On a Whirlwind

After last week’s post populated with numerous never-heard-of-him comments, thought it was in everyone’s best interest to have a familiar character. Look who’s here!

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Taz is short for the Tasmanian Devil

The youngest Looney Tune character,

First appearance in Devil May Hare (June 19, 1954)

Only in 5 cartoon shorts before Looney Tunes studio closed in 1964

Short-tempered dimwit with a ravenous appetite, especially for rabbits

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Created by Robert McKimson

Originally voiced by Mel Blanc, followed by 7 others

Taz soundboard

Warner Brothers head thought Taz was too violent for kids (and parents would dislike it), so order McKimson to stop using Taz

Got his on show in 1991: Taz-Mania Intro

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Relatives: Hugh (father), Jean (mother), Molly (sister), Jake (brother), Drew (Uncle), Tasmanian She-Devil (wife), Dizzy-Devil (cousin), Slam Tasmanian (descendant)

Interesting jousting history between Warner Brothers and the Tasmanian government regarding using Taz for marketing purposes

Yes – I have a golf shirt with an image of Taz

Enjoy the full-length original episode: Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1954)

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70 thoughts on “On a Whirlwind

  1. I don’t need to see Taz cartoons – my wife gets to see Taz whenever I wake up early in the morning! Though I must admit, Taz does adhere strictly to a PG-13 vocabulary at worst, whereas mine is more … “colourful”. (I had a great teacher – my dad was in both the Navy AND the Army. He usually didn’t swear that much, but there were times, trying to teach me how to use a particular tool – which I was slow on the uptake – and then, watch out! 😀 )

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  2. Taz, very funny … but evil … but so is Donald Duck, especially again the small bugs and smaller animals. Don’t understand why he hasn’t been stopped. Donald isn’t kids friendly. Thanks for the great videos – they were really funny, but the rabbit always wins and that is a good thing.

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    • Viveka,
      I never that of Taz as evil. Dimwitted and destructive, but not evil. Interestingly, the personality of cartoon characters many times depended on the producer. Even Mickey Mouse was a rascal in this early episodes. Meanwhile, yes, Bugs Bunny is a frequent winner. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Being from Australia I have certainly heard of the Tasmanian Devil. The poor things are on the verge of extinction due to a type of cancer that is spreading furiously across their breed. Somehow it’s contagious. But, I hate to tell you, I haven’t heard of Taz but I did enjoy watching the episodes you’ve shown xx

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    • Spiced,
      Bummer news about the Tasmanian Devils … I didn’t know! 😦 Interesting that marketing with Taz didn’t make it to your region of the world. But I’m glad you enjoyed the videos … and hope you shared them with Alfie. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. “Short-tempered dimwit with a ravenous appetite, especially for rabbits” — nice summation Frank. You can definitely see the inferiority, or if you prefer, cost-cutting measures in the latter day Looney Tunes. I’m much less impressed with McKimson as opposed to the great animators like Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Tex Avery or Bob Clampett. Fortunately, Mel Blanc’s voices are as spot-on as ever. Taz didn’t rock my world as much as other lesser appearing characters like Michigan J. Frog or Marvin the Martian plus being such an extreme dolt that he makes Elmer Fudd seem like an astrophysicist also gets on my nerves. Still, I’m not complaining for I do enjoy these posts very much.

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    • Lame,
      LOL … thanks for the props on the summation. 🙂 I’m impressed with your knowledge of animators! Interestingly, Taz wasn’t well known until later in life. After all, what would one expect with only 5 shorts. Nonetheless, today he carries some marketing weight. Meanwhile, I know your not complaining, but Marvin and Michigan are on my to-do list. 🙂 Thanks for taking time from your break to visit.

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  5. Taz!! If he hadn’t been “born” before my youngest son, I would have thought someone copied Youngest Son’s antics when he was a small child to come up with Taz. LOL! Thanks, Frank. Another fun one. 🙂

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  6. aaahhh…Taz. One of my good friends is a big time animator who has directed animated films for disney, was the lead on some of the most memorable characters in Disney history and is a huge animation trivia/historian type. Good guy. I learned more about animation by listening to him than I did in college.
    Ahh..good times.

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