December 1 , 1998. For over thirty years, long-time actor Paul Winchell has supplied the voice of Tigger in Walt Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” animated productions. However, the upcoming animated Pooh feature, “Tigger’s Family Tree,” won’t feature his distinctive voice; instead Tigger’s voice will be supplied by veteran voice actor Jim Cummings, who is also the current voice of Pooh Bear. Although a Disney spokeswoman denies he was fired, Winchell was let go after only one day of work on the film. She says his day of work was an audition, and the job simply went to the actor who gave a better performance. A more likely reason is that Winchell asked for more money as Disney is paying him union scale. Many insiders are saddened by this strange voice casting decision. One industry voice actor commented on this announcement, “Disney should spend the extra money on Paul because of all his years of service to the company. Having the real voice of Tigger is always preferable to an imitation, and since Paul Winchell is alive it makes no sense not to use him.” Winchell’s agent was quoted as saying that Winchell feels he’s been put “out to pasture.” It should be noted however that Paul Winchell’s voice is still being used for upcoming TV specials. (Source Unknown)
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