Directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima, Disney's 37th feature length animated film, Tarzan, was an innovated endeavor that took almost 4 years to create. It was released on June 18th, 1999 and featured the voice talents of Tony Goldwyn (Tarzan), Glenn Close (Kala), Minnie Driver (Jane), Rosie O'Donnell (Terk), Wayne Knight (Tantor), Brian Blessed (Clayton) and Nigel Hawthorne (Professor Porter). The music in this Disney animated film was used very differently than in other animated features. There is only one song that is sung only by a character and that is "Trashin' the Camp" sung by Terk. The rest of the music is sung by Phil Collins and a back-up chorus. The musical score was written by Mark Mancina. There was a new animation technique developed for this film and they call it "deep canvas." This uses a computer to make the objects on the screen appear to be in 3D. The camera is able to move 360 degrees around a character and/or an object. It was an amazing experience to watch. Tarzan is a film based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' story "Tarzan of the Apes." This film focuses mainly on Tarzan's origins in Africa.
|Tarzan's family is shipwrecked on the African Coastline|
|The treehouse his parents built|
|Tarzan's dead parents|
|Tarzan reaches for Kala to pick him up|
|Kala meets Tarzan|
|Sabor, the leopard, tries to kill Kala and Tarzan|
She arrives back at the group of gorillas and the first dialogue occurs here. The group of gorillas are relived to see Kala (Close) returning to them. A few other females with kids come over to her and Kala shows them the baby human that she's decided to name "Tarzan." The head male, Kerchak (Lance Henriksen) does not want Tarzan to stay with the group he demands that Kala take it back. Kala begs and pleads until he lets her keep it but unlike the baby gorilla they lost, he will not call Tarzan his son. That night his mother starts to sing him a lullaby as they go to sleep that Phil Collins finishes.
|Kala shows the other gorillas Tarzan|
|Tarzan and Terk, age 5|
|So Tarzan jumps off a cliff to go get an elephant hair|
|We meet Tantor just before Tarzan gets an elephant hair|
|Tarzan sees his reflection|
|Tarzan fights Sabor|
He and Terk start to wrestle and Tantor keeps telling them to stop. Then just as Tarzan gets Terk in a headlock he freezes sensing that there is something dangerous nearby. Terk has to yell at Tarzan repeatedly to get his attention and finally release her from his grasp. Then the leopard, Sabor, leaps into the group of gorillas and goes after Kerchak. Tarzan gets his spear and diverts the big cat's attention to him and they fight until Tarzan finally kills him. Tarzan lifts the leopard into the air above his head for all to see and gives them the famous Tarzan yell. Then he takes the body up to Kerchak. It looks like Kerchak is going to finally accept Tarzan into the group when they all hear a gunshot and Kerchak orders everyone to move away from the area of danger.
|Tarzan spies on the newcomers|
|Jane shows the baby baboon her sketch of him|
Porter and Clayton continue on to look at the other nests when a little baby baboon jumps down to the ground to get a piece of fruit. Tarzan watches as Jane pulls out her sketchbook and starts to draw the little monkey but when she looks up he's gone but then she feels him climb up her back and over her shoulder so she shows him the sketch. The baby monkey looks at it then grabs the whole book and runs off with it and Jane comes running after him to try and get it back. She finally tricks him out of it and he starts crying loudly.
|The baby baboon's family go after Jane|
|Tarzan saves Jane from the baboons|
|Listening to each others' hearts|
Then he gets the sketch from Jane and gives it to the baby monkey. Jane then tries to leave but gets stuck between 2 tree branches and says "It can't get any worse, can it?" It starts pouring down rain right as she finishes the sentence and then she says "Obviously it can." With Tarzan's help she manages to get unstuck. Then they are both on the same tree branch as Tarzan examines Jane and she tries to keep him away. After a lot of confusion, some involving Tarzan mimicking what Jane says, Tarzan tells Jane his name and Jane tells Tarzan her name. Then they hear a gunshot and Jane asks Tarzan to take her to her camp and off they go swinging through the trees.
We leave Tarzan and Jane and watch as Tantor, Terk and some other gorillas go searching for Tarzan. They come across the human's camp although the humans aren't there at the moment. The editing goes from cutting shots of different items back to Tantor's horrified face.
|Disney's Mrs. Potts in the camp|
During this we see the pots and dishes from Beauty and the Beast. The gorillas start playing around with all the interesting stuff that make interesting noises. Soon, after the addition of Tantor playing trumpet sounds using a gramophone horn they have a good beat and melody going and Terk starts to sing "Trashin' the Camp" which is really not a song of words but more of a song of sounds. She is occasionally joined by the others singing too. Cut to the other gorillas hearing the noise and heading towards it. Cut to Clayton and Porter looking for Jane who then turn and head back towards the noise. Back at the camp the animals are totally destroying everything and making a huge mess when Tarzan and Jane arrive. Jane stops and stares at the gorillas while Tarzan runs up to Terk and they wrestle a bit as Jane realizes that Tarzan has been raised by gorillas.
|Terk and Jane|
|Kerchak tells the gorillas to stay away from the humans|
Cut to Jane in the camp trying to explain to her dad and Clayton about Tarzan using a blackboard and chalk. Clayton scoffs at her but right when he's about to say that she really only just imagined Tarzan jumps down into the camp. Tarzan starts to imitate Clayton while Clayton tries to ask him where the gorillas are. It isn't working so Jane says "Mr. Clayton, I think I'll take it from here." Now insert montage under the song "Strangers Like Me" of Tarzan learning how to be human including language lessons.
|Tarzan learns to read|
|Jane learns to swing on vines|
|Tarzan shows Jane his world|
|Tarzan tries to get Jane to stay|
Tarzan tries to give the bouquet to Jane but she asks him to come with them to England but also tells him that he wouldn't be able to come back. Then Tarzan gets on one knee, offers Jane the bouquet which she accidentally knocks most of the flower petals off of and says "Jane must stay with Tarzan." She starts half heartedly to tell him reasons why she can't stay but Tarzan says "Jane... stay. Please." Jane says "I can't," and then runs away from him crying. Clayton comes over and insinuates that Jane would stay if Tarzan showed her the gorillas. Finally, Tarzan agrees and he takes them to their nesting area after having Terk and Tantor create a diversion and lead Kerchak away from the group.
Tarzan leads Jane, Porter and Clayton to the gorilla nesting area where they find Kala waiting for Tarzan. Tarzan tells Jane that Kala is his mother and tries to introduce them but Kala backs away from them, fearfully and into the jungle.
|Tarzan show Jane and Porter the gorillas|
|Tarzan's real family|
Kala finds him and finally shows him where she found him and that she isn't his biological mother. She just wants Tarzan to be happy and if he wants to go with Jane then he can. Still, she cries when he comes out dressed in his father's clothes indicating that he is leaving with Jane. He tells her "No matter where I go, you will always be my mother."
Cut to morning on the beach where Tarzan meets the other humans and they get into the row boat to ride in so they can get out to the big ship. A minute right after they're on their way, Tantor and Terk arrive on the beach calling out to Tarzan and Terk gets mad because he never said goodbye. After she angrily throws some rocks into the sea Tantor looks at her and says "I'm gonna miss him too."
Now back to Tarzan and the others whose rowboat has reached the big ship. When they climb aboard they are attacked and captured and thrown into the cargo area with the captain while Clayton and his men head out to capture all of the gorillas to take back to England and sell. Clayton makes sure that Tarzan knows it's his own fault for telling them and showing them where the gorillas were located before he leaves to attack them. Tarzan gives out a very loud yell of "No!" Which echoes out over the sea to the edge of the jungle were Terk and Tantor are. They hear it and deduce that Tarzan is in trouble but Terk doesn't want to go help him. She's still mad that she didn't get to say goodbye but Tantor knocks some sense into her and they go out to the boat and help release Tarzan from his prison. He immediately heads out to save his family.
|Clayton and his men attack the gorillas|
|Clayton accidentally hangs himself|
|Jane and Tarzan kissing|
|Swinging through the trees|
The film techniques in this movie included the "deep canvas" as I mentioned before which made the world look 3D and not flat. They used light in a much different way in this story than in others. In most movies light symbolizes safety and darkness danger but in Tarzan the opposite was true. In the darkness of the jungle the gorillas and Tarzan were safe but wherever light was there was danger. Another thing they did that stood out to me was right after the animal villain was killed the human one shows up and is wearing the same color as the leopard's coat. The music in this Disney was used in a way much different but just as effective as previous movies. The characters did not sing any of the songs except one. Most of the songs were background music accompanied by film montages. It was a very good technique and definitely help set the mood of the movie.
|Example of the "Deep canvas" technique|
I would definitely say you should go watch this movie. Mostly because of the new usage of music and to see the "deep canvas" technique but also because it tells a new story of Tarzan that the other movies made about him do not do. It shows his life growing up in the jungle with the gorillas instead of his travels in Europe and America. So yes, go see this movie!