- “No! Bad grasshopper. Bad grasshopper! Go home!”
- ―Dot overcoming her fear of Thumper and telling him to go away
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, in one of the bloopers, he is revealed to be intelligent and can speak. As he is roaring at Dot, he stops to rethink on how he could do better, in which he says: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Can we cut? It's just that I don't think I'm coming across. Hmm. Oh! Oh! I know! I know! I could lather up a bunch of spit. Ooh, oh, that's good. I got it, J.L. All right, one more for me." Also, during the segment when he and the other grasshoppers are flying back to Ant Island, Thumper shrieks "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 threatens Dot, prompting Flik to defend her, much to Hopper's anger.
Many months later, when the grasshoppers return to Ant Island, Thumper attacks and chases Dot after she bumps into him while attempting to seek Flik for help. Dot slows him down by hitting him with a spiky plant; he catches up and seemingly 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 shortly 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 hoax (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 attacks him, knocking him to the ground. He then tries to squash Flik's head, only to be stopped by Atta. 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 roars at her, but Dim appears behind Dot and roars louder than Thumper, scaring him out of his wits 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.
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