Prior to his disappearance during Horunvendush Day, Zanik was a hat maker in his workshop during Tarrant's lifetime. Though he cares about his son, he felt disappointed when the incident during the Toomalie Day event after the failed coronation of Iracebeth.
During the Horunvendush Day event, it is revealed that Zanik did not die along with the rest of his family but rather kidnapped by a group of Armored Cards to which he was later shrunk into the size of an ant along with the rest of his family on Iracebeth's childhood ant farm. When Tarrant finally finds his family, Zanik and the rest of his family happily reunite with him in enthusiasm.
Role in the film
When Alice travels to the past Toomalie Day event at the town of Witzend, Zanik prepares to place a crown on Iracebeth in a plan for her to be queen of Underland to which as the crown cannot fit her head, it ultimately shatters much to the crowd's reaction as King Oleron tells Iracebeth that she is unfit to rule Underland to her insults to the citizens of Witzend, causing Mirana to rule instead, much to Iracebeth's prejudice as she seeks revenge against Zanik and his son. After Iracebeth and Mirana leave, Zanik tells his son that he disgraced the Hightopp family for costing Iracebeth her crown, causing disappointment to Tarrant throughout his life, much to his mother Tyva's worry as Tarrant sadly leaves in sorrow for the disgrace he did.
Alice then approaches the Hightopp family leaving the church just as Princess Mirana apologizes for the incident she had with her sister to which Zanik explains that all of Witzend laments the day during the incident between her and Iracebeth. Alice then arrives at the past Fell Day event where a young Tarrant takes Alice to his father's workshop. The past version of Zanik explains to the present Alice that the function of a hat is to follow the proper dictum of society, not to be fun, despite Tarrant showing him a hat much to Zanik telling him he made it the wrong way just as his father tells his son to make a proper hat. Zanik's wife enters his workshop where she talks with her husband about making hats being a serious business just before Alice leaves his workshop. Alice briefly observes Zanik working on Tarrant's discarded hat, giving Alice an idea of Tarrant's missing family as it is shown that the names of the Hightopp family are not seen in the Underlandians Deceased section but rather missing. During the Horunvendush Day event, Zanik and the rest of his family end up getting ambushed by the Jabberwocky and a group of Armored Cards surrounding them and capturing them as the town of Witzend is on fire as the festival is ruined. Alice then recognizes that the Hightopp family is not dead but rather captured by the Red Queen as Alice decides to return to the present.
Zanik and the rest of Tarrant's family are shrunk into the size of ants just as Alice finds the family members for him, much to the Red Queen's fury. As the Red Queen causes a catastrophe across Underland, Zanik and the rest of his family end up getting engulfed in time rust along with everyone else in Underland. With the Chronosphere back in place, the Hightopp family is brought back to life along with everyone caught in time rust. Tarrant then sprinkles some Upelkuchen on Zanik and the rest of his family to help restore Tarrant's family back to normal size, just as Zanik is happy to see his son back as Tarrant happily reunites with his family in joy just before Alice leaves.