Taran is headstrong and courageous, though occasionally foolhardy, and harbors an intense desire to prove his worth and heroism through noble acts. Indeed, much of the movie centers on Taran's search for his own worth. Taran was a foundling discovered by Dallben, the enchanter and farmer. As Taran grew up, he became restless and longed for adventures beyond the borders of Caer Dallben. His time would eventually come when, just after being granted the position of Assistant Pig Keeper for Hen Wen, Dallben's oracular pig, the animal escapes her enclosure.
Taran follows Hen Wen and soon finds himself caught up in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of the land of Prydain. During his adventures he meets (and eventually falls in love with) the beautiful Princess Eilonwy. With her help, he frees the ancient, magical sword Dyrnwyn from King Rhitta's tomb, an event that will set in motion the war that could bring about the defeat of the Horned King. Taran is assisted in his quest by many friends, including the self-styled Bard Fflewddur Fflam, the shaggy creature Gurgi, and the stalwart dwarf warrior Doli.
Finally, the three are captured along with the newly acquired Black Cauldron which the Horned King used to summon the Army of the Dead. He sends them to destroy all opposition. Fortunately, Gurgi arrives, frees the prisoners, and flings himself into the Cauldron to negate its necromancy ability (though Taran himself nearly does the latter). The Horned King returns to the room where the ritual was performed and finds Taran who he believes the Cauldron's failure was his doing. He grabs the boy and lifts him off his feet, but Taran pushes the Horned King into the pull of the Cauldron. The Horned King grabs Taran again and tries to throw him into the Black Cauldron, but the cauldron pulls the Horned King in instead and rips him apart. His castle soon follows; Taran and company barely escape. After the Witches of Morva reawaken Gurgi, Taran, Eilonwy, Fflam, and the latter return home under the watchful eyes of Dallben and Hen Wen.
A portrait of Taran appeared in the Tokyo Disneyland attraction Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour in the entry room of the walkthrough attraction. It switched to a picture of the Horned King when the Magic Mirror enters the scene and begins to establish that a hero is nothing without their villainous counterpart.
Also during the release of The Black Cauldron, Taran and Eilonwy were walk around characters at the parks.
However, he is the second human Disney male protagonist to have red(ish) hair. The first is Peter Pan, the third is Prince Adam, the fourth is Quasimodo, and the fifth is Hercules.
Taran would have been more ruthless in earlier versions of the film. In some deleted scenes, he killed a lot of the Horned King's guards with the Magic Sword.
Due to the financial failure of the film, Taran is rarely featured in Disney merchandise, like Eilonwy.
In early development stages of the film, Taran's age varied between 12, 15, and 20. Finally, the animators settled for Taran's age to be 14.
Despite being voiced entirely by one actor, Taran's voice changes without any in-story explanation, possibly due to his voice actor Grant Bardsley going through puberty.
Much of Taran's personality is similar to Luke Skywalker, in that in the beginning of their adventures, they wanted something more in their life, search for their calling in life and wanted to prove themselves.