Tarzan (1999)

"Very Good"

Tarzan (1999) Review


Tarzan the Ape Man gets the Disney treatment this year. For some classic characters (Snow White, Bambi), the transition has been a positive one. For others (Pocahontas), it's been a disaster. Thankfully, Tarzan is among the former group.

The last time we saw Tarzan, he was saving a Lost City in the worst film of 1998 (shockingly titled Tarzan and the Lost City). The story is a bit more traditional this time, with Tarzan adopted by gorillas after his human parents are killed by a leopard. When he grows up, a group of British explorers stumble upon him, and after the "You Tarzan, me Jane" exchange, the British bad guy, Clayton, decides he's going to take all the gorillas back to Britain for sale. Adventure ensues, along with a love story and singing.

For an animated Disney plot, it's considerably better than recent fare. In fact, it might be too good - the kids in our audience were more often found cowering in the aisles than watching the picture from their seats. Be aware that Tarzan has its share of adult moments (including a hanging, seen in shadow) - more than I'd thought appropriate. The animation is top-notch, of course, and most of that will be wasted on the youngsters, too.

Tarzan is also (thankfully--most thankfully) light on the musical numbers. There's only one song performed by the characters, when the gorillas take over the human camp and do a rendition of "Stomp." The rest of the music is all in the background, fairly well done by Phil Collins. Again, it's awfully nice to not have to put up with a diva or two on the soundtrack. Even the whole talking animals thing makes sense this time: Tarzan can speak to them. The other humans cannot. Well done.

As for the annoying sidekicks (voiced by ROSIE O'DONNELL and Wayne Knight), I leave them for either your mirth or your displeasure. Ultimately, this Disneyfied Tarzan ends up somewhere between The Lion King and Hercules. You can decide for yourself exactly where.

The DVD is light on extras -- including about 10 minutes of deleted scenes, kids' games, and music videos.

[]Join the Disney Movie Club and get three free Disney DVDs![][]

Monkey see, monkey do.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.