Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Recreates The Ending Of Another Famous Ant Movie

This post contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

The character of Ant-Man was originally considered more of an outlier in the world of Marvel Comics, which makes it even more incredible that one of the most bumbling members of the Avengers has a trilogy of standalone films now that "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" has finally been released. Although there are three new films to pick from thanks to director Peyton Reed and the endlessly charming Paul Rudd, there are still very few movies about ants to choose from throughout movie history. 

The "Ant-Man" trilogy probably has the most in common with the sci-fi adventure "The Incredible Shrinking Man" from 1957, a film that pioneered new visual effects, including a run-in with a giant spider where a miniaturized suburban dad fights off a tarantula with a matchstick. In "Quantumania," Scott Lang does get mistaken for Spider-Man several times, yet the two characters have yet to engage in any actual combat. Yet. Usually, ants show up in B-movies like "Them!" to terrorize the countryside. Now, ants have decidedly gone mainstream.

In 1998, the animated hit "Antz" featured an incredible all-star voice cast that allowed audiences to "see the world from an entirely new perspective," as its tagline goes. Woody Allen voiced the lead character Z, a neurotic ant that dreams of escaping the totalitarian insect society he's a part of. "Antz" was one of the first big hits for DreamWorks SKG, founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. 

A lot of families went in droves to see the animated film when it came out, so it's perhaps not surprising that "Quantumania" makes a pretty direct reference to the thrilling ending of "Antz" in a mind-bending sequence featuring thousands of Scott Lang variants. Did you notice the connection?

A tower of ants and a tower of Pauls

During the ending of the original "Ant-Man," Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) makes the dangerous decision to go sub-atomic in order to become small enough to defeat his nemesis Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll). That's risky because becoming that small can cause Lang to get so disoriented that he will never be able to return, trapping himself in the psychedelic grasp of the Quantum Realm.

In one daring sequence in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," Scott attempts to escape the Quantum Realm by shrinking down smaller. This leaves him trapped in a pocket dimension that will test his own sanity. Suddenly, he begins to split apart into new variants of himself representing every possibility of what he could've been and every micro-decision he could have made.

Luckily, all of the versions of himself start working together to build a tower of Scott Langs to help the original Scott return to some semblance of reality. In a spectacular, epic shot, there's a zoom out of all the Scott Langs that looks a whole lot like the tower of ants seen at the climax of "Antz." If that's not a direct homage, I'm not sure what is.

The ending of Antz

At the end of "Antz," the character of Z realizes that it's better to work together instead of rebel and complain. The inner workings of an anthill in New York City are depicted featuring all the day-to-day drudgery and the royal hierarchy that goes along with being a part of the colony.

When the colony is in danger of being completely flooded, Z gives an impassioned speech to convince all the ant(z) to put aside their differences so they won't drown. They all combine together to build an ant tower that Z climbs up to try and find a way out to the ground above. Then, ant-Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) sprints up to help Z at the very last minute. That scene also mirrors a moment in "Ant-Man in the Wasp: Quantumania," funnily enough.

Just like Princess Bala basically saves the day in "Antz," Hope Pym aka Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) swoops in to rescue Scott Lang just when it seems that all hope is lost, representing another possible visual cue referencing the 1998 animated film. 

Looking back, it feels like Hope is always showing up just in time to save Scott. What's more, "Ant-Man in the Wasp: Quantumania" seems to forget her name is actually in the film's title until Scott is in too much of a bind to save himself. Make of that what you will.

The cast of Ant-Man vs the cast of Antz

The star power of the third "Ant-Man" film is absolutely incredible. With an ensemble that includes Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Kathryn Newton, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Murray, you'd be hard-pressed to find another Marvel movie cast with both as many incredibly talented up-and-comers and legendary legacy actors.

"Antz" may actually have "Ant-Man in the Wasp: Quantumania" beat in that category, surprisingly enough. After all, it's hard to compete with a movie featuring voice performances from Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, Dan Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft (yes, Queen!), Jane Curtain, Danny Glover, Jennifer Lopez, and Christopher Walken. (What do you mean I left somebody out?) It's like Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen just went down their Christmas card list and started calling numbers.

Granted, the world would probably be a better place if there were countless versions of Paul Rudd running around. And if all of those variants of Scott Lang and all of those versions of Kang counted, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" would definitely have the most star-studded cast out of any ant movie, bar none.