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Hopper

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You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one, and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life! It's not about food, it's about keeping those ants in line. That's why we're going back! Does anybody else want to stay?
~ Hopper rallying his grasshoppers

Hopper is the main antagonist of the 1998 Disney/Pixar movie A Bug's Life. He was the leader of an army of grasshoppers, including his younger brother Molt, and a thermal grasshopper named Thumper. He was Flik's arch-nemesis until Flik led him to his death by a bird.

He was voiced by Kevin Spacey who also played John Doe, Lex Luthor, Clyde Northcutt, Verbal Kint/Keyser Soze, Jonathan Irons and David Harken.

A Bug's Life

Introduction

It seems to me that you ants are forgetting your place. So, let's double the order of food. We'll be back at the end of the season... when the last leaf falls. You ants have a nice summer. LET'S RIDE!
~ Hopper to the ants

At the beginning of the film, Flik accidentally destroyed the offering of food the ants prepared for the grasshoppers. When they arrived, Hopper was angry to find the food all gone, but was willing enough to give the ants a second chance. Flik stood up to Hopper, and Hopper doubled the order of food that the ants must prepare.

Hopper's Speech

You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us 100 to 1 and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life! It's not about food, it's about keepin' those ants in line. That's why we're goin' back! Does anybody else wanna stay?
~ Hopper's speech to the grasshoppers

After a while, Hopper is seen again At his hangout in the desert, Molt suggests Hopper that they do not collect food from the ants due to them having enough food to get them through the winter as it was. As Hopper was about to punch him for suggesting this, Molt frantically told him that it wasn't his idea, causing him to direct his attention towards the two grasshoppers that had told him to tell him this. Hopper killed the two goons and then explained that if it was never about food but "keeping the ants in line." And he and his goons fly out of the hangout towards Ant Island.

Rise to Power

NOT ONE ANT SLEEPS TILL WE GET EVERY LAST SCRAP OF FOOD ON THIS ISLAND!
~ Hopper yelling at the ants

When he was dissatisfied with the amount of offering the ants give him after a second chance, Hopper took over Ant Island and plotted to kill the Queen. After hearing from Dot about Hopper's plot, Flik and the circus troupe returned to the island and rescued the Queen, with the help of the fake bird that they made earlier in the season. Hopper had a fear of birds, but he soon discovered that the bird was a fake after it was set on fire by P.T. Flea who accidentally helped him and tried to finish Flik, upon realizing that it was his idea.

Flik's Bird Brained Idea

You piece of dirt! No, I'm wrong. You're lower than dirt. You're an ANT! Let this be a lesson to all of you ants: Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers! Put on this Earth to serve us!
~ Hopper insulting the ants after having Thumper beat up Flik

Flik made his heartfelt and assertive speech about how his colony is strong in number. Hopper swats Flik to the ground and raises his foot to squish him, but Atta intervenes. Hopper then turns to see all the ants ready to rebel and bombarded him. After being ditched by his own minions, Hopper was trapped in the circus cannon, at the time when it started to rain. Seeking revenge on Flik for embarrassing him, Hopper shot himself toward Flik and flew away with him. The circus bugs gave chase to save Flik and Heimlich commands Rosie to fling Tuck and Roll at Hopper and she did so. Tuck and Roll jumped on Hopper and tried to stop him, only for the mad grasshopper to fly through a small hole to get them off of him. As they watched him fly off with Flik, one of the brothers got mad at the other, only for the other to reveal he has ripped off Hopper's right antennae. Hopper notices this and gets angry and continues to fly off, only for Atta to intervene and swipe Flik away from him.

The End of Hopper

You think it's over? All your little stunt did was buy them time! I'll get more grasshoppers and be back next season; But, you won't! (notices the bird) Well, what's this? Another one of your little bird tricks? (Filk: Yep) Are there a bunch of little girls in this one, too? Hello, girls!
~ Hopper's last words.

After Flik and Atta had hid and Flik ran off to find Hopper (with Atta begging him not to), the grasshopper had finally caught up with Flik as he landed in front of him. He gets increasingly angry at Flik and tells him the fight is not over as he corners a scared Flik into a bird's nest. Flik begs Hopper not to finish him, but he ignores him and strangles Flik in an attempt to kill him and tells him next season, he will be back with more grasshoppers, but Flik won't. Suddenly, the sparrow (the same one that attacked Flik and his friends earlier) pops out of her nest and notices Flik and Hopper. Believing this to be another one of Flik's "bird tricks", Hopper teases the bird by greeting the "girls" in the bird's mouth until she shrieks at him. Realizing it is a real bird and that Flik had led him to a trap, Hopper screams in terror and tries to run away, only for the bird to block his path and quickly catch him in her beak, before taking the panicking Hopper over to her nest and feeding him to her newborn chicks, where he finally meets his death and indicating that he is the real mindless soil shoving loser. 

It's Tough to Be a Bug!

Despite his death in the film, Hopper somehow reappeared in the short film.

Personality

Hopper was the only grasshopper who realized the ants outnumbered them 100 to 1. He realized that the ants are like simple-minded sheep and can't really think for themselves, therefore taking advantage of them. In one event of the film, Hopper expresses concern that Flik stands up to him. Molt, Hopper's younger brother, claims that they can forget about him because he is only one ant. Hopper then walks over to a water bottle full of grain. He pulls one out, tells a grasshopper to pretend it is a "puny little ant", then throws the grain at him, asking if it hurt. When the grasshopper said no, Hopper grabbed another grain and threw it at another grasshopper, asking if that one hurt and he said no. Then, Hopper proceeded to pull the lid of the water bottle full of grain, asking, Well, how 'bout this?". The three grasshoppers were then covered in a torrent of grain, and were presumably crushed to death. Hopper explained what he meant: One ant can't hurt them, but they'd lose if all the ants stood up to them.

His only slightly redeeming quality is that he seemed to love his mother given he refused to kill Molt due to a promise he made to her on her deathbed.

Hopper was more knowledgeable than the other grasshoppers, and also, by his manipulative and serious personality, was more of a leader.

Appearance

Hopper is a large, grayish grasshopper who is very tall (at least, for an insect). He towers over Flik and the ants in the movie. His legs are long, good for long ranged kick attacks.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Hopper was voiced by Kevin Spacey in A Bug's Life, and by Andrew Stanton (the film's co-director) in It's Tough to be a Bug. John Lasseter had offered the role twice to Robert De Nero, who declined both times.
  • Hopper is the first main Pixar movie villain to be physically fought.
    • He is also the first main Pixar movie villain to die in his movie.
  • Hopper's death is similar to Peter Ludlow's, where they are fed to the babies of, in their eyes, a ferocious animal.


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