The Grasshopper and the Ant [La Cicala e La Formica] (c. 1954-56)

6 min; Italian, no subtitles

This short animated film is preserved in the historic archives of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. This interpretation of Aesop’s classic fable was produced by the Association of Italian Savings Banks (Associazione fra le Casse di Risparmio Italiane) and served as a kind of “public service announcement” to promote the idea of saving and budgeting to the Italian people.

In this modernized re-telling, the anthropomorphized insects work industrialized agricultural jobs and sell their goods at market, then deposit their earnings in the bank. Meanwhile, the grasshopper parties at a nightclub. In the end he is unable to buy Christmas gifts for his family and is left out in the cold.

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