Tony the Tiger
Tony has been the face of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes since the sugarcoated cereal was introduced back in 1952—and there are no signs that he'll be retiring anytime soon. In 2017, Frosted Flakes trailed only Honey Nut Cheerios as the bestselling cereal, further proof that "They're grrreat!," as Tony has long boasted. Actor Thurl Ravenscroft supplied the mascot's booming voice in commercials for more than 50 years, until just before his death in 2005. He also played a role in another animated touchstone of the 1960s: Ravenscroft was the uncredited singer of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" in Dr. Seuss' 1966 TV special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
The bounce-happy cartoon tiger first hopped across the big screen in Disney's "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" in 1968, 40 years after being introduced in A.A. Milne's children's book "The House at Pooh Corner." Of course, this tiger prefers to be called Tigger and often introduces himself by spelling out his name: "T-I-double G-E-R." In 2000, Disney gave the lovable cat his own animated feature, appropriately titled "The Tigger Movie."
The Esso Tiger
He may have looked a lot like Tigger and Tony the Tiger, but the animated mascot of Esso (now ExxonMobil) in the 1960s was a salesman at heart. The gas giant's "Put a Tiger in Your Tank" ad campaign was such a success—some motorists even hung tiger tails from the caps of their gas tanks—that Time magazine declared 1964 "The Year of the Tiger" on Madison Avenue. Tony the Tiger got in on the act in the 1990s, when Exxon began calling its convenience stores Tiger Marts. Kellogg's took Exxon to court, claiming the new name infringed on the cereal maker's trademarked spokesman. The suit was settled out of court.
Daniel Striped Tiger
For decades this shy, soft-spoken tiger lived inside a wall clock near the Platypus Mound on the west side of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Daniel was originally supposed to be a cuckoo, but Fred Rogers switched gears when WQED station manager Dorothy Daniel presented the genial host with the tiger puppet as a gift. Rogers acknowledged the gift by naming the tiger after her. Fans may recall that Daniel Striped Tiger and his friend Lady Aberlin showed their affection for one another by rubbing their noses together and saying, "Ugga mugga."
Fans of the AMC series "The Walking Dead" suffered a painful loss in 2017, when Shiva the tiger was killed by a swarm of zombies in the war against the Saviors. Shiva had been Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) faithful companion since he saved the tiger when it was badly injured at a zoo. The two even survived the apocalypse together. Despite the deaths of an entire army in the episode, it was Shiva's passing that most affected viewers. R.I.P.
From 1985-95, as many as 2,400 newspapers worldwide ran a daily comic strip about a 6-year-old boy named Calvin and his stuffed Bengal tiger, Hobbes. Hobbes was a lot wiser than his precocious human friend, but he happily tagged along during Calvin's knucklehead antics. When cartoonist Bill Watterson ended "Calvin and Hobbes" on the last day of 1995, some mourners hailed it as "the last great newspaper comic" ever published.
Jake the Tiger
Jacob "Jake" the Tiger expressed surprising concern when he was about to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance in Eddie Murphy's 1998 remake of "Dr. Doolittle." "Wait a minute," he complained. "The dog gets to ride up front?" The tiger's voice belonged to none other than Albert Brooks, without whom that joke wouldn't be nearly as funny.
The Tigers of Tigris
Three agitated tigers made life difficult for Maximus (Russell Crowe) when he was fighting Tigris of Gaul (Sven-Ole Thorsen) at the Colosseum in Ridley Scott's 2000 historical drama "Gladiator." Maximus prevailed, of course, but not before one of the tigers attacked him. Fun fact: Five different tigers were used to film the scene and a veterinarian armed with tranquilizer darts was always on hand in case anything went wrong.
We should all have a tiger like Rajah looking out for us. Rajah was the circus animal that escaped and found its way to the Sultan's palace in Disney's 1992 animated feature "Aladdin." Princess Jasmine and Rajah soon became inseparable. "I've never had any real friends—except you, Rajah," she told the devoted tiger who watched over her ferociously. Awww.
Cameron Crowe's 2011 comedy-drama "We Bought a Zoo" stars Matt Damon as a recent widower and first-time zookeeper who must come to terms with his wife's death by putting down a beautiful but injured tiger named Spar. He refuses to give the order the entire movie, but in the end has no choice but to euthanize the animal—and allow himself to truly mourn his wife's death.
This mighty Bengal tiger hates humans, preys upon other jungle inhabitants, and fears only two things: guns and fire. Originally appearing in Rudyard Kipling's 1894 collection of stories "The Jungle Book," Shere Khan is the protagonist in Disney's 1967 animated feature of the same name, as well as various sequels and offshoots. This animated feline, however, is not your typical lovable Disney character.
Left at the doorstep of an orphanage when she was an infant, Master Tigress grew up to be a fierce warrior in 2008's "Kung Fu Panda" and its sequels. Tigress is a member of the elite Furious Five, a group of skilled kung fu warriors in China. She is fearless, heroic, and loyal to Master Po Ping, the giant panda who acts as the Dragon Warrior and champion of the Valley of Peace. Oh, and she never uses her claws in a fight.
Brian Cranston broke bad as the voice of this Russian Siberian tiger in 2012's computer-animated "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted." A circus performer, Vitaly was badly burned while jumping through a ring of fire coated in flammable olive oil. He regains his confidence by performing the same stunt, only this time coated with non-flammable hair conditioner. Alex the lion (Chris Rock) had given Vitaly the tip, and the two quickly became fast friends.
Where would the "Masters of the Universe" franchise be without this giant armored cat with the green fur and yellow stripes? After all, Battle Cat carries He-Man and other warriors into war. His sharp claws make Battle Cat a more formidable mount than a horse. Oh, and he can talk. Sometimes.
The Cat in the Boat
Ang Lee's 2012 survival drama "Life of Pi" could be the most memorable starring role ever for a tiger. A 16-year-old boy, Pi, survives a shipwreck in which his entire family perishes, only to find himself alone on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The teenager and the tiger must find a way to coexist and survive together in this magical story. Real tigers were used in the filming, though they were never actually crammed into a lifeboat with a human.
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An amazing trip to South Africa, where we got up close and personal with giants both wild and gentle