Gabrielle Pantera interviews the voice of Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, reviews the Tigger Movie *** Three Stars
BEVERLY HILLS, CA (Gosh!TV) 8/7/2009 – “Paul Winchell, the late great, was the original Tigger,” says Tigger Movie star Jim Cummings, the current voice of Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. “Paul was a friend of mine. When we first started in the late 80s to do the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with ABC Disney, back when they weren’t the same company, he was doing Tigger on and off.”
Winchell was not only a popular cartoon voice, he worked in medical research. “He invented one of the prototypes of the first artificial heart, Knucklehead Smith and Tigger,” says Cummings. “He was going back and forth to Africa doing research. I would pinch hit as Tigger. Then he retired. As Pooh and Tigger I feel I’m carrying on a tradition.”
“I’m nominated for a daytime Emmy for Tigger this year,” says Cummings. “It’s for My Friends Tigger and Pooh on Disney Channel. That will be at the end of August. I was at home and got a phone call. Nobody ever tells you these things. It’s my third. The first two took a week and a half before anyone got around to telling me. When you do something you really love, I just sit back and say, thank you Jesus.”
Cummings worked on river boats in New Orleans before moving to California. “I made my demo tape back in ’84,” says Cummings. “I was managing a video store in Anaheim, California. One of our customers was a movie producer,” says Cummings. “He said, let me take it and pass it around. He did and folks from Don Blue called me. They were casting for Dumbo’s Circus. I auditioned and got the job. Fortunately for me, that job they ended up doing 120 shows. By the time the show got done I had an agent and was doing radio and TV spots.”
The re-release 10-year anniversary of the Tigger Movie is a celebration of friendship and family. It’s Tigger’s movie, and he’s always the happy bouncy fellow. Tigger learns the true meaning of family and that family is not always who you’re related to by blood. All the other Pooh characters are part of Tigger movie too. It wouldn’t be the same without them. Original songs are by the award-winning Sherman Brothers who also worked on Mary Poppins and many other Disney movies. There are two new Tigger stories included: King of the Beasties and Tigger’s House Guest.
The making of a Tigger movie was a long time coming. “Everything had been centered around Pooh,” says Cummings. “If you see the opening of the Tigger movie you’ll see what I mean. It was Tigger’s turn at bat.”
“Pooh Ought to Be in Pictures was the first cartoon we did for Saturday morning,” says Cummings. “I was in hog heaven. Karl Grears was the producer. He had such a warmth and affection for the characters. He’d done the original Disney shorts that won Academy Awards in the 60s. We were over at B&B Sound in downtown Burbank.”
“The greatest thing about it was meeting the Sherman brothers for the first time,” says Cummings. “They wrote songs for thirty movies, I think. From Jungle Book and Mary Poppins and the original Winnie the Pooh. The Sherman brothers enjoyed redoing the music for Tigger.”
Will there be a new Tigger movie soon? “There’s going to be a return to the 100-Acre Wood we all know, but I can’t give you the title because they haven’t come up with it yet,” says Cummings. “It’s going to be a return to the original Disney animation with the late great Sterling Holloway and Paul Winchell. A return to the known stories.”
“Disney is gearing up,” says Cummings. “I’d say 2011 a new Winnie the Pooh and Tigger movie will be in theaters. It’s going to be all hand-drawn animation, a return to 2D. John Lassiter said what is old is new. They’re returning to the traditions of what made Disney great. They’re doing the same thing with The Princess and the Frog. Many of the same people from Princess and the Frog are going to be moving on to the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger movie. I’m very excited about that.”
“I’ve got four girls, 27, 22, 4 and 2,” says Cummings. “The older girls were quite taken with Winnie the Pooh and now the little girls are.”
The Tigger Movie Ten year Anniversary Edition DVD includes two new Tigger stories: The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: King of the Beasties and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Tigger’s House Guest. There’s an interactive trivia game, a Thingamajigger Match game, Kenny Loggins music video Your Heart Will Lead You Home, Round my Family sing along song, the Disney DVD Storybook The Tigger Movie, how to make your own family tree and the theatrical trailer. The second disc is a digital copy.
The Tigger Movie is a great feel good movie. Parents will enjoy the romp thought the 100 Acre Woods as much as the kids. Which Winnie the Pooh character are you? TI-double-GG-er!
The Tigger Movie, 10th Anniversary Edition
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009
Duration 77 minutes.