A storybook released to coincide with the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, Big Al Moves In tells of how Al came to live and perform with the Country Bears. When performing all the way through autumn and missing an opportunity to find a place to hibernate, Big Al travels south and performs to earn money for food, but ends up frightening the locals and jumps aboard a truck. Riding the truck, he ends up at Walt Disney World, where nobody bats an eye at him for being a talking bear. He makes his way to Grizzly Hall in Frontierland and meets the other Country Bears, who offer him a job performing with them and a place to stay.
Big Al appears during the ending of the show, singing Blood on the Saddle and threatening the momentum of the show in the process. The other bears start bringing their singing together to counter Al's off-key crooning and eventually drive him off stage.
Big Al is the groundskeeper of Country Bear Hall. While Henry and Beary Barrington go off on a journey to reunite the band, Al manages to keep stalling Reed Thimple, who is growing frustrated and impatient with his plans to tear down the hall. In the film's ending, Al lets everybody inside the theater as he opens the doors to massive crowds.
In original concept art for the game, Big Al was planned to be one of the Beetleworx enemies in the game, but was later scrapped.
From 1972's Country Bear Jamboree record album:
Big Albert says, “I was born in a cave near the Princess Theater in Pocatello, Idaho”. There was music in his blood, and he’s been playing his guitar since he was a child. It’s become more difficult—Big Al has grown, and the guitar hasn’t. He loves to sit in front of his cave and sing. He was the first to practice ecology; he didn’t litter his cave with tin cans and paper cartons—he ate ‘em. He was resident bard and balladeer in the swamp before Walt Disney World was built (and three badgers and an alligator have expressed great joy that he is now singing for people). This is Big Albert’s 10th farewell appearance.
Big Al is modeled after Al Bertino, a show writer at Imagineering