One of the better Disney Movies!
This is by far one of Disney's best animated films, one of the better Disney movies I should say! Great story, animation, characters, voice acting, and songs preformed by Phil Collins. It's funny, it's also a little sad as well, and there's some cool action scenes, too. This is the kind of Disney movie you will want to see again and again! Unusually for me, most other animated Disney movies get old after watching them two or three times. Tarzan is not the kind of movie that gets old after watching it a bunch of times.
Too Many Song Sequences, One Great Story
The end of the Disney Renaissance (the one before the one we currently live in, whether it’s Tangled, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, etc) is not a disaster, but it not perfect. Tarzan open with human man and woman escaping with son from burning boat, then building new life, only to be eaten by leopard. Meanwhile, an ape couple loses their son to the same leopard in a parallel of tragedies that bring Kala (Glenn Close) and human baby Kala names Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) together. However, Kala’s husband Kerchak (Lance Henriksen) disapproves, and rejects Tarzan in cruel way. His heart was in right place for family, but Kala continues to raise Tarzan as ape anyway, like Harambe may have with boy in enclosure, but for safety of child, we may never know. Tarzan grows up to be ape-man, in scene-montage-scene where he make friends with Terk (Rosie O’Donnell), Tantor (Wayne Knight), and other apes/non-apes-and-humans alike. Tarzan begins being well-received as ape until new humans arrive. Tarzan meets Jane Porter (Minnie Driver) here to sketch animals and help her father Archimedes (Nigel Hawthorne) with research, and Clayton (Brian Blessed) to defend them. The opening act sets up the rest of the story beautifully, but this and other Phil Hartman song set montages make Tarzan feel like music videos for Phil Hartman songs interjected into movie for no other reason than to make movie go faster, like Tarzan growing up through montage, or learning human culture through montage. Montages used too much, though music comments well on what’s happening. What we get enough of and never too much of though is character development, especially when you remember we follow Tarzan from baby to adult. We get to see how he’s treated as different by other apes, especially his adoptive father Kerchak, and we feel sympathy for his plight throughout. We also get good development of Jane, who is the only other important human character, and aside from Kala, most other characters are just there and/or Tarzan’s friends, but ultimately, drama comes from Tarzan’s plight and how he reacts to the arrival of the first “hairless wonders” since Kala found him. The animation also beautifully rendered. While traditional animation does not create photorealism, some water looks more detailed with the enhancement computers provide, and so does the jungle environment. Disney makes do with great animation before Pixar acquisition gives computers their larger takeover, but I digress. Mark Mancina’s soundtrack does its job, but Phil Hartman’s vocal songs are what really sells the emotions in music, even if they’re poorly placed. What Tarzan does not place poorly is the humor, and there’s lots of laughs to be had, although adults may not be as entertained by the humor (unless they watched it as kids). Tarzan ultimately warms heart, but less than others do. Disney dropped ball here, but picked it up after some notice.