Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

TAZ....



    I decided to continue with my cartoon characters, although I should go with "Goofy" to describe the antics or the shenanigans of the Washington on the Potomac crowd, from the election cycle and the petulant boy King who didn't even want to switch hands and saluted the marines with a coffee cup in his hands....I guess it is good to be the king and dis the underlings

       But I decided to wait on a political rant until later this week.  In the meantime I decided to get some information of "TAZ"



The Tasmanian Devil, often referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" series of cartoons. Though the character appeared in only five shorts before Warner Bros. Cartoons closed down in 1964, marketing and television appearances later propelled the character to new popularity in the 1990s.


     As the youngest of the Looney Tunes characters, Tasmanian Devil, or 'Taz' as he has come to be known, is generally portrayed as a ferocious albeit dim-witted omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. He will eat anything and everything, with an appetite that seems to know no bounds. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls and rasps, and his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through just about anything.
In 1991, Taz got his own show, Taz-Mania, which ran for four seasons, in which Taz was the protagonist.

Robert McKimson based the character on the real-life Tasmanian devil, or more specifically its carnivorous nature, voracious appetite, and surly disposition. Owen and Pemberton suggest that the character of the Tasmanian Devil was inspired by Errol Flynn. The most noticeable resemblance between the Australian marsupial and McKimson's creation is their ravenous appetites and crazed behavior. Although the bipedal Tasmanian Devil's appearance does not resemble its marsupial inspiration, it contains multilayered references to other "devils": he has horn-shaped fur on his head (similar to the Devil's appearance) and whirls about like a dust devil (similar in appearance to a tornado) which sounds like several motors whirring in unison. Taz is constantly ravenously hungry. His efforts to find more food (animate or inanimate) are always a central plot device of his cartoons.
In fact, this appetite serves as the impetus for McKimson's Devil May Hare (first released on June 19, 1954). In the short, Taz stalks Bugs Bunny, but due to his dimwittedness and inability to frame complete sentences, he serves as little more than a nuisance. Bugs eventually gets rid of him in the most logical way possible: matching him up with an equally insatiable female Tasmanian Devil. The character's speech, a deep, gravelly voice peppered with growls, screeches, and raspberries, is provided by Mel Blanc. Only occasionally would Taz actually speak, usually to utter some incongruous punchline, (e.g. "What for you bury me in the cold, cold ground?") and yet the character is capable of writing and reading. A running gag is that when Bugs Bunny hears of the approach of "Taz" and looks him up in an encyclopedia and starts reading off a list of animals that "Taz" eats; Bugs finds "rabbits" not listed until "Taz" enters and either points out that "rabbits" are listed or writes rabbits on the list.



After the film short debuted at theaters, producer Eddie Selzer, head of the Warner Bros. animation studio, ordered McKimson to shelve the character, feeling that it was too violent for children, and that parents would dislike this. After a time with no new Taz shorts, studio head Jack Warner asked what had happened to the character. Warner saved Taz' career when he told Selzer that he had received "boxes and boxes" of letters from people who liked the character and wanted to see more of him.


McKimson would go on to direct four more Tasmanian Devil cartoons, beginning with Bedeviled Rabbit (released on April 13, 1957). McKimson would also pair the Devil with Daffy Duck in Ducking the Devil (August 17, 1957) before pitting him once again against Bugs in Bill of Hare (June 9, 1962) and Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (March 28, 1964). His last two appearances done by the classic Warner Brothers directors, writers, and voice actors were in Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales appearing in The Fright Before Christmas segment and at the very end eating the sleigh full of presents. Then he appeared in the 1983 movie Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island as Yosemite Sam's first mate.
The Tasmanian Devil appeared in "The Looney Tunes Show" episode "Devil Dog" voiced by Jim Cummings. In the show, he is portrayed walking on four legs like a real Tasmanian Devil and his eyes are bloodshot red (later turned yellow when Bugs uses a taming trick that Speedy Gonzales taught him). Initially, Bugs believed Taz to be a dog and kept him as a house pet, to his roommate, Daffy Duck's discomfort. Eventually Bugs learned the truth and tried to return him to his home in Tasmania, only to find out that Taz would rather live with him, naming him "Poochie". Taz subsequently appears in the following episodes, "The Foghorn Leghorn Story", "Newspaper Thief", and "Bugs and Daffy Get A Job".

2 comments:

  1. A fun character, and the kids always liked him!

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  2. Love Taz. My brother loved him so much he tattooed him on himself. Love Bugs Bunny...such violence. LMAO. Great post. It brought me some nostalgia and enjoyment!

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