The movie is about the life of Tarzan. Tarzan was a small orphan who was raised by an ape named Kala since he was a child. He believed that this was his family, but on an expedition Jane Porter is rescued by Tarzan. He then finds out that he's human. Now Tarzan must make the decision as to which family he should belong to...Written by
Madonna were considered for the role of Terk. See more »
Professor Porter and Jane offer to take Tarzan to England where he would meet Darwin, Queen Victoria, and Kipling. Charles Darwin died in 1882, the same year in which the yet-to-be-published 17-year old Rudyard Kipling finished college and returned to India. See more »
Mama, look! Look over there !
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During the Walt Disney Pictures opening logo, the background turns into that of a jungle. See more »
To secure a rating "ohne Altersbeschraenkung" (without age restriction) in Germany a couple of scenes were altered:
A scene where Sabor was off killing Kala's offspring was shortened
A good movie, but only half as good as it could've been.
Disney's new animated feature, "Tarzan" has made it into theaters and moviegoers will certainly leave satisfied. Mainly because the previous years fare has been rather disappointing; Disney made a comeback with 1989's "The Little Mermaid", and hit their peak with 1994's "The Lion King", and they've been heading pretty much downhill ever since. After slowing their plunge with last year's "Mulan", it seems "Tarzan" is their attempt to begin climbing back to the top.
The film carries so many good things, you may fail to notice its faults; while the Ape-man swings, surfs, and flips his way through the jungle, he may pull the loincloth over your eyes to hide the homegrown Disney formula.
On one hand, the film sports a Title Character you can really get behind, drawn by champion animator Glen Keane(Ariel, Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas), and voiced by Tony Goldwyn. His leading lady is just as good (if not better), the quirky, Jane-brought to life by Ken Duncan and Minnie Driver-is top notch, leaving the sassy, and independent spirit of most modern Disney heroines behind, and giving us the even better treat of just being herself. The animators have outdone themselves in the action department, whether its dealing with Sabor-the local leopard-or running from wild baboons, this films actions scenes soar high above those of its live action counterparts. The backgrounds give the film a lush beautiful look all its own, blowing all of the other animated jungle pictures far away. The deep canvas effect that allows you to surf along with Tarzan, is probably one of the things you'll remember most, along with the strength of the story, the strong bond between Tarzan and his ape-mother, Kala, and the opposition of Kerchak, Tarzan's adoptive ape-father. Disney, slowly weening themselves off of the broadway teat, has Phil Collins, not Tarzan, belt out the tunes, with narrative and very effective musical numbers that give the movie a lot of its heart(something, they should've tried with "The Hunchback of Notre Dame").
So, this movie seems to have everything, great leads, thrills and chills, amazing art, strong relationships, and a deviation from typical Disney expectations--not so fast, like many Disney films, "Tarzan" is a healthy balance of a lot of things, including the good and the bad. The remainder of the film's cast is pretty lame, Tarzan's goofy sidekicks, Tantor, the neurotic elephant and Terk, the loudmouth Brooklyn ape are incredibly extraneous, its seems they wait around for the entire film just to perform one or two tasks along the way. Jane's father, Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter serves no real purpose either, but to be the typical tiny, dawdering, absent minded Disney dad. Even worse is the villain, the gun-toting Clayton, who is entirely one dimensional, if the studio wanted a real challenge for writing this film, they would've eliminated him from the plot. Disney animated films usually can't function without a serious antagonist, but this story has SO MUCH potential it really could have; the conflicts between Tarzan, Sabor, and Kerchak, are probably enough for an original, ambitious script. The action scenes are new and exciting until the third act, when it becomes the usual Disney fare, where a bunch of bad guys attack a bunch of good guys, and everybody gets a curtain call to join in and add some hilarity to the action. The technological breakthough of 'deep canvas' would be even better taken a bit further, applying a lush shadowy look to the characters as well, making them fully blend in with their beautiful environment. And if it weren't for Rosie O'Donnell's quasi-musical number, every sequence of the film would be bearable, instead of sticking with the rest of the characters, Terk has to go out on her own and perform her own personal rendition of 'stomp', being the only real story element to date the film.
Disney's "Tarzan" is definitely one of their best films since "The Lion King"(which coincidentally also has a weak third act), mixing the discoveries from "Pocahontas" and "Hunchback", leaving the "Hercules" stuff behind, and throwing in the maturity of "Mulan", they've created themselves a good picture that will do well against all of their new animated competitors. But, like "Mulan", "Tarzan" is just another film that works well with their formula, which gives it the appearance of a brand spanking new concept. Features like "The Little Mermaid" "Beauty and the Beast", and "Aladdin" all hit the mark all the way around; with strong characters(including an over-the-top villain), great stories(with new twists), and beautiful settings shown through the magic of the creative mind, "Tarzan" can't promise you all of these things, but its a wonderful start at trying to get there again.
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