Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Tarzan (1999)



Reviews and Comments

Even after a decade of churning out about an animated movie a year, Disney still knows how to make fun animated features. Tarzan is among their best work ever, giving my recent favorites, Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a run for their money.

I'm a particular fan of Tarzan in general. I've seen nearly forty Tarzan films, good and bad, covering over eighty years of filmmaking history. After all this time, who'd have thought the natural medium for translating Tarzan to the screen was not live action but animation? The animation in Disney's version gives the character a dazzling freedom live action simply cannot. Tarzan doesn't just swing around on vines; he sweeps and careens through a beautiful maze of vines and branches with unparalleled athleticism. And it's not just visually stunning animation -- the glorified view of jungle life drives the source of Tarzan's enduring appeal home. Who wouldn't want to abandon civilization and live the remainder of one's life in this jungle?

Plot and character are the film's primary focus, as it should be. Although it is inaccurate to the Edgar Rice Burroughs character of the books in at least one major point, this version, interestingly, is one of the most faithful film adaptations to the spirit of the original stories. That, a host of compelling characters, and a fine Phil Collins score, make for an excellent filmgoing experience.

Other Versions

Series Entries

Related Films