Tigger

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Tigger
Winnie-the-Pooh character
Pooh meets Tigger, illustration by EH Shepard.gif
Tigger meets Pooh
First appearance The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
Created by A. A. Milne

Tigger is a fictional tiger character originally introduced in A. A. Milne's book The House at Pooh Corner. Like other Pooh characters, Tigger is based on one of Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed animals. Nowadays he is most widely recognized as reinterpreted by the Disney studios, with distinctive orange and black stripes, large eyes, a long chin, a springy tail, and (the one detail originating from A. A. Milne) his love of bouncing. As he says himself, "Bouncing is what Tiggers do best."

In literature[edit]

The real stuffed toys owned by Christopher Robin and featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. They are on display in the Donnell Library Center in New York City.

Tigger is introduced in Chapter II of House at Pooh Corner, when he shows up on Winnie-the-Pooh's doorstep in the middle of the night, announcing himself with a big bounce. Most of the rest of that chapter is taken up with the characters' search for a food that Tigger can eat for breakfast - despite Tigger's claims to like "everything", it is quickly proven he does not like honey, acorns, thistles, or most of the contents of Kanga's larder. In a happy coincidence, however, he discovers what Tiggers really like best is extract of malt, which Kanga has on hand because she gives it to her baby, Roo, as "strengthening medicine".[1]

From that point on, Tigger lives with Kanga and Roo in their house in the northeastern part of the Hundred Acre Wood near the Sandy Pit. He becomes great friends with Roo (to whom he becomes a sort of older sibling figure), and Kanga treats him in much the same way she does her own son. Tigger also interacts enthusiastically with all the other characters — sometimes too enthusiastically for the likes of Rabbit, who is sometimes exasperated by Tigger's constant bouncing, Eeyore, who is once bounced into the river by Tigger, and Piglet, who always seems a little nervous about the new, large, bouncy animal in the Forest. Nonetheless, the animals are all shown to be friends.

In addition to chapter II, Tigger also appears in chapters IV, VI, VII, and X of The House at Pooh Corner, and is mentioned in several others. He is the only new major character to be introduced in The House at Pooh Corner; all of the others had been established in the earlier Winnie-the-Pooh book.

Depiction and personality traits[edit]

In Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations, Tigger appears to walk (or more often, bounce) on four feet as opposed to two. He is, however, capable of holding a pen with one of his front paws.[2] Though Tigger is described by Rabbit and Piglet as "large", he does not seem particularly big in the illustrations. Pooh states once "He always seems bigger because of his bounces", implying that the other animals think of Tigger as being larger than he truly is.[1] That assessment fits very well with Tigger's personality and his assessment of his own abilities, which he always overestimates. He is cheerful, outgoing, competitive in a friendly way, and has complete confidence in himself. Some of the things which he claims Tiggers can do in the chapter "In which it is shown That Tiggers don't climb trees" include flying, jumping farther than a kangaroo, swimming, and climbing trees. He never actually attempts any of the first three things in the course of the story, but he does try to climb a tree. He only succeeds half-way, being able to climb up but not to climb down again.,[3] Tigger also says Tiggers "never get lost"; unlike most of his other claims, this one seems to be true - he is able to find his way through the Forest even in a thick mist, despite Rabbit's attempts to lose him.[4]

Like most of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger was based on one of Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed animals, in this case a stuffed-toy tiger. However, the word "tiger" is never actually used in the book. The term "Tigger" is used instead, both as the character's name and as a description of his type of animal. No other "Tiggers" appear in the story, and at one point Tigger (who has just seen his reflection in a mirror and mistaken it for another individual) comments he thought he was the only one. Despite that belief, he constantly uses the term in the plural, as in "Tiggers don't like honey." and "So that's what Tiggers like!", etc. The term is always capitalized.

Adaptations[edit]

In 1960 HMV recorded a dramatised version with songs (music by Harold Fraser-Simson) of two episodes from The House at Pooh Corner (Chapters 2 and 8), with Hugh Lloyd as Tigger, which was released on a 45rpm EP.[5]

Disney adaptations[edit]

Tigger (Disney version)
The Tigger Movie, a film based on the Disney adaptation of Tigger.
Voiced by Paul Winchell (1968-1999)
Will Ryan (1983-1986)
Jim Cummings (1989-present)

Tigger also appears in the Disney cartoon versions of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, beginning with Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day in 1968. He has even starred in his own film, The Tigger Movie (Disney, 2000), along with his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.

From 1968 to 1999, Tigger was voiced by Paul Winchell. However, Walt Disney initially planned to have the character voiced by Wally Boag, but the role was turned over to Winchell after Disney's death, since Boag's performance of the character was considered to be "too zany for a children's film".[6] Will Ryan voiced Tigger in the Disney Channel program Welcome to Pooh Corner, which ran from 1983 to 1986.

Since the 1989 episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, "King of the Beasties", Tigger has been voiced by Jim Cummings (who is also the voice of Pooh), with the exception of Eeyi Eeyi Eeyore (1990), Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997), A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving (1998), Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You (1999), and archive footage of Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999) in which Winchell reprised the role of Tigger. On some albums and read-along cassettes in the early 1990s, Ed Gilbert voiced Tigger.

In the movies, Tigger sings his own theme song, "The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers", written by the Sherman Brothers. According to the song, Tigger is "the only one" — a fact that leads to his search for his family in The Tigger Movie.

In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and subsequent cartoons, Tigger lives in a large treehouse. A tire swing hangs prominently from a branch of the tree. In The Tigger Movie, Tigger builds a makeshift addition (gluing the shingles on with bubble gum, using honey as brick mortar) in anticipation of a hoped-for visit by members of his family. This "family room" is eventually relocated to serve as a replacement for Eeyore's collapse-prone house of sticks.

The Disney version of Tigger appeared in both the TV special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and the TV series House of Mouse.

Personality traits[edit]

Tigger's personality in the cartoons is much like his personality in the book. He is very confident and has quite an ego, he often thinks of himself as being handsome, and some of his other comments suggest he has a high opinion of himself. Tigger is always filled with great energy and optimism, and though always well-meaning, he can also be mischievous, and his actions have sometimes led to chaos and trouble for himself and his friends. Also, he often undertakes tasks with gusto, only to later realize they were not as easy as he had originally imagined. As in the books, Tigger never refers to himself as a tiger, but as a "Tigger". When Tigger introduces himself, he often says the proper way to spell his name is: "T-I-'Double-/G/'-Er (T-i-gg-er), which spells 'Tigger'".[7]

Another of Tigger's notable personality traits is his habit of mispronouncing various words, or stressing wrong syllables in them. Examples of this include him pronouncing "villain" as "villian"; "terrible" as "terribible"; "regulations" as "regularations"; "ridiculous" as "ridickerous" (or "ricky-diculus" in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day); "recognize" as "recoganize"; and "suspicious" as "suspicerous".

A declaration often made, is that "Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs." In cartoon, he is often depicted bouncing around in ways which would make such a statement appear to be valid.

In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger is often well-meaning but usually does more harm than good. In the episode "Tigger is the Mother of Invention", he invented a bulldozer-like contraption intended to provide convenience for Pooh, Piglet, and Rabbit, but the invention proved to have disastrous results, and Rabbit insisted that Tigger shut it down; however, in the winter, a depressed Tigger accidentally started the machine up, and it proved to be useful by plowing snow around Piglet's house before malfunctioning. On another occasion, Tigger attempted to mimic a superhero, "The Masked Offender," bringing mayhem to the Hundred-Acre Wood. In response, Pooh, Rabbit, Gopher, and Owl (unaware that the Masked Offender was actually Tigger) staged a hoax in which they made an inanimate monster from a sticky glue-like material. The plan worked, revealing Tigger as the Masked Offender, but the fake monster (which was on wheels) turned on its makers, ultimately resulting in Pooh, Rabbit, Gopher, and Owl hanging by the glue from a rickety bridge. Subsequently, Tigger resumed his role as the Masked Offender, and saved his friends.

It is also shown that Tigger will jump in to help without thinking about the danger to himself. On at least three occasions, he has nearly fallen off a cliff, and has fallen two of those times, to retrieve something important (Half of the map in Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, his locket in The Tigger Movie, and a page of Piglet's scrapbook in Piglet's Big Movie).

Tigger's birthday is believed to be in October 1928, the year The House at Pooh Corner was first published. However, on Tigger-related merchandise, Disney often indicates Tigger's birthyear as 1968, a reference to the first year Tigger appeared in a Disney production, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

Disney's Tigger is also remembered for his song The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers when he made his first appearance. However, he was not included in the Winnie the Pooh theme song until the 2011 film.

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Winnie-the-Pooh and the house at Pooh Corner: Alan Bennett – WorldCat". WorldCat. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  2. ^ The Tigger Movie (Motion picture). 
  3. ^ Milne, A.A. Tiggers don't climb trees. ISBN 0525462309. 
  4. ^ Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (Motion picture). 
  5. ^ "Ian Carmichael And Full Cast – The House At Pooh Corner – HMV Junior Record Club – UK – 7EG 117". 45cat. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Jim Hill: From the Archives - April 3, 2001.
  7. ^ "Disney's Tigger voice dies at 82". London: BBC News. 2005-06-26. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  8. ^ Randy Pausch (2007-09-18). The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. p. 19. Retrieved 2009-02-24.  "So my next piece of advice is, you just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore. I think I’m clear where I stand on the great Tigger/Eeyore debate."

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