- “No! Bad grasshopper. Bad grasshopper! Go home!”
- ―Dot overcoming her fear of Thumper and telling him to go home
Thumper is the secondary antagonist of A Bug's Life.
Thumper appears as a grasshopper with pale green skin and sharp teeth.
He does not speak in the actual movie and is portrayed as animalistic and feral. However, during the segment when he and the other grasshoppers are flying back to Ant Island, Thumper screams "Get those bugs!!!".
Thumper is Hopper's "pet," so to speak. He is feral, vicious and almost doglike (and also attached to a leash collar). Thumper is somewhat Hopper's main enforcer, brutally beating up any insect who stands up to or disobeys Hopper. In particular, Thumper has a rivalry with Dot.
When Thumper is first seen, he is straining at his leash two grasshoppers are holding onto and snarling, wanting to eat the ants. Thumper lets out a scream and goes for Dot. Dot gasps in terror and runs, but she is picked up by Hopper. Hopper teasingly brings a crying Dot closer and closer to Thumper, dangling her in the air. Hopper continues to carry Dot even closer to a screaming and snarling Thumper, until Flik orders Hopper to leave Dot alone. Hopper comes over to Flik and asks if he wants Dot. Flik did not want Dot. So Hopper tells him to get back in line before letting Dot go.
Many months later, when the grasshoppers return to Ant Island, Thumper attacks and chases Dot after she accidentally bumps into him while attempting to seek Flik for help. Dot slows him down by hurting him with a spiky plant; he catches up and knocks her down into the riverbed. Thumper, believing she is dead, laughs and flies off. However, Dot is able to fly now, and she reappears after Thumper leaves.
Later, Flik stands up to Hopper again and, after admitting that he was the one who came up with the fake bird (when it was set on fire by P.T. Flea), gets beaten up by Thumper as punishment. However, Flik manages to survive the ordeal and continues his standoff. As he does, Hopper approaches Flik and knocks him to the ground. Before Flik can get beat up by Hopper, Atta stops Hopper. While the rest of the colony chase off the other grasshoppers, Thumper tries to scare Dot again, but she smacks him, calls him a bad grasshopper, and tells him to go home. He then angrily screams at her, but Dim appears behind Dot and lets out a T-Rex roar at Thumper, scaring the wits out of him and making him race off after the other grasshoppers while yelping like a dog.
In the video game, Thumper is the first of five bosses that Flik must defeat, appearing in the "Council Chamber" level.
- Thumper's ironic name was completely intended. John Lasseter named him after one of his favorite Disney characters, Thumper, from Bambi.
- Even though Thumper rarely speaks, in the scene where the grasshoppers are approaching Ant Island he shrieks "Get those bugs!" as Molt is desperately trying to hold his leash. When he actually speaks in the outtakes, he is voiced by David L. Lander, who has also voiced Smarty the Weasel.
- In one of the Outtakes Thumper asked for "another take" at roaring at Dot.
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