With the musical all but extinct as a genre, or buried deep in
the jungle at best, itís been left to these Disney
animations to carry on the cinematic tradition of marrying
cheerful, well-crafted songs with richly exuberant visual
Fortunately, while these animated adventures are aimed
predominantly at audiences of a tender age, Disney generally
avoids the temptation of hiring young parvenu popsters with more
trend than talent to provide the tunes.
The recent rage for jungle jaunts seems to be the doyens of
British pop, with Phil Collins taking on Elton Johnís Lion
King legacy with this production of Tarzan. Itís the perfect
choice. Handing Collins a brief to evoke the deep rhythm of the
jungle was like handing a banana to an ape; he was always going
to know what to do with it. And the result is exactly what
youíd expect: nothing too inventive but lots of detailed,
playful percussion driving the Collins flair for strong,
memorable melody. Itís all neatly glued with mature
musicianship and the expected Genesis trademarks Ė
especially, in the powerful anthem Two Worlds (which could
definitely pass as the work of Colllinsí Genesis
co-conspirator, Peter Gabriel).
The second half of the CD is devoted to the richly
entertaining Mark Mancina score, which is by the book, but
sublimely executed. Mancina also had a hand in the arrangement
and production of Collinsís songs and Collins plays drums on
the orchestral score so thereís a tight and pleasing
uniformity to the entire soundtrack.
Perhaps the most fun is Collinsís Trashiní the Camp,
a tongue-in-cheek a-cappella romp garnished with mischievous
miscellaneous percussion (including elephant trumpet!) and the
final reprise of Two Worlds Finale, which is bound to have even
the most urbane sophisticates swinging from their chandeliers.