Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Taz Times Two!

Some time ago, we linked to an item heralding the coming to DVD of the great (and undeservedly obscure) ‘90s animated series TAZ-MANIA.  You can find that post HERE 
The release of TAZ-MANIA Season One, Part One is scheduled for May 14, 2013 – or, one week from the date of this post.   …And, if you’re expecting an eventual DVD review to turn up here, you’re very likely correct.     
Before that release becomes available, Warner Home Video has already announced a release data for TAZ-MANIA Season One, Part Two!    Read about that HERE. 
I’d say that’s some really nice confidence in TAZ-MANIA as a property – especially as WHV has kept this 1991 series in DVD Limbo until 2013!   (Translation: What took them so long?!) 
Maybe, they just ran out of O.J.!
This will result in the release of 26 (over the two packages) of the 65 episodes made.  Hopefully, releases of TAZ-MANIA will continue to the series’ completion. 
How you count to 26? 


Anonymous said...

For fans of the original Looney Tunes, this series might have taken some getting used to. (Don Markstein's Toonopedia said that the portrayal of a Tasmanian Devil with a family and a job "missed the point" of the character.) Usually, I dislike revisionism, but Taz-Mania was so funny and clever that I did not mind at all. What it had in common with the old classic cartoons was that whole families could enjoy it. Enough slapstick for the kids, and witty in-jokes for their parents. I'm glad it will finally be available on DVD. BTW, I know (as you mentioned in a recent post) that the Tasmanian Devil was not called "Taz" in the "classic five" animated cartoons, but I seem to remember Daffy sometimes calling him Taz (or Taz Boy) in comic books. -TC, aka Anonymous

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s, exactly the way I feel about TAZ-MANIA, TC / Anon.

I’ve not been much of a fan of things done with these characters since their original run, be they prime-time specials, made for video “movies”, or altogether new series. Something always manages to feel “not right” – if not outright wrong. Even when Freleng and Jones were still behind them. But TAZ-MANIA was a notable exception to this.

And, at least to me, it was BECAUSE of the ancillary characters that surrounded Taz, and the way each of them related to him. Bull and Axel, Hugh and Jean Devil, Diggeri Dingo, Wendell T. Wolf, Willie Wombat, and more. Each character came with its own special brand of laughs, that they received by playing off Taz! For having a starring character with limited powers of speech, TAZ-MANIA was one of the “talkiest” series ever – and was all the better for it!

And, yes… Daffy did call him “Taz”, “Taz-Boy”, etc. in those mid-sixties comics I loved. Again, for me, the Daffy / Taz story was a true highlight of each issue, back then. But, I’m not sure when “we” began calling him “Taz”, rather than referring to him as “The Tasmanian Devil”.

If I had to guess, it was probably sometime in the mid-late seventies, when the Warner characters began to acquire a sort of across-the-board “coolness” that I always felt they had.

Comicbookrehab said...

There was a potential for diaster there - it would have been very easy to have the supporting characters hog the spotlight (see: "Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get A Clue!" or don't) because they were products of a bored animator. But not in this case, which is very good.

Joe Torcivia said...

I’ve never actually seen “Get a Clue”, ‘Rehab. The “waaay-too-different” character models were the reason why I never even sought it out on DVD – where I pretty much catch-up with EVERYTHING that I don’t have the time for on “first-run-TV”. From YOUNG JUSTICE to THE WALKING DEAD. FRINGE has already ended, but I’m still between the third and fourth seasons, much less the fifth and final one. I’ll eventually make some “daily time” to fit it in at my own pace, and enjoy it more that way.

I’ve seen most every Scooby series, from 13 GHOSTS thru WHAT’S NEW on DVD – and will do the same with MYSTERY INC. when WHV repackages the first season as a single set, or at least a package of more than FOUR episodes.

But, enough Non-Taz digression… This was Warner Bros. TV Animation at the very beginning of what would become its peak period and, thankfully, TAZ-MANIA reflects that quality – and hints of the greater quality to come in the formative years of Batman, Animaniacs, and Kids’ WB.