|“||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.|
|“||You useless, ungrateful maggot!!! I AM THE COLONY!!!!!!||„|
|~ General Mandible's last words before his death.|
General Mandible (simply known as Mandible) is the main antagonist of DreamWorks's 1st full-length animated feature film, Antz. He is the former leader of the Queen's army, The former boss of Colonel Cutter and the former fiancé of Princess Bala.
He was voiced by the legendary actor Gene Hackman, who also played Lex Luthor in Superman.
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".
He intends to marry Princess Bala, making her his queen and the mother of thousands of larval children and make a strong colony with workers, but she calls off the wedding and rejects him 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, Princess Bala 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 Cutter saves Z, Mandible ends up smashing against an upturned root, killing him on impact.
Mandible is an overconfident and proud ant general who is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goals, he holds a strong belief that the strong should survive and the weak element should be washed away, meaning killed. Mandible is aggressive, ruthless, cruel, and overall insane in nature.
Despite this, he is still a charismatic and persuasive leader, able to convince the rest of the colony that Z was an enemy. Mandible appears a definite physical match, but he prefers to manipulate a situation to his advantage and tricked the most loyal soldiers into attacking a termite colony which was a definite suicide mission.
Mandible is definitely xenophobic, egotistical, and manipulative, so he possesses an impossible, nonsensical, extemporaneous, and indescribable hatred of the worker class of the ants; he even believes that their deaths would benefit the colony. Mandible knows that the life of an individual ant didn't matter, just an insignificant sacrifice. He also has an extremely high self-importance, describing himself as the colony before attacking his former second-in-command, Cutter. Mandible is also shown to be very chauvinistic and contemptuous towards the termites.
- "Workers. They are weak. They lack discipline. They lack commitment."
- "But in spite of your limitations, you are going to finish this tunnel on schedule. Come hell or high water."
- "DAMN!! Good. Damn good. I'll handle this."
- "Z doesn't give a DAMN about us!"
- General Mandible is the second main antagonist of a computer-animated film after Sid Phillips from the Disney/Pixar film, Toy Story, which was the first computer-animated film ever.
- He is also the first main antagonist of a computer-animated film to be Pure Evil.
- Mandible is the only DreamWorks villain to use profanity.
- General Mandible is somewhat similar to Hopper from Disney/Pixar's second film, A Bug's Life, another computer-animated film about ants that both came out in 1998. Both of them were brutal insect leaders who took advantage of other insects.
- 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.
- General Mandible is considered to be one of DreamWorks's most evil villains, along with Drago Bludvist, Gallaxhar, and Dagur the Deranged.
- 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.
- Mandible is similar to the following villains:
- Judge Claude Frollo from the 1996 animated Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as they are both psychotic xenophobes who plan to destroy those they deem unworthy, they both have an army of soldiers, they are the main antagonist of a movie released in the 1990s and they are Pure Evil.
- Commander Rourke from the 2001 animated Disney film, as they both serve in the army, planned to wipe out a group of people, and are both Pure Evil.