Taurus Bulba


Taurus Bulba

DisneyChar
name =Taurus Bulba


first appearance ="Darkly Dawns the Duck" (September 1991)
created by =Tad Stones
voiced by =Tim Curry
birthday =
relatives =
pets =Tantalus (condor)
friends =Hammerhead Hannigan, Hoof, Mouth, Clovis
rivals =Darkwing Duck, Gosalyn Mallard, Launchpad McQuack, Warden Waddlesworth

Taurus Bulba is a fictional character and the archenemy of Darkwing Duck, created for the animated television series "Darkwing Duck". He is a villain who was featured predominantly in the two-part pilot episode "Darkly Dawns the Duck" and later reappeared in "Steerminator". Taurus Bulba is voiced by Tim Curry.

The character's name comes from that of Taras Bulba, the eponymous character from Nikolai Gogol's famous novella. (The reference is quite possibly the most obscure for any character in the Disney canon.)

"Darkly Dawns the Duck"

An anthropomorphic bull, he proved a formidable adversary, exploiting Darkwing's ego and getting Darkwing imprisoned. Despite serving a 99-year prison sentence in an unnamed maximum-security prison, Bulba was able to carry out business as usual right underneath the nose of Warden Waddlesworth (he eventually escaped at the end of Part 1) and hatched a scheme revolving around the Waddlemeyer Ram Rod (a device that could lift and destroy buildings), which his three henchmen Hammerhead Hannigan, Hoof and Mouth stole from the army. However because he did not know the arming code for the weapon, Bulba sought to abduct Gosalyn Waddlemeyer to learn how to activate the device, as Gosalyn's grandfather, Professor Waddlemeyer, was the inventor of the Ram Rod.

Numerous points in the pilot establish Taurus as probably the most malicious villain ever to appear in the series. It is strongly implied his henchmen murdered Gosalyn's grandfather (Some think he did it himself), and his men and pet condor Tantalus also nearly kill Gosalyn as well. However, Taurus remains a somewhat comedic villain nonetheless, such as a scene in which he mocks Darkwing by imitating his heroic mannerisms and poses. At the end of Part 2, Bulba builds the Ram Rod on top of Canard Tower, the tallest building in St. Canard, and forces Darkwing to give him the arming code by threatening to drop Gosalyn to her death. Darkwing destroys the Ram Rod, but a large part of Canard Tower destroyed as well. Though heavily injured, Darkwing survived, perhaps due to dumb luck. Taurus was presumed killed in the explosion, though he managed to survive, barely, and was made into a cyborg.

Appearance

Bulba is a massive bull with dark purple fur and large horns. His large size makes him very intimidating, and he is one of the tallest characters in the entire series. He seems to prefer wearing formal business attire, often sporting a red double-breasted suit jacket with a yellow tie. Even when turned into a cyborg later in the series in "Steerminator", he still manages to wear a suit and tie.

Minions

Taurus Bulba is depicted as having numerous subordinates in his employ.
*Hammerhead Hannigan, Hoof, and Mouth - Taurus' three main henchmen, a goat, a donkey, and a ram, respectively. They stole the Ram Rod for him and later tried to kidnap Gosalyn. See main article, Hammerhead, Hoof and Mouth for further details.
*Clovis - a surprisingly attractive blonde cow, Clovis is possibly Taurus' most intelligent and reliable subordinate. For the most part she is depicted as being his secretary and assistant, but she also pilots his airship. Clovis is distinguished by her monotone personality and emotionlessness. Despite her attractiveness there is never any indication that she and Taurus have anything other than a purely professional relationship. Apparently, her parents wanted her to grow up to be a dental hygienist, as mentioned when she escapes the exploding Ram Rod. She was voiced by Marcia Wallace.
*Tantalus - Taurus' non-anthropomorphic pet condor, trained to follow his commands. His name is taken from that of Tantalus from Greek mythology. Tantalus often serves as Taurus' contact with his henchmen by wearing a two-way miniature television screen on a collar around his neck, which allows Taurus to literally have a bird's eye view of things. Tantalus' squawks are actually eagle voice recordings.

"Steerminator"

Taurus Bulba was resurrected by F.O.W.L. and rebuilt into a cyborg called the Steerminator (similar to "The Terminator"). They did this in the hopes that Bulba would replace Steelbeak as their chief agent, but the Steerminator refused their offer. Equipped with an impressive arsenal of weapons, including lasers mounted on his horns, the Steerminator casually destroyed F.O.W.L.'s headquarters.

He has since tried at least once to get revenge on Darkwing, but after being defeated (thanks largely to faulty wiring given to his mechanical body by F.O.W.L. which caused him to overheat and shut down when he got too angry), Bulba transformed into a jet and flew away, vowing to return. His abrupt exit was, indeed, meant to ultimately lead into his return (and inevitable defeat) in the fourth season; the cancellation of the finale season, of course, meant that this plot line would never be resolved.

Other media

Bulba has appeared in a few other media formats licensed by Disney. He was the primary antagonist of the four-issue comic book adaptation of "Darkly Dawns the Duck" released shortly after the pilot first aired. It is noteworthy that in the comic, Bulba has brown fur instead of dark purple fur. He also appeared as the villain in the book "The Darkest Night" by Andrew Helfer, in which he hires twelve ducks to impersonate Darkwing, and frame him by committing various crimes. Oddly, Helfer depicts Bulba as being the head of F.O.W.L., and the story is set "after" the events of "Darkly Dawns the Duck" and Bulba is shown completely unhurt, and no explanation is offered for his survival whatsoever. He escapes at the end of the story and the fake Darkwings are arrested by S.H.U.S.H.


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