be very lazy, but he actually applies himself quite rigorously to his music. In addition to constantly practicing his instrument, he actually takes the initiative to join a band and is shown to be rather proficient at the instrument they give him, thanks to a combination of talent and practice. While it makes sense that an industrial society like the Gallavants would frown upon having the arts as a life goal (the music ants are even stated to have gotten a special permit to be allowed to practice their craft), it doesn't make him seem lazy from an outsider's perspective. (There's also the fact that he uses his free time not spent practicing to tutor young GITs.)
  • Insect Gender-Bender: Unlike real ants, both male and female Gallavants contribute to society.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Shando and his teacher were close throughout Shando's school life, but upon his graduation, they reflect upon the fact that Shando's adulthood lets them be proper friends without the separation of the school system.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Edil & Wyce, the Vanterviper's heads.
  • List Song: "Every Grant Serves Us All" lists the different roles of Gallavant society and gives a brief synopsis of what they do
  • Meaningful Name: The vanterviper's heads, Edil & Wyce. Edelweiss, get it? Inverted: They're far from sweet. There’s also Antonim, "the complete opposite to Teetor", and Antik, "the Queen’s court jester".
  • Multiple Head Case: The Vanterviper. They even have their own Villain Song contemplating their miserable existence.
  • Organ Autonomy: Shando's kabump is literally a piece of his abdomen that pops out and bounces around with a mind of its own.
    • Justified in that it's a fake.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Played straight for most Gallavants
  • Rite of Passage: Kabumping Day, when all of the GITs of a generation receive their kabumps
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Vanterviper.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Averted with the Vanterviper, who is as close to the mythical amphisbaena as it can be- right down to being an ant-eater!
  • Theme Naming: Nearly every occupation in Ganterville conveniently ends with the suffix '-ant'
  • Villain Song: "Two Heads Ain't Better Than One"
  • White Gloves: All Gallavants wear them. It's actually shown that they receive them at birth.