People have their own/different reason, or even reasons, for watching any of the Terrytoons cartoons. In my case it was being a huge animation fan all my life and being oddly intrigued into seeing more of Terrytoons' output. After seeing one of the (very) early ones by chance, didn't care for it on the most part but something about it made me want to see more from the studio to see whether they evolved (which they certainly did), when finished watching the Van Bueren cartoons and looking for more low-budget animation to watch.
1945 was a year from a period where it was very clear that Terrytoons had advanced quite a lot from where they first started. The biggest improvement being the animation and there were characters that didn't make much of an impression on me but grew significantly over time, namely Gandy. Though there were elements too that stayed consistent through, the music consistently being the best thing and the story never being a strong suit. Gags and characters varied. 'Ants in Your Pantry' left me marginally impressed but also somewhat conflicted, one can see how far the studio has come on but there were a few elements executed in a way that makes one think that it could easily have been made in the 30s.
'Ants in Your Pantry's' best component, unsurprisingly, is the music. This asset was the one component that was consistent in even the lesser outings and in a good way. It is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and arranged, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action. The most interesting thing though is the animation. There is a good deal of looping here, Terrytoons were no stranger to looping as it happened frequently in their early cartoons but back then it was not a good thing with it being cheap and clearly a way of cutting corners. Here in 'Ants in Your Pantry', it's used cleverly with as said some interesting and not overdone self-mocking that one doesn't usually see with Terrytoons and one can can see from the far more elaborate and ambitious backgrounds, smoother drawing and more vibrant colours how far the animation quality for the studio has come.
Compared to the early Terrytoons cartoons, you can tell that their humour has largely improved over time at this point of their output. There is more of it, though there still could have been more, and although never hilarious the gags are not unfunny at least. The reproductive element is interesting, as is the ending. The ants are more than just cutesy creatures, including a character influenced clearly by Mae West (a very popular caricature in animation).
Like a lot of the non-theatrical series Terrytoons cartoons, 'Ants in Your Pantry' is incredibly flimsy in plot (not much of one at all) and an excuse to show off the looping. The pacing could have been tighter and parts are on the saccharine and bland side.
Despite there being more gags than the usual non-theatrical series Terrytoons and they do amuse, there still could have been more and they did have potential to be more than just mildly amusing. The ants avoid over-cutesiness but could have had more personality. If any of these criticisms sound very contradictory, it is because elements did leave me not sure what my stance is on them.
On the whole, nice and somewhat interesting cartoon but not much special. 6/10
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