Why Tigger Isn't Joining The Killing Spree In Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey

Now that Winnie-The-Pooh is free from Disney's clutches and finally frolicking in the public domain, his days of seeking out honey in the Hundred Acre Woods have come to an end. Instead, one of the world's favorite childhood teddys will be wielding chloroform and a bloody sledgehammer as one of the sadistic killers at the center of "Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey." Who will accompany Pooh on his slasher movie murder spree? None other than his best bud, Piglet! Though he's typically afraid of the dark, the wind, and honestly, anything that moves, Piglet is taking a break from his usually frightened persona to be a feral and bloodthirsty killer. Sounds fun, right? There's just one thing missing: how can Pooh and Piglet embark on this bloody journey without everyone's favorite bouncing tiger, Tigger?

Unfortunately, taking Tigger along for this violent ride was never really an option. While A.A. Milne's original 1926 novel "Winnie-the-Pooh" is now in the public domain, Disney's version of the character (and all of his friends) are still their own. Which means writer/director Rhys Frake-Waterfield had to be extra careful to make sure that his slasher film stayed distinct from the House of Mouse's IP.

"When we were coming up with this we knew that we would have to be really careful about what elements we used," Waterfield explained in the latest issue of SFX Magazine. "We couldn't be influenced by the Disney version at all, so I consciously didn't watch anything by them. I went through the book and I purposefully tried to make our Pooh and Piglet as distinct as I could."

Winnie the Pooh gets a horrifying makeover

So, exactly how different is Waterfield's take on Pooh and Piglet? About as different from the classic Disney movies as they can possibly be. For one thing, they commit a ton of murder! But they also couldn't be styled exactly as they are in the animated movies we know and love. In Waterfield's words, "Pooh [in this film] is a six-foot-two, half-man/half-bear hybrid who wears pants and has a long sleeve shirt." So, ya know, he's considerably less cuddly.

Keeping away from the Disney IP also meant avoiding some of the beloved secondary characters who make the Hundred Acre Woods feel like home. "Tigger, for example, isn't in the public domain," Waterfield explained. "So he wasn't allowed to be used in the story." Though it's hard to imagine Pooh's forest without him, Tigger isn't actually included in the original novel and first appears in its sequel, "The House At Pooh Corner."

Still, there were plenty of other secondary characters to choose from: Eyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, and Roo can freely appear in "Blood and Honey," though it seems unlikely that they will. The closest that the trailer indicates is a brief glimpse of Eeyore's grave. Yikes.

There's hope for Evil Tigger yet!

On the bright side, just because Tigger has no place in this film, doesn't mean he'll be entirely shut out of this twisted universe. Since the novel that introduces Tigger was published in 1926 and the copyright expires after 95 years, the rambunctious tiger will enter the public domain next year. This means, for better or worse, he'll be free to appear in the sequel! Do I want to see what kind of carnage a tiger who bounces on his tail is capable of? I won't lie — I really do. Against my better judgment, I'm really hoping Tigger gets to headline his own slasher film very soon.

In the meantime, if you find yourself determined to marry Tigger with darkness, then you can always set your sights on the unofficial Tiggom comics — a very strange and very specific crossover between Winnie The Pooh's bouncing tiger and Marvel's Venom. Yup, thanks to indie publisher Counterpoint Comics, there's a comic series in which Tigger joins forces with the Venom symbiote. It's no Pooh Bear on a murderous rampage, but I bet the body count is pretty damn similar.

"Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey" is set to open in theaters on February 15, 2023.