Directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck
Starring the voices of Tony Goldwin, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Lance Henrikson, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorn, Wayne Knight, and Rosie O’Donnel
I saw this film immediatly after I saw The Iron Giant. I almost didn’t want to see it, because I wanted a little more time to digest The Iron Giant. But, Disney has been on the upswing in their animated films in these last few years, so I thought I’d give it a chance.
I’m sure we’re all framiliar with the tale. Tarzan’s human family is shipwrecked off the coast of Africa. His parents, however, are soon killed by a leopard, and Tarzan is adopted by the ape Kala (Close). She raises Tarzan (Goldwyn) as her son, much to the dismay of the leader of the apes, Kerchak (Henrikson). He’s just suspicious of outsiders. Tarzan grows up, befrinding the elephant Tantor (Knight), and the ape Terk (O’Donnel). But soon, man comes to the jungle, in the form of Jane (Driver), her professor father (Hawthorn), and their guide Clayton (Blessed). When Tarzan encounters other humans for the first time, this leads to his inner conflict as to which world he belongs. Sure, the apes are his family, but he’s falling in love with Jane. Oh, and Clayton is a poacher bent on capturing all the apes and selling them to zoos.
After The Iron Giant, this film just seemed to ring hollow for me. Sure, it is one of Disney’s best of later years, but it was lacking genuine heart. It has many pluses for it though. Phil Collins’ songs (mostly focusing on jungle drums) are a great asset to the film. These characters have to be some of the most formed in all of Disney’s more recent animated films. And, you know that the animation is top notch. I still recommend it, but not as highly as The Iron Giant.