Rated G | 88 Minutes | Animation
Directors: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima
Writers: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tab Murphy, and 26 more
Stars: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed
Opening Weekend: $34,361,342 (USA)
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 Extron
This is right up there with ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Mulan’. I had the treat to see this last night, and through it all, even the toddlers in the theater loved it! People have said this is a breakthrough animation-wise, but story-wise, this is like mind-blowing. Tarzan himself is the first truly deep Disney male character since … I can’t think of a really deep Disney male character, except perhaps Simba from The Lion King. Tarzan has everything that makes you realize that, though he’s raised by apes, he’s truly human, and even his upbringing can’t hide that (C’mon, if you were raised your whole life thinking you were an ape, and then suddenly find out you’re really something else, wouldn’t you also be disturbed?)
From the first to the last scene was awesome. Tarzan and the ape Kala’s backgrounds were told briefly, poignantly, and emotionfully. There’s (intelligent) humor and love, which only add to the film, and there’s an obvious love between Tarzan and Jane. Someone here said they’re not in love, that it’s obvious, but I have to strongly disagree. The scenes between them are funny and give you a feeling that there’s a strong attraction (and not just because Jane’s interested in studying apes). And even Jane’s father, though he’s a small background character, he helps the plot along, and while you’d describe him as “dithering”, he has his own funny bone (When Jane is describing Tarzan to him by drawing a picture on a blackboard, she starts to go on about his ‘wonderful eyes’, and in the midst of her daydream, her father comments, “Would you like me to give you and the blackboard some private time?” Riot!).
No, Clayton’s not a Jafar or a Gaston, but he’s not really the enemy here; he’s just an antagonist to help along Tarzan’s inner conflict. The real enemy would be Tarzan’s battling against his ‘true’ world (the one with humans) and the one he’s grown up with (the one with apes). Clayton just resembles a threat to Tarzan’s ape family. In the past, villains were a direct challenge to the hero; here, he is a threat, sure, but he’s not the whole movie here. I like it better this way. In real life, there’s rarely a big evil soul against you, and Clayton seems like a realistic greedy, nasty guy, rather than the cliche megolamincal weirdos of most animated features.
I loved Phil Collins. And while it’s great hearing Ariel sing, I think background music was better for this particular movie. I couldn’t see Jane or Tarzan singing; it makes the whole thing almost unrealistic.
Tarzan himself was wonderful! Charismatic, emotional, outgoing, and at the same time, goofy and boyish. The scenes between him and his ape mother, Kala, were so tender. I haven’t seen such wonderful emotions in live-action movies. And even Kerchak … let me tell you something about him. Even my mom said he was real. I don’t think he was too mean. He felt threatened by Tarzan’s presence. It wasn’t out of superiority. When Kala first shows baby Tarzan to him, Kerchak is worried about the existence of other humans in the jungle, which might endanger his family of apes. He only worries about his family, too, and I suspect that, while he keeps a stoic face over the death of his own baby ape in the beginning of the movie, he’s not ready to adopt another baby (if one of your kids died, would you be so willing to adopt another right away? I know I wouldn’t).
The Lion King, Mulan, and Tarzan all have the same thing in common; they all show true emotion and character, unlike the basic fairy tale fluff like Cinderella and Bambi (nothing against fairy tales, but I like to see true-to-life stuff, you know?).
This is a must-see. If Disney keeps this up, adults may start to change their views of animated stuff. It ain’t just for lil’ kids anymore!
Author: Carolynn Marie (firstname.lastname@example.org) from New York, New York
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