|Taz Tasmanian Devil|
|Relatives|| Hugh Tasmanian Devil (father)|
Jean Tasmanian Devil (mother)
Molly Tasmanian Devil (sister)
Jake Tasmanian Devil (brother)
Slam Tasmanian (Loonatics Unleashed descendant)
|Pets||Dog the Turtle|
|Confidants|| Digeri Dingo|
Wendell T. Wolf
Daniel and Timothy Platypus
|Rivals|| Bugs Bunny|
Bull and Axle Gator
Francis X. Bushlad
|First appearance||"Devil May Hare"|
|Voiced by|| Mel Blanc (until his death)|
Jim Cummings (1990-present)
Brendan Fraser (Looney Tunes: Back in Action)
Robert McKimson designed the character after the real-life Tasmanian Devil, an animal native to Australia; however, the only real resemblance between the marsupial and McKimson's beast is their ravenous appetite. In fact, it is this appetite that serves as the Tasmanian Devil's main characteristic. The Devil devours everything in sight, including boulders, trees, shrubs, and hills, all the while whirling about like a miniature cyclone that sounds like a dozen motors all whirring in unison. The Tasmanian Devil also harbors a special craving for rabbit.
It is this hunger that serves as the impetus for McKimson's "Devil May Hare" (first released on June 19, 1954). The Devil stalks Bugs Bunny, but due to his dim wits 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 Devil. The character's speech, peppered with growls, screeches, and raspberries, is provided by Mel Blanc.
Producer Edward Selzer, head of the Warner Bros. animation studio, ordered McKimson to retire the character since it was "too obnoxious". After a time with no new Devil shorts, Jack Warner asked what had happened. He then saved the Devil's career when he told Setzer that he had received "boxes and boxes" of letters from people who liked the character.
McKimson would go on to direct four more Tasmanian Devil cartoons, beginning with "Bedevilled Rabbit" on April 13, 1957. The she-devil returns in this cartoon, now as Mrs. Tasmanian Devil, but she still proves to be the character's weakness when Bugs uses a sexy female devil costume to deliver some explosives to the ever-hungry brute. McKimson would also pair the Devil with Daffy Duck in "Ducking the Devil" (August 17, 1957) before pitting the character against Bugs once again in "Bill of Hare" (June 9, 1962)and "Doctor Devil and Mister Hare" (March 28, 1964).
After Warner Bros. closed its animation studio in 1964, the Tasmanian Devil would remain a nostalgic favorite for many fans. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Warner Bros. marketers seized upon this, and through their efforts, catapulted the character, now dubbed "Taz", to greater popularity than ever before. Today, Taz is one of the most recognizable Looney Tunes stars, and his image appears on more merchandise than many more prolific Warners characters such as Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd.
This late-blossoming popularity would pay off for Taz in Warner Bros. television animation. For example, his miniature understudy, Dizzy Devil, was introduced as a recurring character in the Fox TV series, Tiny Toon Adventures (first released on September 14, 1990). On September 7, 1991, Taz got his own show, Taz-mania, which would run for three seasons on Fox. The show recast the Devil as a dim-witted teenager living in a warped 1950s-era sitcom household. Taz now had an angsty teen sister, a rambunctious little brother, a June Cleaver-esque mother, and a decidedly nonchalant father. An infant version of Taz is one of the regulars of Baby Looney Tunes series, first released on September 7, 2002.