|"I was saved! I was saved by a flying wild man in a loincloth!"|
|Time: 88 mins.|
Won Academy Award for Best Original Song.
I'm not a huge fan of animated films, especially of the last couple from Disney, so I wasn't really expecting much from TARZAN. The trailers looked interesting, but I didn't really think they'd be able to do anything new with the story. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The animation was wonderful, the story compelling, the action sequences breathtaking and the music unobtrusive, which for Disney is a huge step up. There won't be any musical version of this film popping up anytime soon, but I know they're going to make it into a ride...which is just what this film was. It had an adult story line, but just enough silliness and mirth (none of the gross physical type for once) to keep the kids happy in their seats.
I'm not going to go heavily into the plot because it follows pretty much every other Tarzan tale. Baby is found abandoned by gorilla who raised him as one of their own. Male leader of the tribe never accepts the boy who does nothing but try to fit in. Realizing he's different he finds other ways to fit into the society and keep up with the other apes his age. He discovers he's not an ape after all when he meets Jane, a young Englishwoman traipsing around Africa with her father in search of gorillas. She takes him under her wing, to the disapproval of his "father", and teaches him about the human world. He's torn between the two worlds because he's in love with Jane. Using his naivete, Clayton, a hunter, tricks Tarzan into revealing the gorillas lair and ends up having to rescue them from the hunters. In the end, he and Jane and the gorillas live happily ever after.
What I enjoyed most about the film, was the animation, which was fast-paced and beautiful, and the music, which was only used punctuate the action or emotions. No one was breaking into song. I enjoyed that more than I thought I would. Phil Collins did an amazing job creating songs that were evocative of the mood and action without being sappy. The music actually helped carry the film along instead of stopping it dead. Besides, it would have been somewhat out of place for a man who doesn't know English to burst into song while swinging around the jungle.
Though I liked most of the animation, I have to say that I was disappointed with all the human characters except for Tarzan, who had an amazing half man/half beast look. Everyone else was typical old-school Disney. It was boring and disappointing, especially after pictures like Pocahontas, where they made the humans look more life-like. I know they were supposed to be out of place in the jungle, but they just didn't work for me. I also could have done with a little less Rosie. She had her funny moments, but I found her performance to be a bit irritating. Overall, if you like animated films and are looking for one with a good story and fast-paced animation, check this one out. It's definitely one of the better ones released in recent years.