The Jim Cummings Emmy publicity tour of all media continues with an interview in Newsarama.com today.
This interview delves into his work as Pooh and Tigger touching on the transition from Paul Winchell:
His real breakthrough into lead work came in 1988, when he did his first job as Pooh in Winnie The Pooh Friend-ship: Tigger-ific Tales. As intimated before, Holloway was long gone from this planet, but Paul Winchell was still Tigger at that time. Cummings would first step into the role of Tigger in 1996 with a Pooh Halloween special entitled Boo To You, Too. Things started to get interesting after that.
“I absolutely did know Paul,” says Cummings. “I knew him well during the last years of his life, when he was going back and forth from South Africa, doing research. He was really like Da Vinci. He designed one of the prototypes for one of the first artificial hearts. He was also going back and forth to Africa to try and solve some of the hunger problems there. In fact, how I got the role of Tigger is initially when he would go I would pinch hit for him.”
Indeed. In 1998, on A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving special, both Cummings and Winchell are credited on the role of the terrific tiger. By 1999, it was handed over completely to Cummings with The Tigger Movie. From that point on, Cummings would voice both Pooh and Tigger. There’s some controversy over the transition. Rumors said Winchell didn’t take losing the job too well, apparently. Cummings has his own point of view.
“What actually happened is they decided to recast the entire cast,” he says. “They then did some tests and I came in first as Pooh and second on Tigger. Now when Paul was around, he was certainly Tigger. Then in 1999 he apparently decided to retire and I’ve been the voices of Tigger and Pooh since then, full time.”