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Character discussion: Thumper

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Character discussion: Thumper

Postby Esmedes » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:41 pm

Thumper has started to come up in the Top 5 Most Disturbing Scenes discussion, and I considered making a topic specially for this creepy grasshopper.

It seems really obvious that Thumper is either the "dog" of the group or has a very attack dog-like personality...or he has some kind of "problem" in which he has very animalistic behavior (Wait, that doesn't make sense :shock: ). But then why would he be USED as an attack dog?

I gotta say that Thumper is definitely one of the creepiest points of A Bug's Life, namely his introduction with threatening Dot, chasing Dot later (on his own and by his own choice!), and when he attacks Flik. I also can't help but wonder if his name is an intentional irony of the cute little rabbit in "Bambi". (Although, if you read/watch Watership Down...kinda makes you see him a wee bit differently)
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Postby lizardgirl » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:48 pm

Good idea for a discussion, Esmedes!

Thumper is a difficult one to figure out. It's clear that he does have some problems, and that the other grasshoppers, particular Hopper himself probably, make the most of his aggression by using him as an 'attack dog', as you said. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the grasshoppers even purposefully antagonized him throughout his life in order to get him to react in such a way.

It's actually another example of Hopper creating ranks within society. He believes the grasshoppers are better than the ants, but he also believes that grasshoppers who might have problems, such as Thumper, are below the other grasshoppers and are worth less, hence being treated as more of a pet than a fellow grasshopper.
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Postby mogwai_milkshake » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:25 pm

I think that he's mentally unbalanced, and as I said in the "Disturbing Moments" thread, it does somewhat perturb me to see how the other grasshoppers exploit his disturbed behaviour and keep him on a leash like that (at least for the first half of the movie). I personally find that more unsettling than I do the character himself (though he's certainly quite unnerving).

As for the name, yes, it certainly wouldn't surprise me if there was some intentional irony there - particularly when you recall that other famous Disney Thumper (so-called because he liked "thumping"), and consider just how violent the name's connotations actually are.
Last edited by mogwai_milkshake on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Flik-E » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:27 pm

Flik has a saying in the video game that always summed it up for me as a kid:

"He's psycho! That's why they call him Thumper!"
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Postby mogwai_milkshake » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:29 pm

That's a Bambi reference right there. Very nice. 8)

Of course, part of the pay-off with Thumper was getting to see him break character in the outtakes (I've always loved Dot's exasperated little sigh when he says, "I'm sorry, can we cut please?", as it implies that he does it all the time). :lol:
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Postby Esmedes » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:04 pm

"I know! I can gather up a bunch of saliva!" Or something like that :lol:

I was considering that maybe the leash was to keep him under control most of the time, but then I remembered that he was unleashed (lol) during the scene when the circus performs for them. I guess it's for times WHEN he's going nuts when they don't want him to. It's kind of hard to have a "crowning moment of funny" with Thumper, but I noticed when the grasshoppers were returning to ant island that Thumper was pulling Molt behind him, just like when you're walking a great big ol' dog (Great Dane sized) and the dog walks you instead of the other way around.
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:55 pm

In the commentary, they said they thought it was great to name him after another, cute Disney character, I think b/c it's so funny. I love when Pixar takes shots at Disney :)
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Re: Character discussion: Thumper

Postby Minty Fresh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:06 pm

I recall wondering during the movie, before I knew what would happen.....I wondered if at some point in the movie he was going to eventually attack the other grasshoppers. I just wondered if he was going to turn on them at some point.
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Re: Character discussion: Thumper

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