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Western Animation / Gallavants

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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:

  • Action Girl: Eegee, a female Gallavant. Eventually joins the Enforce-ants, the group that protects the colony from Vantervipers
  • Affably Evil: Fice, the blue head of the Vanterviper, does intend on eating Shando, though he's a lot more polite and articulate than his harsh and hot-headed opposite end Edil.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Orange ants? A purple amphisbaena? Yup!
  • Amicable Ants: The Gallavants are a peaceful, benevolent colony of ants and very hard-working. Each one has a specific job, and they place great importance on knowing one's place in the colony. The protagonist, Shando, is lazy, and wants to become a musician without having to do any lessons. He ends up going on an adventure and earning his dream job.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The baby Gallavants hatch as tiny versions of the adults, instead of as larvae, which pupate before becoming full-grown as with real ants.
  • 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.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Antonim seems to be this, as Teetor worries about the G.I.Ts if Antonim was ever to become their teacher.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Babags wears a bow on one antenna.
  • Feather Fingers: The Vanterviper's pointed noses are suprisingly expressive, and at one point Fice even uses his nose to accusingly point at Edil, like an index finger!
  • 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 Fice, the blue head, has a male voice. However, Fice does address Edil as a 'he', so it may just be that both are indeed male, Edil just has a more feminine voice.
  • A Head at Each End: The vanterviper.
  • 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 & Fice, the Vanterviper's heads. Edil is the angry, dominating one while Fice is like a Henpecked Husband.
  • 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 & Fice. 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".
  • Mouse World: Being about a society of ants, this is expected.
  • Multiple Head Case: The Vanterviper. They even have their own Villain Song contemplating their miserable existence.
  • Organ Autonomy: Shando's kabump, though justified that it's really an enchanted egg that pretends to be his kabump, before he gets it for real.
  • 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.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Vanterviper does have some features of snakes, and is named after one, but overall looks more like a two-headed earthworm.
  • 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!
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Teetor and Antonim. Teetor tries to nurture and care for the young Gallavants, hoping that they will be inspired to work in the colony. Antonim, however, thinks that the youngsters are too soft and lazy, and need strict discipline to be made into functional citizens.
  • Theme Naming: Nearly every occupation in Ganterville conveniently ends with the suffix '-ant'
  • Villain Song: "Two Heads Ain't Better Than One"
    • Antonim sings a song about Teetor being old and unfit for teaching,
  • White Gloves: All Gallavants wear them. It's actually shown that they receive them at birth.