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Famous Tiger Characters


Strong creatures who roam the Asian continent, tigers have long captured the imagination of poets, writers, filmmakers and storytellers. Memorable tiger characters show up on stage and in books, comics, television shows, commercials, movies, mythology and legend. They range from cute and cuddly to ferocious and fearsome.

Pouncing From Pages

Tigers often take on anthropomorphic characteristics as authors bring them into the pages of books, plays and comic books. Hobbes from the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" is a wise, human-like companion to his young friend. The Hungry Tiger from "Ozma of Oz" is a moral fellow who doesn't eat his friends no matter how hungry he gets. Shere Khan from "The Jungle Book" is sinister and evil, a bully who fears only fire and humans. Richard Parker in "Life of Pi" is a Bengal tiger who shares a lifeboat with a young Hindu for 227 days. The tiger in the stage play "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" is a foul-mouthed, foul-tempered, philosophical beast who wanders the streets as a ghost.

Television Tigers

On the smaller screen, tigers most often show up in children's shows. Daniel Striped Tiger got his start in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and has his own show, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood." Mur, a Siberian tiger, is a quick-tempered animated character on the Russian children's television show "Goodnight Little Ones." Since 1951, Tony the Tiger has shown up in television commercials advertising Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.

Roaring From Movies

Tigers show up in both animated films and their more realistic counterparts. In "Dr. Dolittle," Jacob is a suicidal tiger who consults the doctor. Spar is a 17-year-old Bengal tiger Benjamin doesn't want to put to sleep in "We Bought a Zoo." Kuma and Sangha are tiger cubs in the film "Two Brothers." Rajah is Princess Jasmine's palace friend and pet in Disney's "Aladdin." Tigress is a bold warrior and member of the Furious Five in the film "Kung Fu Panda." She also shows up in the sequels and the television series made from the movie. Vitaly is an animated tiger who appears in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted." Battle Cat is a green tiger with yellow stripes who is He-Man's mount in "Masters of the Universe." The White Tiger is a humanoid tiger in "The Justice Friends."

Tigers of Legend and Mythology

The White Tiger plays an important role in Chinese and Japanese mythology. He is the symbol of autumn and is the mythological guardian of the west. His names include Bai Hu in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese, Baekho in Korean and Bach Ho in Vietnamese. In Hindu mythology, Dawon is a sacred tiger who was a gift to the goddess Durga, who fought beside her.

About the Author

As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.

Photo Credits
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