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Tarzan More at IMDbPro »

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Great Film

Author: Fred M. Carrito from United States
27 September 2008

Disney brings the legendary story of the Lord of the Apes to animation with excellent results. The film follows the story of Tarzan, a young baby orphaned and alone in the jungle. After being found by a kindly gorilla named Kala, Tarzan is adopted into the gorilla family and raised as one of them. As he grows up, he attempts to prove himself to his family, most specifically the family's patriarch, Kerchak. This becomes even more difficult when more humans come into the jungle, including a spirited Englishwoman named Jane Porter. As he begins to fall in love with her, his loyalties are divided and he must choose whether to stay with his gorilla family or remain with Jane. The film is excellent, but, to me at least, doesn't seen to really take off until Jane enters the picture half way through the story. Most of Tarzan's adventures with sidekicks Terk the gorilla and Tantor the elephant near the beginning of the film are not as interesting as many of the events later on. The music by Phil Collins is great, the animation stunning, and the relationships between both Tarzan and Jane and Tarzan and his adopted-parents are also well played as well. A very well crafted film and worthy of being called one of Disney's best.

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Author: Rebecca Brown from United Kingdom
30 June 2008

I absolutely love this film to bits.

It has such a beautiful story, about love and about everyone being the same inside.

Tarzan and Jane are two of my favourite Disney characters, they're so fantastic.

Them soundtrack is totally amazing, Phil Collins is a complete legend, and he just made the film what it is to me. His songs completely brought everything to life.

Such a shame it was probably Disneys last good film, animation wise. Amazing!

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Healthy Disney entry that struggles in its representation and narrative but holds up with music and animation.

Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England
23 March 2008

I do not think this film lacks the Disney 'spark', nor do I think it lacks the Disney 'magic' that so many of their films carry and that makes them so enjoyable. If anything, this Disney effort doesn't have any magic at all but that is only from a subjective point of view regarding the film's content itself. Whereas past protagonists have had magic lamps, have magically been given legs and have suffered magical epiphanies that makes them wan to go back and fight for what is rightfully theirs; Tarzan, as a film, is more down to Earth and on this level is more of a 'realistic' Disney film.

This is not the first Disney film to deal with colonialism of some sort. 1995's Pocahontas had similar themes of outsiders visiting a rural utopia in which morals and understandings were happily being lived out. Like Tarzan, Pocahontas was a very 'real' film what with it being set in this world but its boundaries were blurred a little when that willow tree started talking to the characters. In this case, the outsiders visiting the rural world are initially only very few with the rest of the crew and the 'Governor Ratcliffe' character not yet apart of proceedings although Clayton (Blessed) looks suspiciously like the 1995 film's antagonist. One of the other two characters initially part of the set up is Jane (Driver) who, in a reverse of Pocahontas' set up, is a female visiting a male 'savage' rather than the other way around. Finally, as a villain, Clayton embodies all the necessary psychical traits of Ratcliffe as well as the dreams of a bigger and better life for him back home (at the expense of the new found riches, of course)

So this film has a lot in common with Pocahontas in that sense but is it that good? Is it perhaps better than Pocahontas? My opinion is 'no, it is not' but it does come strikingly close to being better. Like I said, this does not lack Disney magic and Disney spark but that does not mean it contains enough anyway. From a storytelling point of view, Tarzan is pretty poor but so was 1992's Aladdin – only thing there was that it had the Genie character to keep laughs and entertainment flowing thick and fast; there is no loud and magical 'kick' to this, just a simple 'girl-meets-boy' premise and a sad back-story regarding the hero's parents. But that's the way it goes in terms of storytelling. On the whole, I was impressed. It is clear that the producers saw George of the Jungle from two years previous and were impressed by Brendan Fraser's performance of George; in terms of look and physique than actual acting because Tarzan in the film looks strikingly like him. There is also the way the film toys with the character of Tarzan, giving him the human instincts that he should possess and hinting at his soon to be obvious journey of self-discovery. During the course of the opening, Tarzan will invent the knife and he will upgrade it to a spear when he attaches a stick to it thus leaving behind the 'gorilla' method of merely climbing and reaching for fruit during a food gathering montage instead of using initiative and inventing something to tackle the situation. Tarzan will also use his man advantages to defeat a threat to the clan further emphasising his superiority over the strongest gorilla, Kerchak (Henriksen).

But the film suffers from not only those things that hold back a Disney film when it comes to issues of equality, but also things of a film making nature. Firstly, the film has a problem with the space in which the characters inhabit, frequently ignoring logic and substituting it for laughs – since the film does not have a 'genie' or a set of cutlery or a 'Timon and Pumbaa' to get across the laughs that kids and some adults will enjoy, it needs to have Tarzan and Jane surfing down tree trunks; flying uncontrollably through the air and landing ridiculously safely as well as a bizarre and somewhat out of place chase involving a hoard of baboons. Not only this but Disney's now obligatory issues of representation creep in; I may have let them slide previously but when I am apart of the targeted group, I take offence. The English sailors are perceived as conniving and are somewhat evil – there are 'good' sailors but they are never presented and do not have a lot of screen time. Furthermore, Jane and her father come across as rather inept and innocent in their bumbling and comic antics. This is also the reason Tarzan's blood parents do not speak because they too are 'good' English characters.

Then there are the other characters. The gorillas and Tarzan himself are all American with Tarzan's best friend Terk bizarrely adopting a Brooklyn accent; Tarzan's mother and Kerchak are also American and are put across as good people – no coincidence that the American gorillas all have morals and established ways of living before the interfering Europeans arrive with their big ideas. But if you delve deep enough into the Earth, you will destroy it as you will reach the core – Tarzan is still enjoyable and Phil Collins presents a great soundtrack. The premise may be cute and the execution equally so, but this is not a strong effort as the weak and anticlimactic final third would confirm.

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Disney's Tarzan - at last!

Author: StartingAllOver14 from Norway
11 August 2007

I wasn't so very surprised that Disney were putting their hands on Tarzan when I first heard about this project. It's a enjoyable movie, not absolutely perfect, but it's one of Disney's most stable films.

The songs of Phil Collins are great (I know many don't like the songs in the film, but I personally love them) and the case that he sings the songs himself were a good choice. The score of Mark Mancina is also good.

The films is very dynamic, have a lot of elements of action, romance and comedy in the same way that Disney did in the early 90's and comparing to the films after The Lion King, (even I liked those films) "Tarzan" is the feature who has the magic, family-friendly Disney-feeling too it.

The animation is gorgeous (SPOILER: even Kerchak is the only gorilla in the film who certainly looks like a real gorilla, the same color and etc. SPOILERS OVER). The deep canvas scenes are very impressive.

The story and the script works well, even the script is a little thin and it's suffers the same way like "Hercules" script did - too much information to tell in a short time. So some stuff are getting left behind for further development. The story is of course changed to fit a Disney movie, but still it remains true to the essence of the character of Tarzan.

HERE COMES AGAIN A SPOILER I don't quite sympathize with Kerchak (even I feel sorry for him for his lost of his child) cause he's so stubborn. Kala is a great mother character, even she seems a little oversensitive (for the same reason as Kerchak and it's sorry for her too) and I think the film should be more focused about Tarzan's feelings for Kala, instead than her feelings for him. But that's my opinion. To see a parent loose it's child in a Disney feature is quite heartbreaking, even it's just for a little second, but the film doesn't really focus about that.


The humor in this film is sometimes funny, but also sometimes. Terk is a cool character, but Tantor (as a grown up) is pretty annoying. So is Professor Porter and the baboons. I found Jane pretty quirky at first, but watching the movie several times again, I must admit that she's a great and warm character. SPOILER AGAIN: Tarzan himself is almost in every scene, who is an exception in a Disney-film. SPOILERS OVER

The film have some wonderful, emotional moments without dialog, but in the third act the emotional scenes are getting too sentimental, which I didn't like.

The films action scenes works also well, the highlights in the movies are when the leopard Sabor is in the scenes. And he is a greater "villain" than Clayton. ANOTHER SPOILER: Don't get me wrong, Clayton is a good and enjoyable character, but in the story in a unit, he's doesn't quite fit in.

A LITTLE MORE SPOILER: Besides that, Tarzan it's a great movie. It's a kinda mixture of "Lion King" and "Pocahontas". "Lion King" because of the African setting, the animal rules etc and "Pocahontas" because of the clashes of two worlds (civilization vs nature).

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Tarzan is the 2nd best Disney film ever!!

Author: laurabarton1 from United Kingdom
19 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The very best Disney film ever is "The Lion King", but Tarzan is the 2nd best. Disney films nowadays are all the same, either about father and son, teenage freaks, that can't even sing or a comedy with rubbish jokes.Tarzan is a fantastic film containing none of these things.It is about a boy being raised by gorilla's in a beautiful, yet deadly jungle. This film contains good jokes,tearful scenes, and has that Disney spark that makes it not just good for kids, but great for adults as well. I think everyone knows what i mean when i say "i am fed up with modern Disney films that may look good, like the movie "Cars", but doesn't have any message like loyalty or trust. They are usually about friendship, which is OK, but is in every single modern day Disney film. Tarzan contains many messages that will leave you thinking about it afterwards.

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Another awesome jungle adventure!!!!!

Author: Seth Nelson from (Near) D/FW Airport, Texas, USA
6 September 2006

Well, Disney does it again!!!!! (In a good way, of course.)

Disney tried once again at their "jungle of creativity" with Summer 1999's awesome action- packed animated feature, "Tarzan."

This is not your father's Tarzan!!!!! No, this is a better, updated version of it based on Edgar Rice's series of books. I loved this movie because it was full of action; plus, it was very cool: I loved those scenes where Tarzan was flying through the jungle!!!!! And no, it wasn't just swinging and going "Ahhhh-ah-ah-ah-ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!" It was vine surfing; kind of like what Tony Hawk would do with his skateboard!!!!!

Some parts were funny, too: the apes trashing the camp, and don't forget when Tarzan thought "Gorilla" was a piece of chalk and "Clayton" was the sound of a gun!!!!! LOL

"Tarzan" is a fun movie to watch at any age in life. I've seen it a few times, and I liked it!!!!!


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Author: George Attwood from Canada
30 May 2006

TARZAN (1999) (ANIMATED) ****1/2 Tarzan is orphaned by a vicious lion out in the wilderness as a toddler. Accordingly, he is raised by gorillas who had come across him on their passing through. When he grows up, he tries to be accepted by the Gorilla King, the leader of the pack, who believes that he can never wholly be one of them. Amidst this tribal complication, a group of human adventurers come across the title character, only to find that he's never known there was civilization within his own kind. Now, Tarzan must decide if he will stay with his family of apes, or go back to England with the humans to explore a whole other realm of life he never knew existed. I found the film funny, touching, and overall enjoyable. Great voice work from Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorne, Wayne Knight, and Rosie O'Donnell.

Rating System

***** Excellent **** Good *** Fair ** Poor * Bad

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Surfing the Emotions

Author: spoken from Altamonte Springs, FL
6 May 2004

This movie is nothing if not about relationships, and with them come the emotions. All of them in plenty quantity. I felt drawn into every facet of Tarzan's life through story, music and excellent animation. Other users' comments go into good detail, so I won't do a repeat. But I will add that Disney's relatively new *kind* of attention to facial detail makes certain scenes truly heart-grabbing.

I also wish to point out to any concerned that I thought the death scenes were done with appropriate sensitivity, and the bad guy's demise was actually a self-inflicted accident which comes into play in one of the daily cartoons.

I recommend viewers remember this is fictional, an extended cartoon, and "just a movie" to sit back and enjoy.

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the legend continues, should we follow?

Author: bullrot ( from Ghent, Belgium
2 March 2004

Tarzan gives us all a nice animation film about a baby raised by gorillas, his childhood up to a man. But the kind of animal he really is, doesn't seem to be as friendly as he and his family is. Should he be a man or an ape, a difficult choice when a woman is around. I think you can't loose time when you're watching this one but i would rather consider dreamworks top productions such as Shrek or I can't help to compare every animation picture with these two and by this I can see two shortcomings. First of all there's not a lot to laugh about which is to me imperative nor couldn't I help to be disappointed about the ending. The story goes in a much faster tempo then before which destroys a bit the wonderful feeling you probably get in the first hour. A smile isn't far away, a grin maybe, but never really funny. i gave a seven to this one but I must say that i gave sometimes a point more then the average of all of you.

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The Kids Will Love It

Author: ihateeverymovieisee from United States
13 August 2003

This movie takes the classic Tarzan character and makes him hip, young, and attractive to young children. The animation in the movie is superb, but like all other Disney movies, the story is too touched up. Things turn out too perfectly and I feel that that diminishes the film's value. The movie could have been much shorter and distributed straight to video or TV for children. Kids that like predictable good guy versus bad guy action will like this, however most adults will be ready to commit suicide before the film's halfway over.

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