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Tarzan and Jane (2002)



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Disney has a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on these days. They produce first rate theatrical animated features, then cheapen them with terrible direct-to-video sequels. Tarzan and Jane is one such example. Comparing the storytelling and animation of the two films is disheartening. The 1999 theatrical film is some of the best latter day work Disney has done. Tarzan and Jane is bumbling and awkward. The animation is no better than one would expect to be aired on Saturday morning television. Small surprise: the film is composed of three episodes of the Legend of Tarzan television show glued together with shots of Jane and the animal characters reminiscing over past times.

By animated television show standards, this isn't that bad. It's wholesome enough; the action scenes are pretty good (well, except the one where Tarzan, Jane, and her father surf over molten lava), and a couple lines made me laugh. Once I got over the awful animation and accepted that the stories were going to be nothing more challenging than frivolous adventures in which the safety of all the returning characters is assured, I actually enjoyed myself. But I want movies to inspire, thrill, and dazzle, as the first film did, and this one did none of those things.

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