HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Tarzan Jungle Lad
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 2255 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: