Robert McKimson designed the character after the real-life Tasmanian devil, an animal native to Australia, and the Tennessee Top of American folklore; however, the only real resemblance between the real-life marsupial and Robert's beast is their ravenous appetite. In fact, it is this appetite that serves as Taz'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.
Taz also harbors a special craving for rabbits.
Baby Looney Toones
Taz is a two year old Tasmanian Devil who hates baths. As much as Taz is well behaved, he often mistakes various objects for food and sometimes breaks things with his spin. He has a sense of fun which exceeds all the others and he is prone to being a crybaby. But sometimes he can be silly to the gang.
There have been some descriptions about the Tasmnian Devil in some cartoons.
In "Devil May Hare", it described as "A strong murderous beast - jaws as a steel steel trap - has ravenous appetite - eats tigers, lions, elephants, buffaloes, donkeys, giraffes, octopuses, rhinoceroses, moose, ducks" and of course Taz added in "...and Rabbits."
In "Ducking the Devil", it described "WARNING: The TASMANIAN DEVIL is a powerful, vicious, evil-tempered brute -- hungry at all times -- it will eat anything, but is especially fond of wild duck."
In "Bedevilled Rabbit", in a Tasmania Brochure, it gives this description:
"Beware of the Tasmanian Devil, a vicious, ravenous brute with powerful jaws like a steel trap." It also gives a list of what a Tasmanian Devil eats:
- Hogs (Pigs)
- Tortoise (Turtles)
- Road Runners
- Guinea Hens,
- Humming Birds
- Tweety Birds
- Water Bufalos
- Octopi (Octopus)
- and especially RABBITS!
And in The Looney Tunes Show episode, "Devil Dog", Daffy described it as: "A wild beast whose insatiable hunger for violence and destruction, combined with his sharp teeth and claws make him the perfect killing machine!"
- The Tasmanian Devil made a cameo appearance in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, it shows Scooby drinking a blue potion and it turned him into the Tasmanian Devil.
- He is voiced by Ian James Corlett.
- He is often tormemted and is the one usually having his stuff stolen "The Tattletale" "To Tell the Tooth" and "Takers Keepers" as proven.
- He likes monkeys (Flu the Coop).
- He is prone to breaking things.
In 1997, a newspaper report noted that Warner Bros had "trademarked the character and registered the name Tasmanian Devil", and that this trademark "was policed", including an eight-year legal battle to allow a Tasmanian company to call its fishing lure the "Tasmanian Devil". Debate followed,[where?] and a delegation from the Tasmanian state government met with Warner Bros.:161–164 Ray Groom, the Tourism Minister, later announced that a "verbal agreement" had been reached. An annual fee would be paid to Warner Bros in return for the Government of Tasmania being able to use the image of Taz for "marketing purposes". This agreement later lapsed.:167–169
In 1997, the Tasmanian government and Warner Bros. disputed the government's right to use the character as a tourism promotion, which was offered only if a fee was paid. The government refused to pay a fee to Warner Bros.
In 2006, after much lobbying from the Tasmanian government, Warner Bros decided to assist the fight against extinction of the Tasmanian Devil due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). Tasmanian Environment Minister Judy Jackson, prior to the agreement, had heavily criticised Warner Bros., stating that the company had made millions of dollars from the character, but did not put up any money when other companies had.
The deal with Warner Bros allowed the Tasmanian government to manufacture and sell up to 5,000 special edition Taz plush toys, with all profit going towards funding scientific research into DFTD. The deal also aimed to increase public attention towards the threatening disease.