I'm always looking for new movies to watch with my son. I don't want to watch the same movies over and over. I must have seen Cars about 50 times already. So when I found the Tarzan DVD on sale, and we had a long car ride down to the relatives for Christmas, I figured it was a good time to check out something new. I actually saw this in the theater when it came out in 1999, and remembered liking it for the most part, but I haven't seen it since.
Watching this reminded me how much I miss Disney's traditional hand-drawn films. There's a beauty that can't be captured by computer. It's very sad to think that it's gone forever. I hope that they decide to bring it back in the future.
Except for a couple of cheesy Phil Collins songs, and Rosie O'Donnell as an annoying comedy-sidekick, I think this is one of the better Disney films of the two decades. I read the Edgar Burroughs novel a few years ago, and from all the other Tarzan films I've seen, the core of this film is actually probably the truest to the original story. Thanks to animation, Tarzan moves like a gorilla, something the live-action films could never capture. His home life and love for the gorillas is much closer to the book.
Sure they go way off the track with some musical numbers and the over-the-top-action scenes, but at Tarzan's core, they kept it very close, and I appreciated that. The animation is gorgeous, the artists got the lushness of the jungle right; it doesn't look like a Hollywood back-lot full of ferns. Tarzan's battles with the jaguar and his escape with Jane from a group of monkeys are very exciting and well staged. Tony Goldwin does a good job of voicing Tarzan. And Minnie Driver has fun with the role of Jane.
My son had a good time with the movie, and he's already watched it again since this screening. It's not going to replace Cars, but it's a good alternative.