Premiered in: A Bug’s Life (1998)
Voiced By: Kevin Spacey
Truth be told, my first time seeing the Pixar Villain Hopper was not in the film A Bug’s Life but rather the 3D show It’s Tough to Be a Bug down at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Even then, I could tell that Hopper had a type of megalomania mindset in that he is vastly overconfident in his strength despite knowing that he could never overcome the ants on his own.
It truly makes me wonder just how and his posy, which I refuse to count as minions as they merely followed Hopper’s lead and didn’t really stand out as anything more than chumps, managed to subjugate the ants. I mean seriously, unless the ants were seriously squeamish to the idea of fighting back against the grasshoppers, why on earth wouldn’t they in the first place? Seriously, it took Flik having to find some “warrior” bugs to give them some semblance of a backbone and even that was more their rallying behind the bigger and “tougher” bugs.
In point of fact, Hopper is one of the few villains, be they Disney or Pixar, who doesn’t really possess anything resembling a be-all-end-all goal nor a reason behind them. Sure, it was easier to have the ants offer them tribute instead of getting the food themselves but where did he even get the idea to do so let alone succeed in acting it out?
Ultimately, despite being nearly driven off by a Trojan bird as it were, Hopper ends up being eaten by the bird that had nearly blinded him in one eye. A grisly death to match that of Scar but otherwise a swift end to an otherwise lackluster villain.
Seriously, I had almost forgotten about Hopper and would have skipped straight to Toy Story 2’s villain had I not seen A Bug’s Life on the list of Pixar films. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie with a colorful cast of characters but… much like Toy Story had been, it was a rough start on Pixar’s road to fame and fortune that would arrive with the rest of their films. Contrary to its predecessor, A Bug’s Life is… just that. The life of a bug, short and sweet but otherwise not something that has stood the test of time compared to the films to follow.