Antz movie poster

Antz is a 1997 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Eric Darnell and Tim Johnson. It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. The film was released on October 2, 1997.


Located in Central Park of New York City, Z-4195, or Z for short, is a neurotic ant living in a totalitarian ant colony. Z's friends consist of worker ant Azteca and soldier ant Weaver, but he longs to express himself. While at a bar, Z meets Princess Bala, who had left her suffocating royal duties temporarily. Z soon falls in love with her and seeks to find a way to be with her. Z decides to switch places with Weaver and joins the ant army commanded by General Mandible, Bala's fiance. Z befriends a staff sergeant, Barbatus, while disguised as a soldier ant. General Mandible, who seeks to rebuild with colony with powerful ants, secretly sends all soldier ants loyal to the queen on a suicide mission to battle the termite army.

Z and the ants battle the termites at nightfall, with Z emerging the only survivor. He finds a decapitated Barbatus, who advises Z to think for himself before dying of his injuries. Z returns to the colony and is hailed a war hero by General Mandible and the colony, and is taken before the Queen and Bala, who recognizes him as a worker ant. His cover blown, Z pretends to take Bala hostage and the two ants flee the colony. After escaping, Z and Bala begin searching for Insectopia, a legendary haven. Meanwhile Z's actions of individuality spark a revolution within the colony. General Mandible takes the opportunity to portray Z as a traitor to the colony and brand him as a criminal.

General Mandible promotes the use of conformity within the colony and promises the ants a better life if they complete a Mega Tunnel planned by himself. After learning Z is searching for Insectopia via interrogating Weaver, Mandible sends his second-in-comma,d Colonel Cutter, to retrieve Bala and dispose of Z. However, Cutter begins to rethink Mandible's plans. Meanwhile, Z and Bala, while traveling to Insectopia, are faced with wasps, praying mantises, and humans, before finally reaching their destination, which they discover to be a human waste-bin.  However, Cutter arrives and takes Bala back to the colony. Z, with assistance from a wasp named Chip, returns to the colony to rescue Bala.

Z rescues Bala and learns that Mandible's Mega Tunnel leads to a body of water that will drown the worker ants and the Queen, who Mandible will replace as the colony's ruler. Despite Z's efforts, the water leaks in and traps the worker ants. However, Z, Bala, and Weaver unify the worker ants into a single unit that builds a tower of ants towards the surface. Z and the workers claw their way to the surface as General Mandible and the soldier ants gather above. General Mandible attempts to kill Z, but is stopped by Cutter, who helps Z out of the hole, declaring it for the good of the colony. Enraged, Mandible attempts to attack Cutter, but Z pushes him out of the way. Z and Mandible plummet back into the hole and Mandible is killed when he lands on a root. Cutter, taking command of the soldiers, have them haul the worker ants out of the hole while he rescues Z.

After Bala revives Z, he is hailed a hero for his actions. Z marries Bala and Cutter takes over as General, rebuilding the colony into a community that values its members.