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This third installment of the Disney Pooh series, first released in 1974, is perhaps the liveliest, in part because the hyperactively bouncy stuffed tiger of the title seems tailor-made for animation. The story line, in which Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and company have to come to terms with the disruptive new presence in the Hundred Acre Wood, could almost be described as morally uplifting. And the character's theme song, "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers," is the only really memorable number in the entire series; your kid will be singing it for days. The throaty tones of Paul Winchell, as Tigger, are a definite asset--and voice choices are by no means a neutral issue. When Disney chose the familiar tenor of in-house voiceover performer Sterling Holloway for the title character, it was a good example of what the politically minded call an "appropriative" gesture: a way of enveloping A.A. Milne's great children's book hero, of transforming him instantly into a generic Disney character. (You would never guess from the Disney renditions of Christopher that in the books, originally published in the 1920s, everybody was British.) The marketing machinations came full circle when Disney purchased rights to the original drawings by illustrator Ernest Shephard; merchandise depicting the two versions of the characters are now sold side by side in The Disney Store, like so many cans of New and Classic Coke. --David Chute
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