Thomas & Friends
Big Mickey works at Brendam Docks. During the early days, he used to unload mail from the mail boat into Thomas and Percy's mail vans, for them to deliver all over the island. Once, Big Mickey was transported to work at Knapford Harbour and had a job which involved using a grapple bucket to lift stone.
Sometime later, he worked alongside Cranky, where he was used to unload cargo from ships. Big Mickey once had to unload a boiler from a ship, but he accidentally swung it and knocked Edward off the tracks onto his side.
Later, when Gator was leaving Sodor, Big Mickey loaded him onto a ship while Cranky was being repaired after his crane arm broke.
In the twenty-first series, he took everyone by surprise after not making communication with anyone for many years and became part of the dockside crew with Cranky and Carly.
As Big Mickey was silent for a long time, mainly because Cranky has "never said a single word to him", very little is known about him (casting aside his known personality from TUGS), although it can be assumed that he is not the best at communicating, as Salty put it. Lately, he has been shown to cautious in his work and does care for his friends, as seen when Salty fell into the ocean. He has also been shown as a good worker throughout the series.
Big Mickey is based on a USN 20t Tower Crane. Kobe, a red crane in Tanzania and a faceless purple crane in Rio De Janeiro are other members of this class.
During the third, fourth and fifth series, Big Mickey was painted cool grey. Since the sixth series, however, he has been repainted warm grey.
Behind the Scenes
After the show's cancellation, his model was refurbished and modified with a warmer shade of grey paint, and his megaphone was removed.
In TUGS, Big Mickey was Bigg City Port’s biggest crane. Originally stationed at the Steel Company dock, he was later used by the navy. In the episode "Munitions", a horrific fire caused by the navy tug, Bluenose causes Big Mickey's dock to collapse, leading to him sinking (his fate differs between the television and video versions; in the television version, the narration states he survived thanks to falling into shallow waters, while in the VHS version, this line is omitted, and the viewer is left to assume he perished).
- Where in the World is Thomas? (partially performed)
- Big Mickey had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
- Series 3 (from TUGS):
- He had cool grey paintwork.
- His megaphone was taken away.
- His top railing became thinner.
- His walkway received more detailing.
- He gains windows on his front.
- Series 6:
- He gained riveted steel sides.
- He gained a new hook.
- His hoist end became covered.
- His crane arm became longer.
- His wheelhouse walkway became square.
- He gained a new base.
- He became taller.
- Series 13:
- His overall size increased exponentially.
- His wheelhouse became wider.
- His crane arm became taller.
- His paintwork became more cream coloured.
- Series 21 (New Crane on the Dock):
- He gained a face.
- Series 3 (from TUGS):
- Big Mickey is the only TUGS character to have his name carried over to Thomas & Friends.
- In episodes of the twenty-first series prior to New Crane on the Dock, Big Mickey was always positioned facing away from the camera. This was done to hide his face.
- Big Mickey is the third character to have been given a face after debuting without one, the first two being Butch and Henrietta.
- Since the television series switched from live-action to CGI, Big Mickey's model was left in the hands of HiT Entertainment/Mattel Creations. It was later on display at the Star Tugs Company exhibition from 24-26 August 2019.
- Although he never had a face until the twenty-first series of Thomas & Friends, a prototype face was originally produced for use on TUGS. This face was from a different design to the one used in Thomas & Friends and covered his full front end. This face was never used but was displayed at the aforementioned exhibition.
- In Brazil, the faceless version of Big Mickey's model with a pink version of Kobe's body can be seen.
- A repainted version of him appears in the background at Dar es Salaam Docks.