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Mr. Grasping is the main antagonist of An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island. He is a greedy industrialist who owns the largest cheese factory in the Tri-State Area along with his partners, Mr. Toplofty and Mr. O'Bloat. He is also Papa Mousekewitz's archenemy.

He was voiced by Ron Perlman.

Role in the film

Grasping is introduced alongside his partners when he confronts Tony Toponi for being late for work, but he is convinced to let him keep his job by Papa Mousekewitz. However, his associates convince him to keep an eye on Papa as a potential troublemaker. He is later revealed to be paying NYPD Chief McBrusque to keep the factory workers in line, and is also secretly employing Scuttlebutt to spy on Dr. Dithering's research.

Upon learning about the Lenape, Grasping calms his panicked colleagues and convinces them that they could distract their disgruntled workers by preying upon their anti-Native American sentiments. He reveals the existence of the village to the factory workers and turns them into a mob to hunt down Cholena. He later presides over Dr. Dithering's trial, but is forced to flee when Papa turns the crowd against him. As a final effort to regain control, he directs McBrusque to destroy the Lenape to prevent an alliance between them and the workers.

Following McBrusque's death, the factory workers organize a union and go on strike. In order to avoid bankruptcy, the factory owners are forced to negotiate with the strikers. However, Grasping assures his associates that they will find a way to regain control.

From left to right: Toplofty, Grasping and O'Bloat.

Personality

Mr. Grasping places profits over all other concerns. He is cunning and manipulative, using the workers' xenophobia to distract them from their grievances. He is also ruthless, being willing to set the police on his own workers to keep them in line, and he will even resort to genocide in order to keep control.

However, for all of Grasping's cunning, he is not infallible. He spectacularly misjudged the crowd at Dr. Dithering's trial when he tried to dismiss Papa Mousekewitz as a foreigner. Papa's response that they were all foreigners is what turned the crowd against him.

Trivia

  • Mr. Grasping is voiced by Ron Pearlman. Some of his other roles include Vincent in the TV series Beauty and the Beast, Hellboy in the Hellboy films, Dieter Reinhardt in Blade II, Nino in Drive, the Stabbington Brothers in Tangled, Warhok in Kim Possible, Slade in Teen Titans, Xibalba in The Book Of Life, and The Lich in Adventure Time.
  • He is one of the few antagonists in the American Tail series who is a mouse (alongside Toplofty, O'Bloat, Scuttlebutt, Chief McBrusque, Moe, and the Orphan Bullies).
  • Grasping, Toplofty, and O'Bloat may have been referenced in An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster. Early in the film, Papa tells his family about a group of factory owners whose abuse of their workers was exposed by Nellie Brie, resulting in their arrests. Some fans speculate that the rats Nellie exposed were the owners of the Cheese Factory, though this is unconfirmed. The only thing that could disprove this is that they own a cheese factory, not a clothing one.
  • Since it is clear that Mr. Grasping is the leader of the Cheese Factory Owners, and the one responsible for causing a riot to find and attack Cholena, and the one who ordered Chief McBrusque to attack the Lenape Mice in the climax, this makes him the overall main antagonist of the third film, since he had bigger plans than any other antagonist in the film.

Gallery

You can find Mr. Grasping gallery here.

Villains of An American Tail
Villains Warren T. RatDigitMoeThe Bullying OrphansCat R. WaulT.R. ChulaSweet WilliamOne EyeFrenchyFeloniusMr. ToploftyMr. GraspingMr. O'BloatChief McBrusqueScuttlebuttMadame MouseyTwitchBootlickSlug
Gangs The Cossack CatsMott Street MaulersCactus Cat GangThe Outlaw Cats
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island
Characters Papa MousekewitzMama MousekewitzTanya MousekewitzFievel MousekewitzYasha MousekewitzTigerTony ToponiCholenaChief WulissoLenape MiceMr. ToploftyMr. GraspingMr. O'BloatChief McBrusqueScuttlebuttDr. Dithering
Locations New YorkLes Club Des Grands FromagesCheese Factory
Songs We Live in ManhattanAnywhere in Your DreamsFriends of the Working Mouse
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