4.5 15
Director: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima

Cast: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima, Brian Blessed, Glenn Close


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Author Edgar Rice Burroughs once suggested that animation would be the ideal medium to bring his Tarzan to the screen, and 81 years after the first film about the famous ape-man, Disney brings us the first full-length animated film starring the King of the Jungle. After a disaster at sea causes their ship to sink off the coast of Africa, a British couple finds…  See more details below


Author Edgar Rice Burroughs once suggested that animation would be the ideal medium to bring his Tarzan to the screen, and 81 years after the first film about the famous ape-man, Disney brings us the first full-length animated film starring the King of the Jungle. After a disaster at sea causes their ship to sink off the coast of Africa, a British couple finds their way to shore with their infant son in tow. However, the parents are killed by a leopard, leaving the baby to fend for himself. The child is discovered by a gorilla named Kala (voice of Glenn Close), mate of Kerchak (voice of Lance Henriksen), the leader of the tribe of apes. While Kerchak is taken aback by the foundling and would just as soon leave him in the jungle, Kala's maternal nature is stirred. Kala and Kerchak take the baby with them, naming him Tarzan and raising him among their own. Although Tarzan (voice of Tony Goldwyn) grows up painfully aware that he's different from the apes, he comes to love and respect the gorillas and learns their ways, while they accept him into their tribe as he grows to adulthood. However, Tarzan's idyllic life in the jungle is changed forever by the arrival of Professor Porter (voice of Nigel Hawthorne), his daughter Jane (voice of Minnie Driver), and their guide, a hunter named Clayton (voice of Brian Blessed). The Professor and Jane have arrived in Africa to study the wildlife in its natural habitat, although Clayton would prefer to bag as many trophies as he can. When the explorers encounter Tarzan, they at first think they've discovered the missing link, although soon realize that he's as human as they are. Tarzan finds himself torn between his desire to be with his own kind (and the new, unfamiliar emotions that he feels for Jane) and his loyalties to the gorilla family that raised him -- especially since Clayton sees the apes not as friends but as prey. Dominated by fast-paced jungle action sequences, Tarzan also features voices by Rosie O'Donnell and Wayne Knight, as well as new songs by Phil Collins.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
The world of this Tarzan pops as it never has before in this gazillionth film version, thanks to a groundbreaking “Deep Canvas” animation process that creates lush jungle environments. Add in the ape-man’s extreme surfing moves -- inspired by veteran Disney animator Glen Keane’s skateboarding son -- and Phil Collins’s muscular score, and Tarzan ranks among the best animated films of its age. Tarzan followed in the footsteps of Hercules and Mulan -- its hero likewise trying to find his place in the world. Orphaned and raised by a gorilla family, Tarzan (voiced by Tony Goldwyn) is determined to be “the best ape ever,” but like Hercules, he suffers the pains of awkward adolescence. He initially does not quite fit in, and the other apes even call him “the hairless wonder.” But his adoptive mother, Kala (Glenn Close), reassures him, “Forget what you see -- what do you feel?” The superb voice ensemble includes Minnie Driver as the spirited and independent Jane, Nigel Hawthorne as Jane's scientist father, and Lance Henrikson as Kerchack, the silverback patriarch who does not accept Tarzan. Wayne Knight, as Tarzan’s pachyderm pal, Tantor, and Rosie O’Donnell as a wisecracking ape, Terk, delivers the comic relief. Terk’s “Trashing the Camp” is a scat-singing showstopper; and the power ballad “You’ll Be in My Heart” earned an Oscar on its way to pop ubiquity. The 2005 Special Edition contains a new-to-DVD music video of “Strangers Like Me” by Everlife, as well as an alternate opening and deleted scenes, “DisneyPedia” animal segments, and three games.
All Movie Guide
In an effort to take its familiar animation style one technological step further, Disney pioneered an effect called "deep canvas" for its big-screen version of Tarzan. The enthralling effect, which tricks the eye into seeing Tarzan's high-speed travels through the jungle in three dimensions, is just one reason to watch this surprisingly affecting tale of a misfit working to reconcile his differences from both apes and humans. At heart, it's an action movie, and a pretty hip one at that -- Tarzan's motions, as he surfs along serpentine tree limbs and hurtles through the vines, are modeled on those of skateboarders. Plus it has a handful of clever set pieces in which no less than a vicious tiger, a sadistic hunter, and a herd of stampeding elephants threaten the safety of the gorillas. Many of these are funny, too -- when the elephants debate whether a prankster Tarzan swimming in their drinking hole might be a piranha, one of them points out that it couldn't be because the piranha is indigenous to South America. But in a way that only Disney can manage, these moments alternate with Tarzan's genuinely touching attempts to earn his keep, such that when he lets out his trademark blood-curdling yell after vanquishing a foe, the swell of pride is contagious. The vocal work is unspectacular, outside of Minnie Driver as a teasingly proper Jane and Wayne Knight as a neurotic elephant. The film could benefit from a slightly smaller dose of Rosie O'Donnell's wisecracking. But the most visually advanced film that Disney had produced at the time is also one of its most loveable, and even Phil Collins' dutifully inspirational score gets swept up in the general joy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Terk's Tree-Surfing Challenge" -- three all-new games; "DisneyPedia: Living in the Jungle"; Deleted scenes including alternate opening; Filmmakers' audio commentary; All-new music video featuring the wildly popular Everlife; Music videos featuring Phill Collins and *NSYNC

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brian Blessed Clayton
Glenn Close Kala
Minnie Driver Jane
Tony Goldwyn Tarzan
Nigel Hawthorne Professor Porter
Lance Henriksen Kerchak
Wayne Knight Tantor
Alex D. Linz Young Tarzan
Rosie O'Donnell Terk

Technical Credits
Chris Buck Director
Kevin Lima Director
Bonnie Arnold Producer
Phil Collins Songwriter
Jay Jackson Animator
Glen Keane Animator
Ruth Lambert Casting
Mark Mancina Score Composer
Tab Murphy Screenwriter
David Reynolds Screenwriter
Bob Tzudiker Screenwriter
Mark Walton Original Story
Noni White Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tarzan
1. Main Title/"Two Worlds" [3:22]
2. Kala's Discovery [2:46]
3. A Narrow Escape [2:08]
4. Adopted [2:43]
5. "You'll Be in My Heart" [1:37]
6. Young Tarzan [1:41]
7. Pest Control [2:25]
8. Baby Tantor [1:15]
9. Piranha! [:57]
10. Outcast [1:40]
11. Hand to Hand [2:00]
12. "Son of Man!" [2:47]
13. Monkeying Around [:53]
14. Sabor Attacks [4:19]
15. Explores [3:08]
16. The Baby Baboon [1:01]
17. Tarzan to the Rescue [2:37]
18. Treetop Introductions [4:05]
19. "Trashin' the Camp" [4:04]
20. Jane's Rant [1:54]
21. Tarzan Confronts Kerchak [1:00]
22. Tarzan Drops In [1:40]
23. "Strangers Like Me" [3:53]
24. The Boat Arrives [2:43]
25. Distracting Kerchak [1:01]
26. Meeting Tarzan's Family [3:36]
27. Tarzan Defies Kerchak [1:53]
28. The Truth [3:50]
29. Clayton's Trap [2:05]
30. "We Got a Boat to Catch" [2:22]
31. Ambush [3:13]
32. A Fight to the Finish [1:41]
33. "My Son" [2:30]
34. Goodbyes [2:22]
35. Our Family [:55]
36. End Credits [5:56]

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