Tarzan swings through the iridescent jungle swiftly, ending Disney’s Renaissance era with wild exuberance. Two worlds, one family. An innocent little boy, approximately four-years old, was escorted for the first time to a cinema complex. Politely requesting a bucket of sweet polystyrene popcorn, he walked into the dimly lit auditorium scavenging for an appropriate seat that would maximise his film experience. The trailers initiated, suppressing the inner excitement of the full feature that was yet to commence. Then, it happened. The Disney logo emerged. It was time. A family surviving a shipwreck, colonising an uncharted jungle whilst the emphatic voice of Phil Collins powered the narrative. A leopard savaging a baby gorilla, then brutally slaying the English couple, leaving only their infant son crying. His sorrowful echoes reverberating through the rainforest, until a female gorilla acquires him. Adopting a human child. Tarzan. The four-year old, naive to the cruelty of nature, was transfixed by the colourful animation. The plethora of emotions. That pure Disney magic. It was the commencement of a new-founding love for cinema. An adoration he could never shake off again. Yes, that four-year old, was me. Subjectively speaking, Tarzan is more than just another Disney classic from their animated library. Even more than just an adaptation of Burroughs’ epic. It was a trigger. A sweeping adventure that upheld every emotional resonance possible. The brooding romance between explorer Jane and fully-adolescent Tarzan. Thematically presenting ostracism through two interconnected species, conveying the “Two Worlds, One Family” conflict within Tarzan. Who we are raised to be and who we are truly meant to become. Comedic buoyancy through the supporting characters of Terk and Tantor, supplied with their own catchy rhythms. Dark antagonisms through Clayton’s treacherous hunting techniques, viewing gorillas as merchantable assets. An exploration into the vivacious rainforests of Africa. All culminating to form a wonderfully effervescent coming-of-age tale. One of Disney’s most overlooked, for sure. The art direction is the strongest of the Renaissance period, combining traditional hand-drawn animation with pioneering three-dimensional backgrounds. Often incorporating visual montages to steer the narrative into the intended direction. Watercolour backdrops to enhance the naturalistic environment. Bright character designs to contrast the darkened background. Sublimely directed by Lima and Buck. Then, Phil Collins just being the legendary musician that he is, providing the tale with apathy and soul. The “Two Worlds” anthem, “You’ll be in my Heart” and “Strangers Like Me”. Mancina’s score actively preventing the characters from singing and turning into another unnecessary musical. As I said, subjectively I refuse to liken Tarzan to just another animation from the “House of Mouse”. It was my first cinema endeavour after all. However, objectively, there are narrative stumbles. It’s the breeziest story, condensing an epic plot into less than ninety minutes. The most noticeable consequence of this, is the rushed editing on certain segments. The introductory two minutes is a whirlwind of emotional storytelling that, unfortunately, holds minimal foundations. The montages of Tarzan growing up also lacked narrative heft, providing nothing more than visual delights. Goldwyn, Close and O’Donnell had insufficient power within their voice roles. Although Driver and Blessed were delightful. And, as much as I adore the song, the repetitious reprises of “Two Worlds” throughout minimised lyrical diversity. The entire story is told faster than a shotgun firing, but I refuse to shake my undying adoration for this feature. Tarzan was the film that made me the cinephile that I am today. If I hadn’t received that euphoric pleasure from the cinema back in ‘99, well, these amateur reviews probably would never have been written. Ever. So for that, Tarzan and Disney have my eternal gratitude.
'Tarzan' is one of those films that I had always assumed I had seen, though evidently I hadn't and this was my first time watching. It's a cracker! Phil Collins' music is tremendous, it truly adds a lot to the film - "Son of Man", which I already knew about, is a great song which works very well with the montage. Some of the editing is rather sharp, while the animation is pleasing on the eye. Tony Goldwyn (Tarzan) and Minnie Driver (Jane) suit their respective roles nicely, as do Glenn Close (Kala) and Brian Blessed (Clayton). Rosie O'Donnell is the one I enjoyed most, as she portrays Terk - which isn't really a massive character, yet O'Donnell makes her memorable. It does feature things you've seen from earlier jungle based films, like 1967's 'The Jungle Book' and, as expected yet still amusingly, 1997's 'George of the Jungle'. The early scenes in-particular, which rely firmly on Collins' music - from the midway point it's more level, whilst also taking its own route with this type of story. I'm interested to find out where the two follow-up films go.
**A Disney production that promised much more than it delivered.** Like any child born in the last few decades, I lived with Disney movies as a child. However, for some reason I don't remember, I was never attracted to this movie and I ended up never seeing it until today. Having seen it, I am really unimpressed. The biggest problem I felt in this film is the poverty and lack of inspiration of the script, which is a loose adaptation of the original story, written by Edgar Rice Burrough. The characters aren't the best designed, there are a lot of annoying characters around here (Jane's father, the gorillas, and particularly Terk and Tantor, a very unhappy side character duo) and even Tarzan is poorly designed and uninteresting. The prevailing feeling is that the writing team didn't know what to do with the task at hand and improvised something. To make matters worse, there are a lot of logic problems in this movie. For example, there is no exact notion of time that passes, so we are left with the idea that Tarzan learned the first human words in an almost instantaneous way. Another thing that doesn't make a lot of sense is the way Tarzan himself doesn't recognize the physical differences between himself and the gorillas he lives with, as well as the immediate similarities between himself and Jane. At some point, he will have seen his own reflection, will he not? I don't mean to say that the film is bad… but the truth is that I feel that Disney has already given us much better and more interesting work. Overall, I think the voice cast didn't do a bad job, with everyone involved doing their best and doing everything that was asked to the best of their ability. Personally, I didn't really like some of the options. Tony Goldwin, for example, voiced the film's central character in a relatively mediocre way, but his voice has nothing particular or charismatic about it (well, the character has been stripped of any charisma). For me, it was Glenn Close who stood out the most, but with very little to say, and Rosie O'Donnell is the one who pissed me off the most, with a very unpleasant voice. The strong point of the film is the elaborate visuals and the animation, very well executed thanks to the high quality CGI. I'm not sure, but perhaps this was one of the first films by the studio to use computer animation on a more regular basis. What is certain is that the look of the film is exquisite, it is a little different when compared to the older films of the mid-decade. And if it is a fact that Disney films have, in general, a very particular attention to the soundtrack and the songs, this film maintains that characteristic, having hired Phil Collins to write and sing several songs. Unfortunately, and even though the film won the Oscar for Best Song for “You'll be in my Heart”, I didn't really like any of them and I find the film's sound particularly bad.
American servicemen are still being held captive in Vietnam and it's up to one man to bring them home in this blistering, fast-paced action/adventure starring martial arts superstar Chuck Norris.Following a daring escape from a Vietnamese POW camp, Special Forces Colonel James Braddock (Norris) is on a mission to locate and save remaining MIAs.
Movie Star Rating : 5.8 Read More
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Movie Star Rating : 6.7 Read More
Littlefoot and his young friends Cera, Ducky and Spike are being harassed by a group of older dinosaurs led by Hyp. When a meteorite strikes nearby, it causes a drought. The resulting scarcity of resources creates animosity among the different species in the Great Valley. Littlefoot and his crew resolve to venture forth to find a solution - as does Hyp and his gang. Will the groups learn to cooperate, or will their rivalry destroy them?
Movie Star Rating : 6.2 Read More
Twins separated at birth, Camryn and Alex meet by chance for the first time on their 21st birthday and discover they're witches with the power to save their homeland of Coventry from the evil that threatens it. But when Camryn leaves Alex to face the darkness alone, will Coventry be doomed? Or will the sisters multiply their magic by standing together?
Movie Star Rating : 6.8 Read More
When heavy rains create a mysterious "new water", Littlefoot sets off to explore the Great Valley and quickly becomes friends with Mo, a fun-loving dolphin-like creature, who has been isolated from his pod by the weather. When Littlefoot and friends get separated from their parents because of an Earthshake, they help Mo get back home to the Big Water, while avoiding a hungry "Sharptooth Swimmer".
Movie Star Rating : 6.2 Read More
When the dinosaur families get trapped in a valley by an ice storm, one family of "spike tail" dinosaurs volunteers to leave since they consume more food than the others. Meanwhile, the young dinos and a new adult dinosaur named Mr. Thicknose, head out to bring back their friend Spike, who has left his friends to be with members of his own species.
Movie Star Rating : 6 Read More
When a Spanish Jesuit goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region, a slave hunter is converted and joins his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors.
Movie Star Rating : 7.4 Read More
Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog are best pals and the unsung heroes of the African savanna. This prequel to the smash Disney animated adventure takes you back - way back - before Simba's adventure began. You'll find out all about Timon and Pumbaa and tag along as they search for the perfect home and attempt to raise a rambunctious lion cub.
Movie Star Rating : 6.6 Read More
The Wind in the Willows: Concise version of Kenneth Grahame's story of the same name. J. Thaddeus Toad, owner of Toad Hall, is prone to fads, such as the newfangled motor car. This desire for the very latest lands him in much trouble with the wrong crowd, and it is up to his friends, Mole, Rat and Badger to save him from himself. - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Retelling of Washington Irving's story set in a tiny New England town. Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster, falls for the town beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, and the town Bully Brom Bones decides that he is a little too successful and needs "convincing" that Katrina is not for him.
Movie Star Rating : 6.5 Read More
As a newly crowned princess, Cinderella quickly learns that life at the Palace - and her royal responsibilities - are more challenging than she had imagined. In three heartwarming tales, Cinderella calls on her animal friends and her Fairy Godmother to help as she brings her own grace and charm to her regal role and discovers that being true to yourself is the best way to make your dreams come true.
Movie Star Rating : 6.1 Read More
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