An in-story use against the grasshoppers: that type of bird is not nocturnal.
It could've been woken up by the disturbances near its nest.
But wouldn't said bird just go back to sleep instead of charging down at whatever woke it up?
Maybe it fancied a snack.
Or more correctly, its kids did.
If something woke you up, wouldn't you decide to get rid of it somehow before trying to go back to sleep so it couldn't wake you up again? Her feeding it to her chicks was a way of doing this while keeping them fed.
Hopper doesn't strike me as the sort to bother learning that.
Would it not have made more sense to use centipedes (which are notoriously fast) as P.T. Flea's "horse" and the much-more-legged millipedes as massage therapists, as opposed to the reverse?
Rule of Funny and many people cannot tell them apart at a glance.
Is it just me or does Hopper seem to be bullying the ants for no reason at all? He makes such a big deal about "keeping the ants in line", even though the grasshoppers have more than enough food to stay in Mexico, where they'll never see the ants again. Is Hopper such a Card-Carrying Villain that he has to go out of his way to terrorize a bunch of ants that'll never leave their island to bother him?
At one point he calls it "their way of life". That's just what grasshoppers do, enslave lower insects.
His speech with the grains more or less sums up why he does it; he wants to keep their spirits crushed so that they never even think about rebelling.
And it's not that they have enough food to stay in Mexico forever, just for another year or so. Sooner or later, they'd need to go rob the ants again.
Exactly - they must keep up this intimidation yearly, otherwise it would wear off.
I believe Hopper's gang did originally need the food but by the time of the film, the gang had controlled the ants for so long that they had a bountiful stockpile. This is why some grasshoppers did ask to not return later on yet were loyal to the cause earlier in the film. Also as history has showed, even if colonies are not necessary, an emperor still wants their territories intact to stay powerful. Ant slavery also would have benefits for the grasshoppers even if food wasn't an issue.
Hopper's a bully. Bullies pick on people for no reason.
I know that Hopper asked the food to be doubled because the original stockpile fell into a puddle. However, remember that the Ant colony is on an island technically, with a stream that can be crossed during droughts. Since droughts are possible, doesn't that mean the puddle that had the food would dry out and that food could be used again? And even if a drought wouldn't dry it out, building a dam would- it would require much less resources than the many months the ants used to farm the new stockpile.
It's possible that either the water ruined the food, or that they did recover the food and their difficulty was finding more food on top of that.
Bugs don't give a crap about if their food is soggy, they would eat almost anything. Did you forget the Poo-Poo Platter?
The grain and berries would go bad if they were wet. That's the problem.
What do bugs use for money?
Francis and the Blueberry Scouts are shown using playing poker with seeds, but seeds are pretty common and they might have not been real money since the kids are too young to own any.
How exactly did those grasshoppers manage to dominate that ant colony? Ant colonies are known for being extremely protective of their queen and their offspring. If a grasshopper so much as set foot in their territory, they would immediately get swarmed and torn apart as well as eaten (since ants are omnivores). Those ants Hopper was bullying around were still quite large, with twenty being enough to take him down. Most grasshoppers who find themselves smack dab in the middle of an ant colony will try do everything in their power to escape from it as far as possible. Is that the reason Hopper was so intent on dominating them, as a way of conquering a great fear?