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TARZAN

SYNOPSIS:
A shipwreck leaves a family struggling ashore on a remote African coast, and soon a predator has killed the adults, as the baby sleeps in its crib in a tree house. A gentle and wise female gorilla, Kala (Glenn Close), finds the baby and adopts it. Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) is reluctantly accepted by the ruling male, Kerchak (Lance Henriksen) and grows up among the large gorilla clan, hardly concerned that he is different, but not always trouble free. When Prof. Porter (Nigel Hawthorne) and his daughter Jane (Minnie Driver) come to study gorillas, Tarzan comes face to face with his own species – some of whom, like the trigger-happy and deceitful Clayton (Brian Blessed) are less than admirable, but some of whom, like Jane, are eminently admirable. The biggest problem is Clayton’s defection to poachers who want to capture the gorillas for cash back home, and Kerchak’s warnings become prophesies as the plundering criminals endanger the entire clan, giving Tarzan some very difficult choices.

"A superb opening sequence uncluttered by credits and invigorated by a thumping soundtrack that simulates the heartbeat of an Africa of our fantasies, rapidly establishes the film’s mood and feel. It’s as economical as is the rest of this masterwork from what is still the greatest animation studio in the world. Economy is achieved with image and music propellants, yet it is an epic adventure story, almost as imagination-prodding as the original literature on which it’s based. Of its genre and kind, it is a classic that meets all the expectations. The story establishment of how Tarzan came to be where he was and the first major action sequence are breathtaking – and will have fans returning to see it again. Throughout the film, the notion of animation is stretched to its furthest capabilities, so that even the most frantic chase scenes are extraordinarily detailed. What is effortless in nature, such as a wave washing up on a shore, is a challenge of extreme proportions in animation – and this film comes up with the goods. It even has a spectacular waterfall scene as background for the end credits! Phil Collins’ songwriting and singing contribution is of great value, and Marc Mancina’s score is magnificent; in fact, there are moments when you may feel you are watching Gorillas in the Musical. Of course, all the gorillas ape human characteristics, overlayed on a few genuine gorilla personality traits, but this not only serves the emotional, dramatic and storytelling needs of the film, it also helps with much of the humour, which abounds. The editing is inspired in this Tarzan, a great story well told in a new medium; the questions of social conditioning and belonging, the issues about destruction of wildlife and our humanistic values are all preserved, albeit filtered through the eyes of American society. But then that’s what we ask of our own filmmakers. "
Andrew L. Urban

"Laugh, cry and be amazed, as the magic of Disney sweeps you into the wonderful world of Tarzan, where your imagination is the only limitation. It's an extraordinary world that showcases the artform of storytelling to music, and the worlds of humans and animals collide in a happy encounter of fancies. Innovative, imaginative and delightfully entertaining, Tarzan boasts superb animation, with detailed faces and expressions that Disney has perfected. The script is economical – the film is a happy marriage of images, music and words. From the talented pen of Phil Collins comes a collection of terrific tunes – the kind you sort of hum along to, and inadvertently tap your toe without even realising it. The lyrics are poignant with a strong sense of family and belonging. While there have been many versions of Tarzan, none are more credible and believable than this one. Animation is the perfect medium for such a story; what better way can we embrace the development from dimpled baby to muscular loin-cloth toting hunk who calls a big ape his mother? Visually exquisite, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the myriads of intricate details in one viewing. Tarzan will have you going back for more. Effective juxtapositioning of humans and apes make this a story to which we can easily relate, with human responses and reactions throughout. I especially liked the musical segment that begins with the rhythm from the tapping of an old fashioned typewriter and subsequently evolves into a full-on mad hatter's tea party, complete with elephant trumpeting enthusiastically on a megaphone. Timeless in its appeal, Tarzan is enchanting family entertainment, rich in textures, warm in emotions and wicked in its fun."
Louise Keller

"It would be to fair to say, unreservedly, that with this animated Tarzan, Disney has swung back into action. This is a stunning film on every level, an energetic, invigorating, colourful adventure romp that reminds one of classic Disney animation. Technically, it's a virtuoso production in every way, incorporating depth and movement that are truly remarkable and exquisitely detailed. There are sequences featuring aerial shots that have never been captured so fluidly in an animated film. Colour here is used with breathtaking realism, so visually, Tarzan is superb. Vocal talents once again are used creatively, rather than for name value. Tony Goldwyn is the perfect Tarzan, while Minnie Driver is a delight as his Jane. and Rosie O'Donnell shines as Tarzan's childhood buddy Terkoz. Most of the film involves a variety of African animals, and each of these characters is beautifully drawn. Featuring a strong soundtrack by Phil Collins, Tarzan is a very special film, one that explores the nature of belonging and finding oneself. It's a beautifully detailed and remarkable work, as well as an exhilarating piece of family entertainment."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

TARZAN CHRONICLES

TARZAN (G)
(US)

VOICES OF: Tony Goldwyn, Nigel Hawthorne, Glenn Close, Minnie Driver, Rosie O'Donnell, Alex D. Linz

DIRECTORS: Chris Buck and Kevin Lima

PRODUCER: Bonnie Arnold

SCRIPT: Tab Murphy and Bob Tzudiker & Noni White

EDITOR: Gregory Perler

ART DIRECTOR: Daniel St Pierre

SONGS: Phil Collins

MUSIC: Mark Mancina

SUPERVISING ANIMATORS:

Tarzan – Glen Keane

Jane – Ken Stuart Duncan

Kala – Russ Edmonds

Young & Baby tarzan – John Ripa

Clayton – Randy haycock

Porter – David Burgess

Terchak – Bruce W. Smith

(PLUS A TEAM OF ANOTHER 600 OR SO)

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: February 23, 2000

RRP: $24.95







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