Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Paw of the Tiger

Seems a New Hampshire family (the Monaco's) was down here in good ol' Florida visiting Walt Disney World when lovable Tigger "apparently" goes Rocky Balboa on some teen aged kid (Jerry, Jr.) for no apparent reason. The dad caught it on home video. Be sure to watch the video closely ...

Being the cynic that I am, it appears to me that the kid was messin' with ol' Tigger. Looks like he was trying to unzip his suit, or pull of his head, or something. Then Tigger seems to lose his balance. Sure enough the fake orange cat lays one on the kid. But, was on purpose, in response to being pulled backward or having his head or tail yanked back? Or, was Tigger simply falling, trying to regain his balance and accidentally clocked the kid?

If you watch Tigger's feet, he was in a wide stance, easy to get pulled off balance like that. But, why did he lock the kid's arm in his own? I think the kid was messing with him somehow behind his back, maybe hoping to go home to all his friends and say how he punk'd Tigger by pulling his head off or whatever. Tigger then locked his arm on the kids to stop it. Between the arm lock, the stance, and the kid yanking on him, he looses his balance and either accidentally clobbers the kid or uses it as an excuse to do so. I'm going with accidental.

Either way, Disney is in hot water. The media will play this up for all it's worth, because everybody loves to see a celebrity or big name company do something wrong.

The dad (Jerry, Sr.) says all he wants is an apology from the man inside the costume, which is Michael J. Fedelem, and who has been suspended pending an investigation by Disney and the Orange County Sheriffs. He has also retained a lawyer ... who are oh, so instrumental in getting apologies, especially cash apologies. I bet they win. =/

My biggest question is, where was Tigger's handler? I've know folk who were mascots in theme parks, even in Disney, and they always have a handler. It's hard to see, hear, and move, in those costumes (yes, I know personally because I wore a Maisey Mouse costume at a toy store). The handlers help guide the mascots and usually watch for hi-jinx people pull such as trying to pull the heads off or yank on tails and the like, as well as answering questions since mascots do not usually talk, only gesture

But, all of this may be moot in the end. My crack team of content spies has unearthed a video of a secret training facility for Disney mascots. Here they are taught the basics of martial arts, and are possibly used as an elite protection squad for Disney's upper echelon. See for yourself what kind of raw power Tigger has mastered:

Just remember that the next time you think pulling on Tigger's tail would be hilarious. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Jerry Monanco, Jr. >.<

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