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Tarzan (1999) Poster

(1999)

Trivia

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The reason why the character of Terk is female in this film is that, according to producer Bonnie Arnold, when male actors auditioned for the part, none of them clicked. When Rosie O'Donnell stepped in to audition, it worked and she got the part. Arnold said of the gender change: "You don't have to be a guy to be a best friend."
The signature "Tarzan yell" is provided by Brian Blessed, the voice of the film's villain Clayton.
To see how Tarzan's body would move while sliding down a log, the animators based his movement on that of pro skateboarder Tony Hawk while on his skateboard.
Minnie Driver largely ad-libbed the breathless speech in which Jane tells her father and Clayton about meeting Tarzan for the first time.
Rosie O'Donnell accomplished a lifelong dream in this film; she had always wanted to voice a character in a Disney animated movie.
Phil Collins was chosen to provide the music as a deliberate move away from the Disney "showtune" formula.
When the gorillas pick up Professor Porter and turn him upside-down, a beanbag toy of Little Brother from Disney's Mulan (1998) falls out of his clothes.
A teapot and set of teacups in the explorers' camp bears a sharp resemblance to Mrs. Potts and her teacup children from Beauty and the Beast (1991). When Tantor sees them, he is scared that they may come to life. Terk responds "Pull yourself together. You're embarrassing me. These things aren't alive." In Beauty and the Beast (1991), of course, they are.
The Disney animators actually hired a professor of anatomy to consult with them over Tarzan's musculature. He would superimpose the correct type of muscles over their drawings to help show them how to depict a man at the peak of his physical prowess.
In the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, Tarzan was adopted by apes (ie. chimps as seen in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)) and the only gorilla mentioned was Bolgani the Great, who was an enemy of Tarzan and the troop. This is the first Tarzan movie were the apes that adopt him are gorillas instead of chimpanzees. Tantor was an old bull elephant disliked by the denizens of the jungle, Sabor was a lioness, and Terkoz (presumably "Terkina" known as "Terk") was a male ape and Tarzan's arch-nemesis within the troop. Also, Kerchak murdered Tarzan's family. The producers changed it not only to make him more sympathetic, but also to make it less gruesome for families. Even though Clayton (first name William in the book) is a villain in the movie, he and Tarzan are actually cousins according to the original story from Burroughs. William being after Tarzan in line of succession and therefore wouldn't want him to be alive. In the film, Jane Porter and her father are from London. In the novel, they are American citizens.
The movie is set in either the year 1889 or 1895. Various hints given throughout the movie imply this, such as a drawing of Tarzan done by Jane is dated Saturday, August 17 (both 1889 and 1895 had August 17 fall on a Saturday). Slides shown during the "Strangers Like Me" song also show the Eiffel Tower (completed in 1889), and the Statue of Liberty (completed in 1886). Porter also mentioned visiting Queen Victoria, who was ruling during both of these years.
The movie is set in eastern Africa. This can be seen on a drawing of Tarzan that Jane is working on during the "Strangers Like Me" sequence. It can be seen labeled in the corner. Earlier in the movie, Professor Porter mentions moving westward, deeper into the jungle, which would make the ocean on the eastern coast. It is possible that the movie might be set in Kenya, which was at the time as a protectorate of Britain located on the eastern coast of Africa. Kenya also has thick jungles on it's coasts - much like the ones seen in the film.
The movie went back into the Disney vault on January 31, 2002. Typically, this means the VHS and DVD versions of the movie were pulled from store shelves on this day, and the movie won't re-appear in either format for 10 years.
The first Disney animated feature film to open at number 1 at the American box office and to win an Academy Award since Pocahontas (1995).
One of the main reasons why animation was chosen as the perfect way to execute a Tarzan story was because the character is so lithe and animal-like, it would have been nearly impossible to achieve those effects with live action.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were both seriously considered for Clayton before Brian Blessed auditioned for it, the directors felt his deep booming voice would be perfect for the character.
Animator Glen Keane has a son who was very into surfing and skateboarding, which inspired him to incorporate those movements into Tarzan's. This is how Tarzan ended up with the ability to slide through the jungle trees rather than just swinging on vines.
"Deep Canvas": The brand-new technique created by Disney for use in Tarzan, which allows 2D hand-drawn characters to exist seamlessly in a fully 3D environment.
Tarzan has been adapted from its book many times over the years and is second only to Dracula in the adaptation chart. Also, the boat that Clayton and his team use to get from the freighter ship to the jungle when they are going to hunt the gorillas is the same type of boat used in the "Jungle Cruise".
Tarzan (1999) became the last film (short-length or feature-length) made by Walt Disney Animation Studios to win an Academy Award until Paperman (2012) won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film of the Year, 13 years later, though other films made by Disney Animation have been nominated.
This film contains numerous references to the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films (Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), et seq). These include a "Me Tarzan, You Jane" introduction scene, Tarzan wrestling with crocodiles, and Jane's costume at the end of the film resembles the clothing worn by Maureen O'Sullivan in the Weissmuller series.
This is not Glenn Close's first involvement in a Tarzan movie - she dubbed the voice of Andie MacDowell in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984).
When one of the gorillas takes Clayton's gun to examine it, he holds it up and stares down the barrel, in exactly the same pose as one of the apes at Disneyland's "Jungle Cruise" attraction.
One movie-goer was compelled to write to the New York Times on July 22nd to vent his anger at how Tarzan's exaggerated physique would cause unrealistic expectations in young boys.
There are approximately 1100 names in the closing credits.
The first Tarzan movie to have a one-word title.
The 'Deep Canvas' 3D effect with 2D characters blended in, was suggested as something Disney should try by John Lassetter of Pixar fame when he was employed as a Disney animator. Not wanting it, Disney let go John, who went on to direct the first ever fully 3D animated movie.
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Lance Henriksen was cast as Kerchak as the filmmakers felt that only his powerfully deep and gruff voice would be able to "fill the immense size of Kerchak".
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During Terk's musical trashing of the explorers' camp, two apes mimic the bump-bump step seen in the classic Disney short In the Bag (1956).
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The song "Son of Man" sung by Phil Collins talks of Tarzan as the Son of Man. The actor Brian Blessed, who does the voice of Clayton, Tarzan's enemy, played Peter, a disciple and friend of Christ in _"The Wednesday Play" (1964) {Son of Man (#1.143)_, Son of Man being Jesus in this case, who first used this expression of himself.
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The second 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD to be released by Disney.
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Laura Linney auditioned for the role of Jane Porter.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Clayton is the first Disney villain to die by hanging. Originally, the Disney animators set the climactic fight of the film on the freighter ship, with Tarzan sending Clayton to his doom via a river boat explosion. But when animation began on the sequence, the animators discovered that Tarzan had "lost his edge" on the freighter ship (as seen in the scene were Tarzan tries to escape from Clayton's henchmen on the ship). The animators moved the final fight with Clayton back to the jungle, where Tarzan's character had the advantage.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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