Thomas & Friends
Big Mickey originally worked at Knapford Harbour before coming to Brendam Docks. During his days there, he used to unload the mail from the mail boat into Thomas and Percy's mail vans, for them to deliver all over the island. One of his jobs also involved a grapple bucket.
Sometime later, he was shifted to Brendam Docks and 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 said to be 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.
Big Mickey is based on a WWII 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
Big Mickey's original model was carried over from Thomas & Friends' short-lived sister show, TUGS. He was the yard's biggest crane and was voiced by the late Timothy Bateson. Originally stationed at the Steel Company dock, he was later used by the navy. In the episode "Munitions", a fire sparked by the navy tug, Bluenose causes his dock to collapse, leading to him sinking (his final fate differs between the TV and VHS versions; in the TV version, Captain Star said he survived thanks to landing in shallow waters, while in the VHS version, no such narration is heard, and it is assumed that Big Mickey drowns and perishes). After the show's cancellation, his model was refurbished and modified with a warmer shade of grey paint, and his megaphone was removed.
- Where in the World is Thomas? (partially performed)
- Rob Rackstraw (UK/US)
- Hinata Tadokoro (Japan; twenty-first series onwards, excluding Big World! Big Adventures!)
- Nozomu Sasaki (Japan; Big World! Big Adventures! only)
- Miłogost Reczek (Poland)
- Timothy Bateson (TUGS)
- Pauli Virta (Finland: TUGS)
- 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:
- He gained a face.
- Series 3 (from TUGS):
- 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 only TUGS character to have his name carried over to Thomas & Friends.
- Big Mickey is the third character to have been given a face after debuting without one, the first two being Butch and Henrietta.
- In Brazil the faceless version of Big Mickey's model with a pink version of Kobe's body can be seen.
- 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 the 24th to the 26th of August.
- 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 of 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.
- He was also seen in the background at Dar es Salaam Docks.