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Western Animation / Tea for Two Hundred

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Tea for Two Hundred is a 1948 animated short film (6 1/2 minutes) from Disney, directed by Jack Hannah.

Donald Duck is out picnicking in a wooded area next to a cliff. As he sets out his food for what looks like a lavish meal, he is amused to see a squadron of ants carrying grains from the forest, one bean per ant. Donald starts to really screw with the ant at the end of the line, pushing on the ant's beat with his finger, then loading the poor little ant down with a giantic pile of food, while all the time the ant doesn't know what is going on.

Eventually, Donald flings the ant away—into Donald's custard cream pie. This backfires badly on Donald, as the ant, now alerted to the presence of a lot of delicious food, alerts all of his ant buddies.


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Tropes:

  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Donald, as always, is naked from the waist down. But it's especially notable in this short, given how shocked and embarrassed he is when he loses his shirt.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Donald tries to conceal...something, after losing his shirt to the ants.
  • Hitler Cam: Seen from the ant's POV as Donald looms over it after chucking it into his pie.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Donald's final gambit is to explode a dynamite charge under the ground, theoretically destroying the ants. But all he does is blow off the edge of the cliff he's standing on, which sends him plunging into the river below, while the ants gorge on his food.
  • Improvised Clothes: Donald wears a Bankruptcy Barrel after the ants take his shirt.
  • Jerkass: Donald messes with a harmless little ant for no reason.
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  • Jungle Drums: The ants, who are coded as African tribesmen, use mushrooms as drums when rallying the colony together.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If Donald had just left the ant alone he could have enjoyed a nice picnic lunch in the woods. Instead, he gets flung into a river while the ants eat all his food.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: That ant is carrying an amazing pile of food and drink by the time Donald is finally done with him.
  • The Runt at the End: The last ant on the line, which is struggling with a slightly larger load than the others. Donald messing with this last ant is what sets off the plot.
  • Shout-Out: The music accompanying the ants is a rearrangement of "Pink Elephants on Parade."
  • Speaking Simlish: The ants jabber at each other in gibberish meant to evoke the speeches of African tribesmen.
  • Strong Ants: It starts with Donald testing the last ant's strength by piling food on top of him. Later, the whole colony is carrying a sleeping Don and tossing him off the cliff.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Downplayed. The ants are characterized as an African tribe, the sight of them walking in line while carrying food resembling a safari hunting party. The ants themselves don't resemble the typical racial caricatures, except for one ant based on Stephin Fetchit that appears on one scene early on (which is typically cut out on most TV showings).
  • Vacation Episode: Donald on a picnic in the forest, getting into trouble with ants.
  • Visual Pun: At one point the ants, who can't even be seen any more because they're carting around Donald's food items, assemble into a football formation. Then they execute a pass play, throwing an olive over Donald.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Donald gets his shirt ripped off while he's doing battle with the ants. He is extremely embarrassed.
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