By Megan Walsh-Boyle, TV Guide
August 04, 2009
The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things. But being the only one starts to lose its bounce in “The Tigger Movie” which finds Winnie the Pooh’s buddy searching for his family. To celebrate the release of the 10th Anniversary Edition DVD, we spoke to Jim Cummings, who gives voice to the cuddly Hundred Acre Wood’s fella.
What was the most fun part of the “The Tigger Movie” for you?
[Sings] The Whoop-de-Dooper Loop-de-Looper?Alley-Ooper Bounce! That was great, because it was when I originally met the Sherman Brothers, Dick and Robert Sherman. They are true characters and have so many Academy Awards and Grammys. They wrote all the songs from “Jungle Book,” “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” It was like meeting the musical Smithsonian Institute, you know? It was wonderful working with them and definitely one of the highlights of “The Tigger Movie.”
And do you have a favorite part of this new 10th anniversary DVD?
You know what? I don’t know what’s in there. They never tell me anything. Honestly, I love Disney, but get a load of this…Winnie the Pooh had his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and they didn’t tell me. I’ve been doing the voice of Winnie the Pooh since 1987 and Disney doesn’t call! As much as you love them, its not like they want to make you the star—they want the character to be the star, which is cool. I understand that. [And] who knows? Maybe they’re afraid I’ll ask for a raise. [Laughs]
You might if you win the Daytime Emmy (broadcast August 30th) this year! What an honor, especially considering the competition: Joan Rivers, Vanessa Williams, Amy Poehler and Jim Ward…
Yeah, knock on wood. This is the third time I’ve been nominated. I would love it, I would just be threw the roof, but I’m trying to lower my expectations when you’re up against Hollywood actors like this.
On December 11, “The Princess and the Frog” hits theaters, which introduces the first black Disney Princess.
My little girls, Lulu and Gracie, are of mixed race and every time I play the teaser trailer for Gracie, who is 4, she’ll look and say, “Daddy, that’s me!” Then the firefly, my character, will come on, and she’ll say, “And that’s my daddy!” We’re very excited—it’s going to be great.
Of the several hundred voices you have done, which hold a special place in your heart?
Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck, Don Karnage from TaleSpin, and there was a great little guy called Mr. Bumpy on an ABC series called Bump in the Night. It’s the stuff that used to get me kicked out of class, now the joke’s on them.
Looking back on your 25-year career, what are you proudest of?
Being able to bring these characters, especially Pooh and Tigger, to new generations. I just feel like a torchbearer—it’s really a blessing. I work with the Make a Wish Foundation and it’s so rewarding to put a smile on the face of a little girl who’s undergoing chemotherapy. Those are the best things—there’s no money there, but boy, it’s worth a million dollars.