As promised here’s my next instalment of character voice tips. Today we’ll look at Tigger from Disney’s rendition of Winnie the Pooh. First off Tigger is growly, you need to grumble your voice. Men will probably find this easier as our standard speaking voice is typically lower, though I’m certain women will be able to manage something suitably ‘Tiggerish’ too.
Lets try the growl now, it’s a slow and gentle background sound, it’s not a dog’s growl or even that of a big cat, I’d be more inclined to liken it to a deep purr sound (though Tigger doesn’t always make this sound with lips closed, as you would see in a purr).
The next thing to look at is the lisp, this lisp isn’t a side of the cheek lisp like you might hear from Sid the sloth (from the ‘Ice Age’ movies) or Donald Duck (a voice I find so hard that I won’t embarrass myself by showing you here). Tigger’s lisp is all in the front with a flattened hiss sound replacing most letters made by the tip of the tongue (‘s’, ‘ce’ and ‘sh’). It makes ‘this’ sound more like ‘thith’ and ‘ice’ sound more like ‘ith’. The only slight change to this is with a ‘sh’ sound which gets kind of whistlish (sorry for all the ‘ish’ words, dealing with Tigger makes me start to think in his language, more on that later).
Next comes pacing. Tigger is full of energy, that kind of goes without saying, and with that comes a kind of explosive nature to his speech. Where Winnie the Pooh kind of eases into a word, Tigger jumps into it full of energy and joy. This makes it a little difficult (though not impossible) to make Tigger sound sad.
There are two extra things worth including here. Firstly Tigger has a characteristic language which is difficult (though I’m sure not impossible) to do on the fly, the way his lines are written he sounds like someone trying to show a wide vocabulary but without much idea about what some of the words mean. As a result Tigger often mispronounces longer words, occasionally making up new words by splicing two or more words together, and the most common ‘Tiggerish’ word change of all is to add ‘y’ or ‘ish’ to the end of words (e.g. ‘debonairy’, ‘Tiggerish’, ‘impossibible’). Secondly Tigger has his own wee sound (like Pooh has his laugh/giggle) that sounds something like ‘woo-hoo-hoo-hooo’. He doesn’t use this nearly as much as Pooh uses his giggle, but it is worth throwing in every now and then, if you want to sound ‘Tiggerish’.
OK that’s the tips bit finished, here’s a wee example that you can use to test your Tigger voice (and your Pooh bear voice if you had a go at last week’s). I pulled the following script (from the Tigger movie) from a brilliant web site called ‘script-o-rama‘:
TIGGER- Hello! I’m Tigger. That’s T-l-double-geh-er. And that’s me. Hoo, hoo, hoo!
POOH- I know. You’ve bounced me lots and lots of times.
TIGGER- Yeah. Fun, ain’t it? Say, you want to go bouncin’ with me, on account of bouncin’s what Tiggers do…eh, best…Eww.
POOH- Well, I would go bouncing with you, Tigger, except that I must count all these honey pots…to be sure I have enough for winter.
TIGGER- Let me get that, please.
TIGGER- Yech! What do these Pooh bears like… about this icky, sticky stuff anyway?
Anyway I hope you enjoyed that and next week I’ll have another Winnie the Pooh character for you, I’m still debating between Rabbit or Eeyore, let me know what you’d rather have a go at. As always thanks for reading, Cheers, John
UPDATE 13.02.14 : My ‘How to sound like’ posts are getting a lot of interest and it occurred to me that people might like a message recorded by Pooh, Tigger or Eeyore (can do Rabbit and Owl too if asked). If you’d like this message me on twitter and I’ll see what I can do 🙂