The movie is about the life of Tarzan. Tarzan was a small orphan who was raised by an ape named Kala since he was a child. He believed that this was his family, but on an expedition Jane Porter is rescued by Tarzan. He then finds out that he's human. Now Tarzan must make the decision as to which family he should belong to...Written by
Well, being the big animation fan that I am, I went to see Tarzan this afternoon. Wow.
When I first heard that Disney was doing a version of the Tarzan story, I was hesitant. I mean who wants to hear an ape man spouting out show tunes? Hakuna Matata! The only songs are some of the best work Phil Collins has done in many years. He ventures into the Peter Gabriel territory, but does a great job especially with the rhythms since he IS a drummer. The open number (and sequence) is best albeit Lion King-esque. It seems he was very inspired by the material and has rediscovered his love of music. It's very uplifting. Don't misunderstand me, the characters do sing, but it's more Rosie O'Donnell doing scat with the other apes as they destroy a camp and a very welcome singing cameo by Glenn Close doing the beginning of a lullaby that Phil takes over.
As for the picture itself: wow! This is the most beautiful Disney animation ever: lush, detailed, quick and smooth. Tarzan moves like liquid, filling the screen with gymnastic ease especially the scene where he fights a leopard to save his ape family.
And family is what this film is all about. Disney's Tarzan makes a different decision that Edgar Rice Burroughs' and I think it works better, but it's the decision I would make in the same situation. Some of the situations are a little contrived, but it is mostly Disney sticking with a winning formula. (Tarzan does have nipples unlike Aladdin). :-) What surprised me was the dramatic tilt of the film. Rosie O'Donnell's ape and the elephant are the only comic relief and don't have much of it. The film is very skewed towards adults; HOWEVER, as I was surrounded by a mob of kids there was dead silence right after the main gorillas lose their baby and Tarzan loses his parents to the leopard at the beginning. All the questioning ceased and I got to enjoy the film in complete "adult-like" silence. The kids were just as wrapped up in the movie as the adults.
The voice talent was well cast, too. Minnie Driver is great as the strong, yet proper British lady of the time. Her father is a stereotypical egghead professor who is as clumsy as he is smart. And then there is Brian Blessed as the villain, Clayton. Man, do I love his voice! It's the Voice of God! The deep, rich tones always give me a chill. I wish he worked in more films other then Kenneth Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare films, but alas.... (well, I guess he WAS in The Phantom Menace)
This truly is one of Disney's classics. I felt the same way walking out of this one as I did from Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
Oh, look for a cameo from Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast! I thought it was funny, but I don't think anyone else in the theater got it since I seemed to be the only one laughing. I always embarrass myself at the movies it seems.
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