Hey guys! Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the 37th Walt Disney animated film called Tarzan, which was released in 1999. When this film came out, it was a breath of fresh air from Disney since the last several films such as Pocahontas, Hunchback, Mulan etc were slipping in quantity and quality. However, during the end tail of the Disney Renaissance, this film was a surprise hit receiving positive reviews, and earning nearly $450 million at the box office. Which was needed, because this was their most expensive film produced with an insane budget of $135 million. I liked this movie when I was younger, and I still like it to this day.
The story is about a young boy named Tarzan who was raised by gorillas in the Jungle after his parents got killed. As he grows up, he has a weary relationship with the father gorilla. The hunters later on are here to hunt the animals. The story is good. The execution is great, and the pacing doesn’t become too slow or too fast most of the time. I loved the opening sequence because there are intense moments with Tarzans parents getting killed by the cheetah, while the mother gorilla saves the baby from the cheetah. It is all done with a song in the background with no dialogue. That’s what makes this scene so iconic and beautiful. And it also displays show don’t tell approach. The relationship between Tarzan and the mother gorilla was touching. The death scene of the father gorilla was very deep, and the climax was awesome. So with all of those positives I said about the story, what could possibly go wrong? Well there is a major problem with the story. The issue I have with the story is how the songs are played throughout most scenes of the movie. They are not bad, but they feel out of place. They do feel a little distracting. With all of that, the story is great and well-written. I give the story eight stars.
The animation is beautiful. Once again, Disney has amazed me with their visuals. What makes the animation beautiful is how they blend CGI with 2D animation using Deep Canvas. Fun fact: the Deep Canvas was first introduced in this film and it was used in the 3D aesthetics such as the Trees. That is where the budget was used heavily from this film. They did the Deep Canvas justice. The colors are sparklingly gorgeous. The environment and the backgrounds are beautiful. It makes me want to be in the jungle. Lastly, the character designs are 100%. The animation is colorful and astounding. I give the animation ten stars.
The characters are a mixed bag. Some characters are great while some are not so great. Tarzan is a great titular character. He is likeable and very funny. It was funny seeing him talk to humans for the first time, and his character development of him socializing in the movie was good to see. Jane is a damsel in distress done perfectly. She is a character that is needed to be saved many many times but this time, it makes sense. She is a jungle surrounded by danger everywhere. I loved how her relationship with Tarzan and in how she is willing to teach him how to act like a human. The professor is a naïve but charming and likeable character. I loved how observant he is. Kala is a great mother figure to Tarzan and Kerchak serves as an interesting anti-hero. My problem with the characters are that the characters such as Trek and Tantor are VERY annoying. I didn’t find them funny, and I especially found their voices acting from those two ear grating, although Wayne Knight as the elephant was tolerable. Oh yeah, they used a celebrity again to play a character in a Disney movie, and this time it was Rosie O’Donnel as Trek. I disliked her performance as Trek. The villain is terrible. Not only because of his motivation of catching the gorrillas but also how he becomes buddy buddy while evil in the third act of the movie. I’m certain that he serves as a precursor to the twist Disney villians in the modern movies. The characters are good while the other characters are cookie-cutter. I give the characters seven stars to be generous.
The songs are written by Phil Collins. The songs are a mixed bag. Its not because Collins is a bad singer as *cough* Nostalgia Critic claims to be, but most of the songs are not good. I loved the opening song “Two Worlds, One Family”, “Son of man” is my favorite. Its catchy, and upbeat. “You’ll be in my heart” and “I wanna know” are okay but “Destroying the plates” is an awful song. There’s no words in the song just noise. It really should’ve been a song to being with. The songs are fine but unnecessary and lacking. I give the songs six stars.
Tarzan is a great movie. It may have some flaws such as weak characters and unnecessary songs, but the story, animation and the main lead characters do make the movie stand out. This was a great movie to close out the legendary era of Disney animation that gave us outstanding stories, innovative animations, new and improved princesses/characters, and beautiful songs. Thank you Dinsey Reniassance. I give this final Disney Renaissance chapter film 8 stars out of 10.