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Perfect animated film featuring the Tarzan story by Edgar Rice Burroughs
which Disney faithfully adapts. Much better than the hybrid "Hunchback"
the depressing "Pocohantas," Tarzan scores a 10 in my book. The scenery
breathtaking, making the African jungle realistic and beautiful. The
characters are perfectly portrayed--Tarzan, Jane, Cerchak (the
silver-striped leader of the gorillas) Tarzan's mother, his
The story is exciting, and the animation is simply marvelous. The audience spontaneously applauded afterwards. I loved it!
There is no doubt that this is a very well-made, broad, sweeping epic -
the kind of thing that Disney does very well. The animation is lush,
utilizing a new technique called "deep canvas" that makes the background
look more realistic and three-dimensional than any animated film that has
Tarzan himself doesn't swing from vine t ovine so much as he surfs the jungle canopy; the visuals of the film are unquestionably first-rate. Energetic and quite violent for a kiddie flick, TARZAN doesn't have a lot of musical numbers for a Disney film.
Yet, it is strangely unimaginative in the way it tells its story. The Burroughs tale had a racist element to it, which made it a fascinating study in multiculturalism. This version simply does away with the natives, to eliminate the thorny modern dilemma of racist subtext. Still, it's hard not to read the film in racial terms - it is ostensibly about figuring out where you belong, and about acceptance and tolerance, and the message is finally one about nurture defeating nurture.
The movie is great. I loved it so much that I sat thru it twice before I left. The animation is very good and the songs by Phil Collins are good.
Having seen just about every Disney animated film more than once through
numerous babysitting jobs, I have very strong opinions and affections
the films. In my opinion, the best Disney movies were Beauty and the
The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, and Aladdin. Personally, I do not like
Fantasia and while I believe Snow White is the most important to the
I do not especially care for it. I was thrilled last night to add Tarzan
my list of favorites, particularly in regard to the slump that Disney has
been in since The Lion King.
Tarzan itself. First the animation, it was gorgeous! The story unfolded
great, and if some people disliked the narrative, it was likely because it
has been filmed 24 times before! The characters and voices were almost all
good. Minnie Driver as Jane was wonderful, completely hilarious, smart,
sweet, sassy, a totally sympathetic heroine. Tarzan was good, even Rosie
O'Donnell, who I expected to turn in another lame sidekick to the long
Disney list made me laugh over and over. The music was wonderful, no awful
Prince of Egypt junk to make me squirm in my seat! I wouldn't be surprised
to have the CD wind up in my house! While it has been nice to have the
characters sing, there should be room for difference, and the "heroine
singing a song about how she doesn't fit in" has happened way too often
was good to lose! To be fair, I can state my problems, but shall preface
them by saying they made little impact on the film- 1)the villain. He just
wasn't that exciting or unique, but still, the real demon Tarzan was
conquering was himself and who he saw himself as.2) I noticed that Disney
seems to run into a pattern
3) The elephant character was kind
FINAL WORD: SEE IT!
First of all, I have not been favorably impressed with a Disney Movie
Aladdin. The primary reason is simple, I dislike childish smart-allecky
and Jerry gags. I don't mind joking as long as it's reasonably
above say the three year old level. But I'm not going to go into all of
However, Tarzan marks a potential major turning point for Disney and I absolutely love it. First of all, the movie maintains a relatively serious mood throughout its length aside from the gorilla scatting which I feel is the low point. The voice acting is wonderful, and Minnie Driver's awkward quirky Jane is the most appealing female Disney character ever. Glenn Close is perfect as Tarzan's mother as is Tony Goldwyn as Tarzan. Baby Tantor has that familiar adorable childish whine.
The voice acting would be nothing without the support of believable, straight forward, emotional, intelligent writing. This is what I am most impressed with in Tarzan. There are very few cheap laughs and one-liners which force many of their other recent movies into a "sitcom for 3 year olds" feel. The character of Clayton seems a bit tacked on but I suppose a Disney movie without a traditional villain is too much to ask for.
In another major turning point, with one minor (appropriate) exception the characters DON'T sing! Instead the music accompanies the animation allowing the characters to act more naturally and believably. All of the music fits the animation perfectly and it's clear that the animators worked hard to fit each scene to the songs' lyrics.
Finally, the most obvious advance is in the animation. The character design of Tarzan is brilliantly executed, and all of the apes are wonderfully like-like in their movements. I was a bit disappointed to see the same old Jungle Book elephant designs, but it was a minor distraction. The most impressive effect is the "deep" matte painting backgrounds composed of paintings wrapped around three dimensional surfaces allowing for very dynamic camera movements.
One thing I would like to mention offhand. This movie is NOT for babies or very small children. This is a good thing, but it does mean that children three and below will probably be somewhat frightened. Both of the times I have seen it the babies in the theater have cried.
Disney fans will be quick to see similarities between Tarzan and The Jungle Book, and personally I like both of these movies about equally. All in all, Tarzan is by far the best movie of the summer.
I just saw Tarzan today it was a lot better then POCAHONTAS, HUNCHBACK, Or HERCULES. I Have never read any The Edger Rice Burrgohs novels or seen any of the live action verisons of the film and I'm not a fan of Phil Collins, but it's good to go see it I thought it was scary and horrible to see "them damn dirty" apes being hurt, but it's a fun move and visual movie and keeps you guessing about what's going to happen next.
Just saw Tarzan yesterday. What an experience! It have the best for both worlds. A truly family film. Not only kids will enjoy it, their parents will be amazed too. Tarzan stands right next to The Matrix in my 1999 top list. It is definitely one of the best from Disney. Here's my recommendation: Go watch Tarzan now and don't wait until the video tapes! Oh yes, if you are adult enough, don't forget Princess Mononoke this October. In every way this Miyazaki's masterpiece is better than Tarzan. I give Tarzan a 9.5/10.
The origins of Tarzan stories parallels those of Charles Dickens' wonderful
stories in that they first appeared in much awaited periodicals. This
accounts for the continuing suspense in the original stories of Tarzan.
While Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote other stories of equal quality and
significance the Tarzan tales that first appeared in print in 1912 remain
the most popular.
As for the "Disney version", here is yet another example of fine design and animation married to a gaunt, incommensurate and ineffective, screenplay. This is the 39th churning of the famous Ape-Man on film since the first in1918. In all that time, for those of you who have read the originals, you would see that none of the great number of films thus far has done justice to the original stories.
In this Disney airing, the film and character design is superb, the best to come from Disney in decades, especially in the Tarzan character who looks ever so much like Jonathan LaPaglia, a new, great profile and star of TV Adventure science fiction show, SEVEN DAYS. With some of the work done in Paris, it has a European look, which are usually more aesthetic and soothing than the recent Burbank efforts.
The backgrounds, like the characters, show great artistry. But it is like watching a $150,000 leather upholstered Daimler Saloon powered by a five horsepower lawn mower engine. The screenplay is papering thin, a skeleton of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs tales of Tarzan. Instead of adventure, the audience is fed Shtick. In this version, we are not even honored by the appearance of a single African native in the entire film.
The Disney studio management, apparently not at all up to snuff on the philosophy of their founder, Walt Disney, keep creating films for children's markets where their founder, in fact, did not. The current studio works unlike Walt Disney in other ways. This seems a mystery since they owe it all to the founding creative director who understood so much about audiences (that, unlike what you will hear from marketers, does not change at all when it comes to the human story and its parameters). Walt Disney, for example, in casting Snow White, cleverly avoided two of the great singing stars of the era, Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, the latter whose great voice actually kept an entire studio, Universal, from going belly up. Walt Disney a true creative director, albeit a whip-driving one, instead cast the completely unknown Adriana Caselotti (who died just two years before this writing).
Do you know, for example, who stars in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT? There are hundreds of successful films that in fact made the stars as opposed to the reverse. Remember ROCKY? AMERICAN GRAFFITTI? STAR WARS? ET THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL? etc., etc. The film's the thing, the story and how it is mounted. All you need beyond that is talent, not "names."
The uninspired, current Disney tycoons, apparently chain locked into their misperception of market demands, insist on casting very well known voices whose life images do battle with the animated character each time a line pours out of the speakers. One keeps hearing daytime TV talk show host, Rosie O'Donnell, for example, and sees a cartoon ape mouthing the "in your face", loudmouth Rosie. It eats right into the heart of the story mood and thrust. Thankfully, we are spared the usual mood shattering, time eating Broadway-styled musical numbers with just one small bit of helplessness in this film.
While the writing offers some fair lines, albeit 1990s idiomatic language in the Victorian era, it lacks the kind of soul, the depth and legs that can take an animated film into the ages. Phil Collins' contemporary pop songs further destroy the legs of the film. These are, again, mixed with the Victorian era characters and story, instead of an original, inspiring musical score reminiscent of the period, yielding more mood conflict.
The central interest here, it appears, in creating this particular Tarzan, was to put together an ephemeral product and associated commercial tie-ins that can look good in the year end annual report. The days of creating enduring art at Disney although that art would secure continuous future income, now seems to be lost to the once creatively successful studio.
Those who desire the original adventures of this timeless hero and wish to travel to far away places, perhaps the Dark Continent, and visit the vast imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs, are urged to read the original tales.
Raul daSilva Author: THE WORLD OF ANIMATION, Eastman Kodak, 1979. Multiple, International award-winning animation writer-director --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Best- Raul daSilva Writer-Director-Producer STUDIO merrywood http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/merrywood email@example.com 1199 Whitney Avenue G7 Hamden, CT 06517-2804 phone/fax (203) 777-6957
Disney has done it again! I took my 2 girls to see Tarzan last Saturday and we all enjoyed the movie. Disney has a way of making a movie not only entertaining to children but also humorous to the parents. Tarzan was a great story. I was a little worried about the scene where Tarzan's parents were killed, but it did not seem to affect the kids. In fact, I don't think they realized what happened because it wasn't shown or said. A great story. I cried, I laughed, I watched silently. Typical Disney!
Tarzan was a familiar character for me, just like an old friend.
I grew up reading about his adventures in comic books and comic
strips, hearing his characteristic yell on the radio, and
watching his adventures on the big screen (The best Johnny
I was reticent to see this film, because I'm not so sure about how the Disney factory would treat this classic character. But seeing the trailer in the cinemas and on TV I've decided to give it a chance. I'm glad that I did.
This is the story of a boy left alone in the jungle, and raised by gorillas. The story of a boy who feels that don't fit to his "family". A boy raised with the love of his foster gorilla mother, and rejected by his foster "father". Then one day, he discover people of his kind, and he must confront his doubts about where he belongs. You need to see the film to get the answers.
The animation as all of the latest works from Disney, are astounding, the backgrounds are so well done that they are the another character in the film. The relation between Tarzan and his foster dad, were always tense. On the contrary the relation between he and Jane are completely delicious (this was one of my worries about the movie). The two principal human characters were well depicted, but the others doesn't get the same treat, they look more cartoonish.
The dynamic of the movements of Tarzan were dazzling, but sometimes a little unreal, (but hey, remember this is an animated movie after all). To get this a little short, this was a film with very touching moments, a lot of fun, some cameos from other animated Disney movies,and the songs of Phil Collins were great too. (I saw the spanish dubbed version, but Phil sang in Spanish!, and I know that he voiced his songs in other languages too! Wonderful!) A great movie for all the people who like films -animated or not-
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