Taz-Mania

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"He puts the Taz in Taz-Mania
Down in Taz-Mania
Come to Taz-Mania
We mean you!
Wa waee weda whe spzzz!"

This Sixty-Five-Episode Cartoon series focuses on the vicious, carnivorous Looney Tunes villain, the Tasmanian Devil aka Taz. Only now he's not any of the three (unless he's trying to eat the kiwi, but we'll get back to that), instead it just shows Taz in his native Tasmania, where the sky is always yellow in the rain or shine. In the land way under down under, Taz spends time with his family, hangs with his pals, collects bottle caps, works at his job as a bellhop and tries to eat the kiwi. Sure, it may sound boring, but no matter what Taz does, Hilarity Ensues.

Other than Taz there are:

  • Jean - Taz's socially active homemaker mother, who is very friendly and kind.
  • Hugh - Taz's laid-back Bing Crosby-ish dad whose advice always seems to end in "Blah Blah Blah Yakety Schmackity". This possibly symbolises how nobody listens to him, or to Taz's wild manner of speaking.
  • Molly - Taz's sister who is embarrassed by Taz's behavior and constantly threatens him with baths ("Taz hate water").
  • Jake - Taz's neurotic little brother.
  • Dog - Taz's pet turtle who acts like a dog.
  • Drew - Taz's equally laid-back uncle, who appears only in the "Road To Tazmania" episodes (playing the role of Bob Hope).
  • Digeri Dingo - An egotistical bottlecap collector who sometimes cons Taz out of his. His ego often leads to his downfall. A notorious Fourth Wall Observer with a ton of deadpan snark in his system.
  • Wendal T. Wolf - A neurotic Tasmanian wolf who believes himself to be last of his kind, and who pathetically tries to force Taz to befriend/protect him.
  • Francis X. Bushlad - The son of the chief of the mudpeople, who hunts Taz to complete his passage into manhood but acts like an Ivy League rich kid.
  • Bushwacker Bob - The irritable owner of the hotel Taz works at, thinks Taz is a slacker and a screw up.
  • Mum - Bob's mother, treats Bob's workers (including Taz) with kindness while criticizing and insulting her son.
  • Constance - A heavy-set koala maid for Bob's hotel who has a crush on Taz.
  • Mr. Thickley - A wallaby tour guide for Bob's hotel who doesn't really know anything.
  • Bull Gator & Axl - Two hunters who want to capture Taz and send him to a zoo, for all the zoo-going children of the world. They usually fail because Axl "does something stupid", that tends to result in a knock upside the head for Axl, and/or the both of them getting mauled by Taz.
  • Buddy Boar - Taz's best friend who acts like a Hollywood agent. By season 2, he's Put on a Bus, making minor cameo appearances afterward.
  • The Platypus Brothers - Timothy and Daniel, two genius inventors who use Taz as their guinea pig.
  • The Kiwi - A tiny yellow bird that Taz can't seem to eat, because it easily outwits him. It makes the Road Runner look like a snail.
  • The Bushrats - Rats that attack people and speak in subtitles.
  • Willie Wombat - A character added to the show later, who is good-natured, says hello to everything and everyone and complains about his role on the show which is a Bugs Bunny Expy.

Have we left anyone out?

Oh yeah. Don't forget Taz.

So as not to create an entire family of Tazes, despite being the eldest child of three, Taz himself is portrayed as being somewhat backwards, with his family being (relatively) civilised and fully capable of speaking English. However, they too are also fully capable of causing carnage, though they have more self-control. His parents are especially patient and understanding with him... like they would be if he was... you know... special.

Tropes used in Taz-Mania include:
  • Adaptation Distillation: There were a few video games made based on the show, but only Taz starred in them (indeed the first game is the only time we see any other characters from the series, which was Taz's family, and only for the opening cutscene. All of the other characters/enemies were generic alligators, carnivorous plants, rock monsters and others, culminating in a final boss battle with a gigantic seagull).
    • The Super-NES version focused on Taz's efforts to catch the Kiwi on a busy highway. Some characters from the show would appear as obstacles, and occasionally Digeri Dingo would hand Taz a power-up.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Dog, who is a turtle. Who thinks he is a dog.
  • All Just a Dream
  • Anti-Villain: Bull Gator and Axl just want to please to zoo-going children of the world. And get money for doing so.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Constance finds out her favorite wrestler isn't just putting on an act, and is really and truly beating seven kinds of snot out of Taz, she takes exception to his behavior and thoroughly kicks his ass.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Hugh, ending with Yakety Schmackity.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: In "Francis Takes a Stand", Francis switches Taz's lemonade recipe with a recipe for a Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. Naturally, Francis ends up drinking more of the stuff than Taz does.
  • Caught in a Snare: Bull Gator & Axl get trapped in a snare they set for Taz; then Taz trips another nearby snare on purpose just so he can get close enough to make hilarity ensue.
  • Cheerful Child: Jake.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Played with in an episode where a large weight dangles precariously above the characters throughout. Later it's revealed that it was All Just a Dream of Francis Bushlad's. Bushlad berates the writers for the lame ending and for not using the weight. The writers retaliate by dropping it on him repeatedly.
  • Christmas Episode: "No Time for Christmas"
  • Cool Uncle: Drew is adored by Taz and his siblings. Maybe because he's a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Bob Hope.
  • Cute Bruiser: Constance Koala
  • Deadpan Snarker: Digeri Dingo
  • Determinator: Francis X Bushlad
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Dog
  • Doom It Yourself: The entire plot of "Home Despair" as Taz attempts to repair a hole in the wall before his parents get home.
  • Everythings Better With Platypus
  • Expy: the Kiwi to the Roadrunner and Willie Wombat to Bugs Bunny (much to the latter's chagrin)
  • Executive Meddling: Done in-universe in the episode "Taz Babies." The Vice President of the network makes changes to the show, including truncating scenes of witty dialogue, making Bull Gator the main character, changing Axl into a dog, and eventually turning it into a Spinoff Babies show before deciding to just cancel it entirely.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Although Taz has shown that he will eat absolutely anything, this trope is pushed to its most extreme point in this show, with him eating sheep, pets, TNT, fridges and other characters, often without chewing.
  • Falling Into the Cockpit: This is how Taz ends up piloting a space shuttle to save earth from a meteor swarm in "Astro-Taz". of course, he thinks it's just a video game.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Happens in "Francis takes a Stand" when Francis switches Taz's lemonade recipe for a hot sauce recipe. Taz's resulting fire breath scorches Francis like a flamethrower. When Francis tries to turn the tables on Taz and takes a swig of the lemonade/hot sauce, his fire breath acts like a jet engine and propels him into a cliff.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: One short has Molly adopt a kitten that acts like a sweet little puddytat around her, but is really a psychotic malicious monster.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: Digeri Dingo.
  • Genre Savvy: Just about any character, due to there being No Fourth Wall, though notably Willie Wombat, who is all too aware that he's going through the motions of a predator-chases-prey cartoon, and grows increasingly resentful about it as the series goes on.
  • Hammerspace: Taz-Mania used many of the tropes from the Looney Tunes shorts, so Hammerspace was well and truly in effect. In "A Flea for Me", for example, the flea pulls a complete oil well out from under his coat.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Molly
  • Hell Hotel: "A Midsummer Night's Scream"
  • Hospital Hottie: Dr. Duckbreath's nurse.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: In "Astro-Taz", Taz's skill at video games allows him to shoot out a meteor swarm that was going to destroy the Earth.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The owner and staff of the motel in "A Midsummer Night's Scream".
  • Inevitable Waterfall: A ludicrously tall example occurs in "Doubting Dingo".
  • Inn of No Return: The motel in "A Midsummer Night's Scream".
  • Insignia Rip Off Ritual: Happens to an elderly Francis X. Bushlad when it is discovered that he never completed his manhood ritual.
  • It Was Here, I Swear: Taz's attempts to convince Bushwacker Bob that someone is trying to murder them in "A Midsummer Night's Scream".
  • Jerkass: Bushwacker Bob.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Taz in some episodes. Bushwacker Bob and Digeri Dingo have their rare soft sides.
  • Knife Outline: Happens to Taz when he walks into the bathroom of the Inn of No Return in "A Midsummer Night's Scream".
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Well-meaning and gregarious though he is, Mr. Thickley's assessment of his own expertise has absolutely no bearing on the reality of same.
  • Last of His Kind: Wendell T. Wolf, the last Tasmanian wolf alive.
  • Leitmotif: This show's theme music would later accompany Taz's cameos on Animaniacs and Histeria!
  • Men Can't Keep House: "Boys Just Want To Have Fun"
  • Nice Guy: Mr. Thickley, Hugh, Jean, The Platypus Brothers and Willie Wombat
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hugh is Bing Crosby, and Drew is Bob Hope (as his episodes are Whole-Plot References to the Hope/Crosby "Road Pictures"); Wendell is Woody Allen.
  • No Fourth Wall: Any episode with Digeri Dingo.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The hotel staff are the only characters with Australian accents; everyone else is American.
  • Noble Savage: The Bushrats, for the most part.
  • Odd Name Out: Molly's favourite band is The New Chips off the Block; Donnie, Ronnie, Lonnie, Bonnie and Clyde.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Taz-Mania is often overshadowed by other 90's Warner Bros. cartoons (Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Freakazoid!) though it's still fondly remembered.
  • Plank Gag: Axl does it to Bull Gator. Bull's response is a Genre Savvy "I really should have seen that coming".
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: A child-friendly parody with Francis X. Bushlad, whose father is more than willing to give a more modern and civilized initiation into manhood. He insists on forging his spirit in the tradition of his ancestors, and as such has vowed to hunt Taz.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Kiwi, the Bushrats.
  • Rite of Passage: Francis X. Bushlad's tribe has three options: kill a dangerous animal (Francis' choice), successfully buy out a major corporation in a hostile takeover, or amass a stock portfolio worth $500,000.
  • Shangri La: The idyllic city of Platy-La, which the Platypus Brothers find in their ridiculously huge attic.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Taz-Man, Taz's makebelieve superhero persona, wears a cape (of the bath towel tied round your neck variety).
  • Swallow the Key: Taz does this after he has cornered Francis X. Bushlad (who is disguised as an attractive female Tasmanian devil) in "A Young Taz's Fancy".
  • The Television Talks Back: In "Ticket Taker Taz", Molly's radio appears to be directly answering the questions she puts to it.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call

Have we left anyone out?
Oh yeah, don't forget Taz.

  • This Is My Side: In "Unhappy Together", an argument between the Platypus Brothers ends with them cutting their house in half.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Taz gets his tongue stuck to frozen dinner in "Take All of Me". Wendal's attempts to free him do not go well.
  • Too Clever by Half: Digeri Dingo.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Taz may be noisy, short-tempered, impatient and always hungry, but he manages to wear out most people's attempts to trap him, and has outwitted Bull and Axl, and Wendall, on several occasions.
    • He also outwitted Digeri Dingo in some time like in "A Dingo's Guide to Magic". Although we can say that had involuntarily.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: For Hugh, it's "a tall, cool glass of OJ". ("Yay.")
  • Tree Buchet: Francis X. Bushlad attempts to use one to catch Taz. You can probably guess how well it worked...
  • The Unintelligible: Taz
  • Wafer-Thin Mint: In the first appearance of the Kiwi, Taz and Buddy Boar end up tied to a tree dangling over the edge of a cliff. The Kiwi returns Buddy's lucky coin, which it had stolen earlier, and the extra weight is enough to cause the tree to snap.
  • Weaponized Car: In one of the "Road to Taz-Mania..." episodes, enemy agents turn the family mini-van into a weaponized spy car after Hugh, Drew and Taz are mistaken for fellow spies.
  • Weirdness Censor: The wild life documentary host that shows up in some episodes always thinks the animals are stupid and uncivilised even though they speak English, wear clothes and have mastered the use of modern technology.
    • Though Taz does meet her criteria, somewhat, as she tends to focus on him.
  • What Have We Ear?: "The Dingo's Guide to Magic"
  • Who Writes This Crap?: Francis X. Bushlad gets an epic one in one episode, berating the writers for the All Just a Dream ending and pointing out the unfired Chekhov's Gun of the 16 ton weight that had been dangling over the characters' heads for most the episode. This proves unwise.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Taz hate water! TAZ HATE WATER!"
    • "Taz hate bath!"
  • Voodoo Shark: One episode had Taz and Wendel stuck on an island with nothing to eat but coconuts, which Taz didn't want to eat, so Wendel makes chicken prepared with coconut, which Taz eats until he learns what's in it. This raises the question of not only how did Taz not notice the taste of coconut, but where the poultry came from since coconuts being the only food on the island was a plot point.
  • William Telling: According to "Unhappy Together", 'William Tell' is a favorite game of the Platypus Brothers and Daniel gets quite upset when he thinks Timothy is playing it with Taz.