HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Tarzan Jungle LadBuy this film here.
Year: 1999
Director: Kevin Lima, Chris Buck
Stars: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorne, Lance Henriksen, Wayne Knight, Rosie O'Donnell, Alex D. Linz, Rodger Bumpass, Phil Proctor
Genre: Animated, Romance, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Many years ago off the coast of Africa a family of three were shipwrecked, managing to row to safety. But their location was miles from anywhere they might have been offered help, so the father had to make do with what they had, and was so resourceful that they did very well with their newly built treehouse. Yet it was not to last, as while the baby son was spared, the parents were killed by a vicious leopard, and the boy would have perished as well had he not been found by an inquisitive gorilla named Kala (voiced by Glenn Close) who having lost her own child was keen to adopt the infant as her own. She called him Tarzan...

After the runaway success of The Lion King, it appeared Disney were anxious to get another, similar film off the ground to tap into the same audience, and so it was that they adapted one of the most popular characters in movie history, drawn from the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Except they didn't stick hugely close to the source, preferring to pick and choose from a selection of other versions which had been produced down the almost century-long space of time the character had been brought to the screen, so what you had here was something of a mishmash - a bit of Johnny Weissmuller here, part of Greystoke there.

In fact, the main innovation was in Tarzan's physicality, as he fairly raced through the trees, even adopting a surfer pose as he slid along twisting branches, of which there were an abundance, so it was not simply the vine swinging which concerned us here. Being an origin tale, as many of the superhero movies gathering popularity around the time were, we were privy to Tarzan's early years as the gorillas welcomed him as their own - well, almost all did, as the partner of Kala, the silverback Kerchak (Lance Henriksen), was more reluctant, thereby crowbarring in a theme on acceptance between fathers and sons (family was very important in Disney animated features), along with a vaguer one about prejudice.

Maybe not vaguer, but certainly a bigger picture than the more intimate sections of the drama. Needless to say this was animated immaculately, which paid dividends when it was one of the studio's larger success of the decade which had seen their renaissance in cartoons, fittingly ending the nineties on a high for them. But while its heart was in the right place, this remained a watered down incarnation of the famed Apeman, more keen on supplying the romantic or tearkerking moments and not helped by a sense of humour which was broad and obvious, constantly going for the cutesy, wholesome gags when a harder edge might have served the character better, or at least a funnier line in jokes.

Not that it had to be Tarzan Extreme or anything, but you got the impression this was pulling in different directions and had trouble settling on the correct tone: the fact that so many were credited with assisting the script indicated Disney's committee approach didn't always serve such characters as Tarzan as well as they might have hoped. Take Jane, for example (voiced brightly by Minnie Driver): she and the now grown up Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) in other variations might have capitalised on the erotic charge that a meeting between a savage and a society lady would have had when they found themsleves so attracted to one another (the Bo Derek version showed how not to handle this), but you couldn't have that in a Disney movie so the connection was anodyne and we had to take it for granted the attraction was there. Really this was on the level of the Weissmuller series once it had reached the later run of the mill adventures, so it may look very pretty, but any animalistic charge of the natural world was reduced to a theme park thrill. Music by Phil Collins in Elton John mode.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1088 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: