The Tasmanian Devil, often referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes series of cartoons. The character appeared in only five shorts before Warner Bros. Cartoons until 1964, but marketing and television appearances later propelled the character to new popularity in the 1990s.
the Tasmanian Devil, or 'Taz' as he has come to be known, is generally portrayed as a dim-witted carnivore 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 and bite through just about anything. in which he was the protagonist.
Based the character on the real-life Tasmanian Devil, or more specifically its carnivorous nature and voracious appetite. 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 voracious. His efforts to find more food (animate or inanimate) are always a central plot device of his cartoons. His hydrophobia serves as an internal antagonist quite often.
After the short entered theaters, producer Eddie Selzer, head of the Warner Bros. animation studio, ordered McKimson to shelve the character, feeling it was too violent for children and parents disliked this. After a time with no new Taz shorts, studio head Jack Warner asked what had happened to the character. Warner saved Taz's 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). The she-devil returns in this cartoon, now as Mrs. Tasmanian Devil, but Taz's attraction for the female of his species is again exploited by Bugs when he uses a sexy female-devil costume to deliver some explosives to him. 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".
In 1997, a newspaper report noted that Warner Brothers had "trademarked the character and registered the name Tasmanian Devil", and that this trademark "was policed",