Tarzan Blu-ray Review
When you think of the highest grossing Disney films, I bet TARZAN doesn’t come to mind. Can you believe that it outranks BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and CARS? I did a little research to figure out how this mediocre animation was able to surpass two of Disney’s most beloved stories and I came up with a theory: Phil Collins is to blame.
TARZAN was one of the first Disney animations to step away from the highly successful “animated musical.” Instead of breaking out into song, Phil Collins took on the role of creating a captivating soundtrack that takes the viewer on an amazing journey. The music brings soul and life to a rather dull story. And the fact that Phil Collins recorded the soundtrack in a dozen different languages helped the story go global.
The story has been around forever. Tarzan’s parents are shipwrecked, killed by a jaguar and Tarzan is raised by a female gorilla Kala (Glenn Close). He realizes at a very young age that he is different and struggles with this truth his entire life. Tarzan (voiced by Tony Goldwyn) vows to be the best he can be to prove to the “hairy ones” that he belongs to the family. Of course this entire theory is tossed out the window when creatures who look just like him arrive on the island. He develops an affectionate friendship with Jane (Minnie Driver) who teaches him how to be a human. Tarzan is conflicted. He no longer knows where he belongs.
When you look at the basic theme of TARZAN, it’s a great story that has an important message. Kala explains it to Tarzan so simply. “You have a heartbeat. I have a heartbeat. We are the same.”
It’s a story about searching for the truth and figuring out who you are and where you belong. It’s about acceptance, loyalty and sacrifice. It’s about learning, changing and sharing your world with others. I think any family would love benefit from hearing this message.
If that’s too boring for you, it has an ape man who surfs the jungle trees, a band of gorillas who trash a camp and a delightful, energetic Jane who carries the film with her comedic timing and adorableness.
Video: The jungle animation was extremely detailed. From the lush ground, exotic flowers and hanging vines, it was all quite gorgeous to watch. I was immediately drawn in.
Audio: If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love Phil Collins. His soundtrack truly makes the movie.
Deleted Scenes (9:56): These scenes were in sketch format. There are three deleted sequences. One was the opening scene that gave a little more insight into Tarzan’s parents setting up a home in the jungle. The second was an extended opening before the “Trashin’ the Camp” musical number and the final cut was Clayton and and Tarzan fighting in the water before he died.
Backstage Disney (7:37): This featurette talks about how no actor could have ever moved like the animated Tarzan. They also develop a relationship with Tarzan and his jungle friends that were not in the books. It also mentions that the animators spent a lot of time in Uganda studying a family of gorillas.
The Characters of Tarzan
Creating Tarzan (4:04): The animators discuss how they gave Tarzan am X-Treme makeover. He swings through the jungle las if he’s skateboarding or snowboarding. He literally tree surfs.
Animating Tarzan (6:30): The lead Tarzan animator takes the viewer through the evolution of Tarzan’s transformation from pencil to animation. He said it was the hardest he had to animate because of the complexity of the human anatomy.
Creating Jane and Porter (2:58): The animators talk about how Jane is energetic and creative. They said Minnie Driver brought the character Jane to life with something extra — humor.
Deep Canvas Demonstration (5:06): A computer graphics artist takes the viewer through the process of animating in three dimensions.
Music and More
The Making of the Music (2:51): Phil Collins talks about his motivation to make the music of TARZAN both rhythmic and emotional. He takes on the “voice” of Kala, Turk and Tarzan. Each song was different and fresh.
Tarzan Goes International (2:24): Phil Collins also mentions that he had to record all the music in several different languages since Tarzan is such a well-known story. We heard him sing French, Spanish, Italian and German. This man is talented with a capital T.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Legend of the Neverbeast