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- “My child, we may be evolved, but deep down, we are still animals.”
- ―Mr. Big to Judy Hopps
Mr. Big is an old male Arctic shrew and a supporting character in Zootopia. He is the father of Fru Fru, the father-in-law of her husband and the soon-to-be grandfather of Judy. He is also the leader of his mafia.
Mr. Big is the most infamous and feared crime boss in Tundratown, and evidently has the respect of numerous law-abiding citizens as well as the Zootopian underworld, such as Emmitt Otterton and Renato Manchas. He is the owner of a number of businesses and ventures which provide necessary services to Zootopia's citizens, like the Tundratown Limousine Service.
While little is known about his life prior to the events of Zootopia, it is known that he became a friend or acquaintance to Nick Wilde, inviting him into his home and making him part of his inner circle, before Nick effectively double-crossed him by selling him a very expensive rug made from the hind fur of a skunk.
It was around this time that Mr. Big's Gram-mama, a character who Mr. Big evidently both respected and loved, died, and the rug was used to bury her. This must have been the last straw and the final insult to Mr. Big, as he became very angered with Nick, and Nick stayed away from him for good reason. He also had very good relations with Emmitt Otterton, describing him as "like family", even though he was simply the crime boss' florist.
Mr. Big has a very honor-based personality, finding respect to be a central tenet. He is fairly merciless and will not hesitate in punishing those who have disrespected him or his family, but he will treat like family those who do good to him, such as Emmitt Otterton or Judy Hopps. While he is evidently engaged in organized crime and often resorts to threatening punishment on those who cross him, he errs on the morally good side of crime, seeming to prefer amicability to violence in most cases.
Role in the Film
Mr. Big is the owner of the limousine which missing otter Emmitt Otterton was last seen in. Judy and Nick investigate the limousine in order to find him, but upon the revelation that it is owned by Mr. Big, the two are taken by Kevin and Raymond, two of Mr. Big's Polar Bear henchmen. They are taken to Mr. Big's compound, where Mr. Big is revealed to be a shrew. He chastises an apologetic Nick, before Judy steps in and states in very strong terms that she is looking for Emmitt Otterton and that Mr. Big will not stop them. He then tells his henchmen to "ice them," before Fru Fru enters and reminds Mr. Big that they agreed that he wouldn't ice anyone at her wedding.
She then reveals that Judy was the rabbit who saved her from a doughnut model careening down a street in Little Rodentia. Mr. Big agrees to help them both. He explains that Emmitt was not attacked, but he attacked Mr. Manchas, the limousine driver, before disappearing. He told them to talk to Manchas about Emmitt in the Rainforest District.
Later on, after Judy and Nick discover that the Night howlers are what have been driving the predators crazy, and suspect that Duke Weaselton has been dealing them to someone, they approach Mr. Big, who threatens to ice him in order to get information. He also designates Judy Hopps as the godmother of his future granddaughter, with whom Fru Fru is pregnant and declares she intends to name her daughter "Judy", much to Judy and her father's delight.
Role in Literature
While not having an actual role in the book, Mr. Big is seen watching a hockey match with his daughter in Tundratown.
- Mr. Big is inspired by Vito Corleone (The Godfather) and Tony Montana (Scarface).
- He owns and operates a number of legitimate businesses alongside his less legal enterprises.
- Mr. Big's voice actor, Maurice LaMarche, does not believe that Mr. Big kills animals when he "ices" them, and instead "just dunks them until they're really sorry".
- According to The Official Zootopia Handbook, Mr. Big is a multi-millionaire. The guide also states that Mr. Big's first business was a tuxedo rental shop.
- Mr. Big's eyes are only seen twice in the film, first here, and then here. They are blue in color.
- According to a promotional video on Twitter, Mr. Big has trouble with the auto-correct feature while texting.
- According to The Essential Guide, Mr. Big likes cannoli pastries.