Ossus Library Index Animated Movie Index

TARZAN

Directed by Chris Buck & Kevin Lima (1999, Walt Disney Pictures)
Featuring voices by Minnie Driver, Rosie O'Donnell, Wayne Knight, Brian Blessed, and Glenn Close

A boy is raised by apes, and is later introduced to two sides of the human world through Jane and a hunter.

 

 

July 1st, 2010 on Video for the 4th time

 
    I can't believe it's been ten years since I've seen this movie! As I introduce my child to this animation, I see it through new eyes, even as he's asking a million questions. Some scenes, such as "Son of Man" and "Someone Like Me" left a lump in my throat. The entire thing is thrilling, funny, and just plain fun. I've been enjoying the music CD for some time leading up to this, and it enhanced the enjoyment.  

 

4 stars

July 2nd, 2000 on Video for the 3rd time

 
    There is not much more I can say that I haven't already said.  As always, the music was outstanding.  I know it all by heart, and the animation that follows it is outstanding, too. 

Wayne Knight was terrific as Tantor, the elephant.  "Are you sure this water is sanitary" was terrific, and is a line that I think I'll be repeating often for a long time.  The whole scene where Tarzan is trying to get an elephant hair was so funny.  The parents were true gossips, and the baby was very funny as he tried to convince his mother of the danger.  Later, as he grows up, he is still quite funny.  His impersonation of the Professor near the end is priceless!

The other characters were also very true to form.  Jane was talky-talky-talky as she first met the little monkey who stole her drawing.  Then, when she is rescued by Tarzan, and realizes that he is a wild man, she freaks out and is still talking nonstop!  When she starts to fall for him, her nervous talking disappears. 

Other than characters, the animation was still superb.  There was one scene, during the song "Son of Man", where Tarzan is flying on vines as his family is walking through the forest.  The focus stays on the walking figures, who are really just staying in place, as the scenery rolls by underneath them.  It is really amazing!

The ending was still not quite satisfying to me, with the danger angle.  But at least this time it wasn't as tooth-gritting, as I got swept up into the action and animation of that part. 

And you gotta love Jane's outfit as she's flying through the jungle at the end!!!

 

 

4 stars

July 2nd, 2000 on Video for the 3rd time

 
    There is not much more I can say that I haven't already said.  As always, the music was outstanding.  I know it all by heart, and the animation that follows it is outstanding, too. 

Wayne Knight was terrific as Tantor, the elephant.  "Are you sure this water is sanitary" was terrific, and is a line that I think I'll be repeating often for a long time.  The whole scene where Tarzan is trying to get an elephant hair was so funny.  The parents were true gossips, and the baby was very funny as he tried to convince his mother of the danger.  Later, as he grows up, he is still quite funny.  His impersonation of the Professor near the end is priceless!

The other characters were also very true to form.  Jane was talky-talky-talky as she first met the little monkey who stole her drawing.  Then, when she is rescued by Tarzan, and realizes that he is a wild man, she freaks out and is still talking nonstop!  When she starts to fall for him, her nervous talking disappears. 

Other than characters, the animation was still superb.  There was one scene, during the song "Son of Man", where Tarzan is flying on vines as his family is walking through the forest.  The focus stays on the walking figures, who are really just staying in place, as the scenery rolls by underneath them.  It is really amazing!

The ending was still not quite satisfying to me, with the danger angle.  But at least this time it wasn't as tooth-gritting, as I got swept up into the action and animation of that part. 

And you gotta love Jane's outfit as she's flying through the jungle at the end!!!

 

 

4 stars

February 27th, 2000 on Video for the 2nd time

 
    And so Tarzan is released on video.  I've been playing the soundtrack since Christmas, so I felt that I knew the movie by heart.  But there were so many little things that I forgot. 

Surely, without the music, the movie would have only been half as good.  They were able to achieve things with music that all the exposition in the world could not have done for the movie.  Just music and visuals.  And the visuals were spectacular.  The animation was so vibrant, you felt as if you could actually be in Africa. 

One animation effect that really impressed me was the water.  I'm positive they filmed real water, then animated over it!  That was great. 

The narration at the beginning was done by music, which I thought was a better choice than, say, in Hunchback, or Hercules.  And it's simple, too:  Tarzan is born around the same time as a baby ape.  His parents are shipwrecked, and build a house in the jungle.  The ape baby is killed by a tiger, as are Tarzan's parents.  The mother of the baby ape then takes Tarzan as her surrogate child.  In one very amusing scene, the mother ape fights off the tiger, while the baby rolls around, giggling, high up in the trees in a loose netting. 

So Tarzan gets friends, and grows up with the apes.  His mother's mate, Kerchuk, however, refuses to accept him.  As he grows older, he gets into trouble only a human could get into.  His friends are wary of him, and the adults know enough to simply lift whatever they are doing out of the way when he passes by. 

As an adult, he kills the tiger, but Kerchuk sees him only as competition.  And that's when Jane and her father arrive, accompanied by a man with a gun, who is shooting at everything.  It's obvious that he would rather hunt gorillas than study them.  But Jane and her father are happily oblivious. 

Tarzan rescues Jane, and she brings him to her camp, where she teaches him about the world, even language (well, English, at least).  They desperately want to see gorillas, but Tarzan has pledged to Kerchuk that he won't lead them to his family. 

But then Jane has to leave, and the hunter/ guide tells Tarzan that she would be very disappointed to leave without seeing gorillas.  So Tarzan takes them to his family.  On the boat, the hunter/ guide gathers his colleagues with cages to bring the gorillas back to England for a hefty price.  Tarzan rescues them, but Kerchuk is shot in the process.  He forgives his "son", and Tarzan takes over the family.  Jane and her father decide to stay with him at the last moment. 

The film is full of so many funny moments, but the all time favourite has to be "trashing the camp".  Typewriters, broken plates, and so many other day-to-day objects come together under the gorillas to form a great symphony. 

But there are many touching scenes, too, even other than the one at the beginning.  The one I'm thinking about is the romance between Tarzan and Jane.  She shows him her world, and he shows her his -beauty and simplicity. 

The jokes are mostly kid jokes, but they are not so childish that adults wouldn't enjoy them.  But there are very few purely adult jokes, which makes this movie better than a lot of other releases, I think, because the adult jokes tend to age very poorly. 

I still don't like the idea of the bad guys, and still think the movie could have been made without them.  The ending only sets up a false forgiveness.  Tarzan brought the trouble upon his family all by himself.  That he is forgiven because he saved them rings false, because if he hadn't put his family in jeopardy by betraying them, he wouldn't have to save them. 

But the actors were great anyway.  Minnie Driver, and especially Rosie O'Donnell were the best. 

Still a classic, and one that I'll watch almost as often as I play the CD.

 

 

5 stars

June 22nd, 1999 in the Theatre

 
    The animation in this movie was spectacular!  The story was touching, action-packed and funny.  The only thing I thought was over done was the villain -too nasty.  I didn't think it was necessary to make a good story.  But other than that, it was a perfect Disney classic!  Jane actually looked like Minnie Driver, too!  
   

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