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Tarzan More at IMDbPro »

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Disney's newest masterpiece

Author: Edward Curtis from Morgantown, WV
14 July 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ok, before I start, a quick disclaimer: This is the first "Tarzan" movie I've seen all the way through. Nor have I read the books, so I can't speak for the film's faithfulness to classic Tarzan.

With that out of the way, Disney's Tarzan is brilliant on its own merits. The animation, music and sound are some of their best ever -- make sure to see this on the big screen if at all possible! The story is totally engrossing -- I only looked at my watch once through the whole film -- and the aftermath of the final battle is touching and surprising.

Since this is a Disney film, the animals talk...BUT, this time there's a new spin on it. [SPOILER WARNING - Stop reading now if you want this new spin to surprise you!]

We only hear the animals speak "English" when no humans are around (Tarzan excepted). So, when Tarzan has his inevitable meeting with Jane, he doesn't speak a word of English. The implication, then, is that the "English" the gorillas speak, is really gorilla-ese translated into English. This is much like a "Star Trek" episode where, to save subtitle work, the Klingons speak English on one of their ships, where in actuality they'd be speaking their native tongue. A very clever twist on a tried and true Disney cliche.

In the final analysis, I truly have no complaints about Disney's Tarzan. A perfect 10.

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The best film I've seen in a while

Author: hollyq from Wilmington, DE
13 July 1999

Maybe it's because I'm not ordinarily a big fan of Disney, but I'm surprised to see people saying that _Tarzan_ isn't as good as _The Little Mermaid_, _Aladdin_, etc.... Those were great kids' movies - this is just a great movie, period. I was very skeptical at first; I've always liked the Tarzan character, but have never really liked the way he's been done on screen. Still, the trailers caught my attention enough to check it out - it seemed closer to rich, dimensional Japanese animation (which I love) than standard Disney stuff. I thought I might like it... but I *loved* it. I could have lived without the comic relief characters - but the writers were clever: the story couldn't move forward without them, making them a bit more than "a little something for the kids".

The choices made by the writers were excellent - Clayton was an unusual villian; his job was not to be outright evil at all times, but to prod Tarzan into making bad choices - Tarzan's inner turmoil made him his own worst enemy, which I find much more interesting than the evil spells of the typical Disney villain. The focus on the ape family, and especially the mother-child bond were well done and very emotional. It's very rare that an animated character is as expressive as Kala, Tarzan's mother; at times, the look of pain or fear of losing her son in her eyes is so vivid, she's almost hard to watch. I thought the romance was convincing without being the absolute center of the story (I usually can't figure out *why* Disney characters fall in love, but here I actually saw chemistry). And the changes to the original story were good calls. Ordinarily, I don't like it when the ending is changed (like in _The Little Mermaid_), but here it worked for me. It was exactly what I wanted.

Oh, and I thought it was great that it wasn't a traditional musical, too. The last thing I wanted to see was Tarzan swinging through the trees singing. The Phil Collins soundtrack, which I was seriously skeptical about, fit well. I won't even bother mentioning my nitpicks, because they all take the story too literally, and that does the film a disservice. I absolutely recommend this one - it's the best movie I've seen in a very long time. It even surpasses *my* favorite Disney film of all time, _Alice in Wonderland_. 10 stars.

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One of our favorite Disney Masterpieces!

Author: anonymous from Toronto, Canada
10 July 1999

One of our favorite Disney masterpieces! It's got something for everyone. Fabulous music too! See it, you won't be disappointed.

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Adoption gets the spotlight, and sweetly done

Author: estlin
9 July 1999

Considering how Disney usually enjoys focusing on social injustices and rebellious characters, Tarzan is unusual. This film actually speaks to the average Jane about a topic everyone has encountered to some degree and in a way that should touch any viewer. Tarzan is a man adopted by an ape. He has more complexity and maturity than any other Disney character to date. Sounds ironic, doesn't it? Unfortunately, many of the other minor characters fall way short in comparison. Phil Collins' music should touch viewers. Overall, a very sweet and pleasant story.

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Great movie, minus annoying comic relief.

Author: Beck97 from Fort Payne, Alabama
7 July 1999

Well you know......I was expecting the classic Disney crap. I was worried that they would make the movie unbearable to watch. I was wrong....well at least until I read the book. But regardless, the movie in itself is great. If we didn't have those annoying animals trying to be funny I would have loved it even more. Of course, there didn't have to be a villain either. But it was thoroughly enjoyable, other than that. I would say better than any other Disney movie.

Until I read the book. Then I look back and see what a load of crap the movie is. But I do like what Disney did with Tarzan even if he's not buff.

Go watch the movie....or read the book....not both. :) The book's better

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Top-rated entertainment; perfect for entire family!

Author: pied from Ohio
6 July 1999

Perfect animated film featuring the Tarzan story by Edgar Rice Burroughs which Disney faithfully adapts. Much better than the hybrid "Hunchback" or the depressing "Pocohantas," Tarzan scores a 10 in my book. The scenery is 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 chums.

The story is exciting, and the animation is simply marvelous. The audience spontaneously applauded afterwards. I loved it!

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Great, Beautiful animation

Author: likemovi from Ontario, California
6 July 1999

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.

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one of the absolute best animated films

Author: rose-18
3 July 1999

Having seen just about every Disney animated film more than once through numerous babysitting jobs, I have very strong opinions and affections toward the films. In my opinion, the best Disney movies were Beauty and the Beast, 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 genre, I do not especially care for it. I was thrilled last night to add Tarzan to 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 and 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 of unnecessary.


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One of the best from Disney

Author: swallow
1 July 1999

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.

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Good Movie

Author: Girl-5 from USA
1 July 1999

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.

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