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Tigger: Friend of Pooh or Vigilante?

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Published: January 8, 2007 at 9:47 AM

First it was the groping incident. Now Tigger is beating children. At least thats the story a visitor to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is telling. A video was released Sunday showing a teenager jumping into a picture with his younger siblings with Tigger, when the costumed character turns and punches him in the face. You can view the video online at:
http://www.local6.com/news/10685989/detail.html

It really doesnt seem like the hit was intentional, although other stories report the employee is already claiming self defense as the 14 year old was pulling Tiggers mask from behind.

It seems that the family really over reacted demanding that "Tigger be a man and step out of the costume." Poor Tigger seems that he should try just a little harder to stay out of deep Pooh.

Readers' Opinions

From Gareth H on January 8, 2007 at 2:01 PM
At least he wasn't smothered in Pooh...
From Anthony Murphy on January 8, 2007 at 2:03 PM
Yeah, I just saw the video and it didn't look like Tigger was punching the kid on purpose, it looked like a accident and no, it didn't look that hard either, but what do I know?

Theory on all the Tigger Problems: In my opinion, Tigger is a very touchy and personal space breaker in the movies. I mean he knocks people over with his jumping and sits on Pooh. I think the cast member is trying to capture the character, but its not working as well.

I truly thought he was trying to give him a jab in the sholder and instead made contact with the face.

From Franki Brock on January 8, 2007 at 5:55 PM
I just saw the video and it really doesnt look like it was that hard its hard to tell if it was on purpose or not but im leaning towards it being an accident. But it will be like the same thing as in 2004 i believe when Tigger suppousedy touched a girl in the wrong stop. Who knows?!?!?

-the word on the street is that the boy was pulling on the back of his costume making it hard for him to breath but to me it still looked looks like it's to hard and to soon to be able to tell. Just Wondering Is The Family Asking For Money?!?

Wasn't anybody else there?!? I thought that they had to have a cast member there with them at all times like other people have said?!?

It really does look like the the kid was doing something and it kinda looks like he was smiling...wacky

From Eric Malone on January 8, 2007 at 2:32 PM
Saw the video. It didn't look like a hit to me, on purpose. I remember seeing somewhere that the peripheral vision is horrible with those masks, so it could be that it was just simply a mistake on his part. But the guy argued that he was trying to pull his mask off, so.. hey, who knows?
From Erik Yates on January 8, 2007 at 3:03 PM
The conspiracy theorists all say that this was done to take attention away from the sexual assault that happened on the Disney Cruise Line...after all, that came and went really fast, while the Universal story seemed to stick around for a while longer.
But according to the latest stories, Tigger, the actor...is on unpaid suspension until the whole ordeal gets sorted out, in which the family will probably be issued an apology by the actor, for something he didnt really do.
BTW....Robert...I am surprised you kept this title....I wrote it as a joke....but glad it stuck.
From rick stevens on January 8, 2007 at 4:43 PM
Watching the video it does seem that the teenager was trying to do something to Tigger. He is either trying to take the head off or unzip the costume. When Tigger went to stop him, his arm is caught under Tigger's. The slap/hit was not much, but I seem to remember that no CM is ever allowed to touch/strike a tourist for any reason. Don't all costumed characters travel with a chaparone to help protect the CM?
From Robert Niles on January 8, 2007 at 4:57 PM
Couldn't get the linked video to play on my Mac, but found a report on YouTube.

My $.02: If the teen boy grabbed the back of the Tigger outfit below the neck, it could have pulled back on the head in a way that could choke the person inside. In which case, in my opinion, he'd then be perfectly justified in going medieval on the kid. But we can't tell where the kid's hand was.

Even if the kid grabbed the costume by accident, the person inside can be hurt. Ultimately, it is the job of the handler to keep close and keep people's hands off the characters.

If Disney wants to suspend the character actor, that is Disney's right. But I wonder if the handler got tossed as well. I'd really like to see the couple of seconds before what we saw. We need that for better context.

BTW, it was a great headline. Of course I was gonna keep it!

From Rob P on January 9, 2007 at 4:20 AM
I've watched the video and it does look to me like the kid was definitely annoying the character.
No defence if he actually hit him but it looks pretty inocuous to me.No more than a gentle cuff and his head moves back as the kid's arm goes behind suggesting that the kid was pulling on the costume.

I think we should send for Gil Grissom on this one.

Also ; Who took the video ? Was it the family themselves or a passing TV crew ?

From Mark Hollamon on January 9, 2007 at 5:06 AM
I just watched the video as well. I my opinion, the guest was definitely pulling on the Cast Member's costume. You can see Tigger's head raise after he pins the guest's arm with his right arm. I do not even think the left was meant to touch the guest, but rather a move to turn and break the hold the guest had on the Cast Member.

The reaction by the child's parent is laughable. The parent should have stepped in a given the child a whack! Maybe a couple whacks earlier in life could have taught that you respect other people's space and in this case that the price of admission does not come with Carte Blance to go nuts in the park, which by the way, is something that at least this local resident sees all the time.

From Anthony Murphy on January 9, 2007 at 8:24 AM
Great Title!
From Phillip Florendo on January 9, 2007 at 9:27 AM
Does Magic Kingdom have security cameras that might show what happened behind Tigger?
From Jeff Kuack on January 9, 2007 at 10:03 AM
back and to the left...back and to the left....
From Vickie OConnor on January 9, 2007 at 10:39 AM
It looks like Tigger was trying to move. I don't believe that he hit that boy intentionally, and it looked like the kid was pulling on Tigger. His parents just want a payday. I don't think the cast member should be suspendede, either, unless their was compelling evidence to warrant the suspension.
From Shane Morgan on January 9, 2007 at 3:41 PM
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the 100 Acre Wood...
From Scottland Jacobson on January 9, 2007 at 8:37 PM
I've worn costumes similar to the characters at Disney and I can tell you, it's VERY hard to breathe inside of them. That kid looks like he was up to no good and whether Tigger was just moving and accidentally hit him or he was having trouble breathing and reacted (which is quite possible - you can panic in those things!), it just doesn't matter. It's such a slow "hit" that it would be more of a gentle surprise than anything. The family truly appears to be making a spectacle out of nothing at all.
Did the family wait and just release the video to the news? Or did the family immediately report it to Disney cast members and Disney treated them poorly?
Our country needs to get away from the "get on the 5 'o clock news" mentality and move on to bigger and better things.
What will young kids do whose dream is to go to Disney when they hear about the story? Are they going to be afraid of Tigger now?
From Karen Burberry on January 9, 2007 at 10:56 PM
I watched the slides of Tigger with the 14yr. old child. The child was as tall as Tigger; had his arm around Tigger; and was trying to do something.

I am the mother of a very petite, young woman who does characters at Disney. As Donald Duck, she gets poked, and hit by kids, usually boys.

I think that there needs to be people watching in front and in back of the characters, and that poking at, hitting, and pulling on the character costumes needs to be strictly forbidden! My daughter isn't the only petite young woman working in the costumes.

From Christina Biedebach on January 10, 2007 at 6:54 AM
Perhaps I should change jobs and become a lawyer for Tigger! Tigger is getting royally screwed! The kid obivously reached behind Tigger and did something to him, you can see it the moment you view the video. Tigger is reaching around to stop him, and the damn kids head was in the way. Tigger is basically blind on the side due to the costume and didnt see the kids big fat head!

That family just wants money from Disney!!! It is a sin, and I hope they dont get a dime! Disney should stand behind their employees 100% on this one after viewing the video!!

Give that family nothing but Pooh, what they deserve!

From TH Creative on January 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM
I find it amusing that this kid has to go back to school and explain to his pals how he got his butt kicked by a stuffed animal.

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