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Villain Overview

Sacrifice. To some, it is just a word. To others, it is a code. A soldier knows that the life of an individual ant doesn't matter. What matters is the Colony. He's willing to live for the Colony. To fight for the Colony. To die for the Colony. At 0800 hours, we received word that the Termite enemy has mobilized. We have no choice but to launch a preemptive strike. You are the Queen's finest. I know you will all do your duty. I am proud to send you into battle. Dismissed.
~ General Mandible intentionally sending the Queen's troops on a suicide mission to attack the termites.
DAMN! ...good. Damn good!
~ Geberal Mandible covering up news "a soldier" survived the fight
You useless, ungrateful maggot! I AM THE COLONY!
~ General Mandible's last and most famous quote.

General Mandible is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' first full-length animated feature film Antz. He is the former leader of the Queen's army, the former boss of Colonel Cutter, the former fiancé of Princess Bala and Z's archenemy.

He was voiced by Gene Hackman, who also played John Herod in The Quick And The Dead, Lex Luthor in Superman, and Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven.


In his first action, Mandible sends the soldier ants most loyal to the Queen to fight a termite colony, knowing fully well that they wouldn't survive.

He intends to marry Princess Bala, making her his queen and the mother of thousands of larval children and make a strong colony with soldiers. After Bala is "kidnapped" by a worker ant named Z (who was the sole survivor of the termite battle), Mandible attempts to find their whereabouts. He has some of his soldiers beat up Z's soldier friend Weaver to get information out of him, but he refuses to talk. However, when Mandible has Z's other friend, Azteca (Weaver's love interest) tortured, Weaver says that Z went to Insectopia. Mandible sends Cutter to retrieve Bala and kill Z.

After Bala is brought back to the colony, she demands that Mandible tells her what is going on, to which Mandible replies that he will explain afterwards. Outraged, Bala calls off the wedding and rejects Mandible after she learns of his plans. Mandible nonetheless reveals to Bala his evil scheme to drown all the workers during the MegaTunnel ceremony along with her mother, while sparing the princess herself to make her his queen of his colony of soldiers. He then locks Bala in his office to stop her from interfering in his plan.

After successfully flooding the anthill, the would-be-dictator's scheme is foiled when Z, Bala, Weaver, Azteca, and the other ants form a ladder with their own bodies to escape from the rising waters. Mandible grabs a spear to kill Z, but Cutter, fed up with Mandible's evil ways, turns against him, and instead tries to help Z, stating that is what's truly "for the good of the colony". Enraged, Mandible snaps and screams, "I AM THE COLONY!" Mandible charges at Cutter, but Z pushes Cutter out of the way, and he and Mandible fall into the flooded anthill. While Z lands in the water (where he is saved by Cutter a minute later), Mandible ends up smashing against an upturned root, killing him on impact.


General Mandible is an ant who serves as the leader of the Queen's army alongside with his accomplice, Colonel Cutter. He is a war-hungry insect with little regard for the colony as a whole (especially the army's battle against the Termites), which becomes evident when he ultimately betrays every ant, including the Queen but excluding his own army, by flooding the anthill in an attempt to "wash away the past".

Arrogant, he is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goals including sending hundreds of solder ants to their deaths to root out those loyal to the queen. He also holds darwinistic beliefs, because according to him, the strong should survive, and the weak element should be washed away, meaning killed. And what Mandible means by the weak are all the worker ants and even members of the royalty.

Despite this, he is still a charismatic and persuasive leader, able to convince the rest of the colony that Z was an enemy with his speech skills. Mandible appears a definite physical match, but he prefers to manipulate a situation to his advantage and trick the most loyal soldiers into attacking a termite colony, which was a definite suicide mission. He also generally behaves well-mannered and politely, although this is only a facade.

Mandible is definitely xenophobic and manipulative, as he possesses a nonsensical and indescribable hatred of the worker class of the ants; he even believes that their deaths would benefit the colony and he is able to manipulate the Queen to send an army to a suicide-mission to attack the termites who are their enemies. For all his delusional speeches that a life of an individual does not matter, he himself has an extremely high self-importance, describing himself as the colony before attacking his former second-in-command, Cutter, proving he is only at the bottom a power-hungry hypocrite.


Workers. They are weak. They lack discipline. They lack commitment.
~ General Mandible, speaking about the worker ants.
It's in your nature. But in spite of your limitations, you are going to finish this tunnel on schedule. Come hell or high water.
~ General Mandible.
DAMN!! Good. Damn good. I'll handle this.
~ General Mandible about to take action himself.
I mean if this Z is so important, the why isn't he here? I'll tell you why: because Z doesn't give a damn about us!
~ General Mandible manipulating the other worker ants by lying about Z.
General Mandible: Ah, Princess, you're just in time.
Princess Bala: Take your hands off me! General, what exactly is going on here? I demand an explanation.
General Mandible: I'll explain everything afterwards. Is the Southeast entrance secure?
Soldier: Yes, sir! (Bala slams her fist on the table.)
Princess Bala: Not afterwards… NOW. [she glares at Mandible] I don't like the way you think. And I don't like the way you run this colony. And I don't like YOU. The wedding is off. Things are gonna change around here.
General Mandible: You're right, Princess. Things ARE gonna change. Why don't we make her more comfortable? (They force Bala into a chair.) She'll be here for a while.
Princess Bala: What do you think you're doing?! My mother will have your head!
General Mandible: I doubt that. (chuckles) Ah, you've got a fighter spirit, Bala. And that's just what we need to start our new colony. We'll rinse away all the filth from our gutters, and start anew… with you by my side as my queen.
Princess Bala: You're crazy!
General Mandible: (Mandible smirks) I believe history will see things differently. Alright, gentlemen, time to take your positions. Someday… someday you'll thank me. (Leaves his office and locks the door behind him.)
~ General Mandible explaining to Bala his evil plan to drown all the ants before locking her in his office.


  • General Mandible is the third main antagonist of a computer-animated film after Sid Phillips from the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story, which was the first fully computer-animated film ever, and Shadowseat from the Brazilian film Cassiopeia.
  • He is also the second main antagonist of a computer-animated film who is not grey zoned and the second main antagonist of a computer-animated film to die at the end.
  • Mandible is currently the only DreamWorks villain to use profanity, as well as the first antagonist of a CGI movie to do so.
  • General Mandible symbolizes Adolf Hitler due to a desire to commit genocide in the name of a "perfect" society run by a superior kind of individual (for Hitler the Ubermensch, for Mandible the Soldier Ant).
  • Due to his voice mannerisms and jingoistic personality, Mandible has some similarities to George C. Scott's portrayal of American general George S. Patton.
  • In the early drafts of Antz, an ant named Formica served as General and Bala's fiancé, whilst Mandible served as a major and the one who brought Bala back to the colony. Unlike Mandible in the final film, who locks Bala in his office to prevent her from being drowned, Formica would have left Bala to die along with the Queen and the workers, claiming that there are more princesses were she came from. Also, unlike Mandible in the final film, who died after landing hard on a root, Formica (whilst trying to attack Z) would have fallen into water and nearly drowned, but was saved by Z and the others and would have been made a honeydew keg whilst Weaver would have replaced him as General.
  • His plan is very stupid and short-sighted to begin with since without the worker ants, the colony cannot be built and maintain effectively since soldier ants are meant to defend the colony and are totally not effective to do the jobs of the worker ants.
  • In real life, Mandible would actually have survived the fall, since ants have very little body mass, and even the highest falls technically cannot kill them.
  • Mandible marks the only animated character to be voiced by Gene Hackman, before his retirement in 2004.

External Links


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Animated Features
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Video Games
King Fossa | Arachne | Doom Syndicate (Psycho Delic)

Mr. Chew | Tour Guide | Boneknapper | Wu Sisters | Le Chuchoteur

See Also
20th Century Studios Villains | Aardman Villains | Amblin Entertainment Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Farrelly Brothers Villains | Fast and the Furious Villains | Fright Night Villains | How to Train Your Dragon Villains | ImageMovers Villains | Jurassic Park Villains | Kung Fu Panda Villains | Madagascar Villains | Netflix Villains | Nickelodeon Movies Villains | Norbit Villains | Paramount Villains | Ridley Scott Villains | She-Ra 2018 Villains | Shrek Villains | Small Soldiers Villains | Sony Pictures Villains | Steven Spielberg Villains | Sweeney Todd Villains | Tales of Arcadia Villains | The Boss Baby Villains | Tim Burton Villains | Turbo Villains | Transformers Cinematic Universe Villains | Universal Studios Villains | VeggieTales Villains | Wallace and Gromit Villains | Warner Bros. Villains