Termites from Mars

Termites from Mars is the 44th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on December 8, 1952, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal International.[1]

Termites from Mars
Directed byDon Patterson
Produced byWalter Lantz
Story byDon Patterson
Walter Lantz
StarringGrace Stafford
Dal McKennon
Music byClarence Wheeler
Animation byRay Abrams
Laverne Harding
Paul J. Smith
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byUniversal International
Release date
December 8, 1952
Running time
6' 19"
CountryUnited States


An astronomer, searching the heavens with his telescope, suddenly sees a squadron of spaceships emerging from the planet Mars that are heading directly toward the Earth. He spreads the news, and in no time, the alarm is being sounded by wireless, telegraph, radio and TV, alerting the whole nation of threatened invasion. Meanwhile, Woody's busy cleaning up his apartment in the trunk of a tree while watching his TV set. Suddenly, a Walter Winchell-type announcer interrupts the program to announce to the ships at sea and all people everywhere that termites from Mars have invaded Earth. The announcer states that the ships are heading for the forests.

At the base of the tree in which Woody lives, a ship comes to rest, and out come termites. Woody closes all of the doors and windows. When he cautiously opens one window, the termites swam into his apartment and begin their work of destruction. Before you know it, the Martian invaders are eating up everything in sight. Every piece of furniture disappears; only the food remains, which the termites devour. Woody endeavors to fight them with a blowtorch, but the space gun is the superior weapon, and Woody's thwarted in every manner.

Finally, in an office, where the termites have destroyed all but the glass top of the desk, Woody discovers a termite chewing on Scotch tape, in which the termite becomes all fouled up. Woody gets a bright idea, grabs the roll of tape and holds it up. In no time, the termites, as well as the spaceships, are stuck to the tape. He spreads the tape throughout the forest, thus turning the tables on the termites, saving the day and winning the battle.

At the finish of the picture, Woody opens up his own business: a termite control company. Woody also has the termites doing practical things. He sells the termites as “Little Wonder Termite Tools,” to be used as can and bottle openers, pencil sharpeners, record needles, scissors, mousetraps, etc.- while he sits relaxed at a desk directing their endeavors.


  • This is the first short in the series where, at the end of the short, Woody and the other characters laugh.


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 157–158. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7.
  • Cooke, Jon, Komorowski, Thad, Shakarian, Pietro, and Tatay, Jack. "1952". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia