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Tarzan (SE)
DVD disk
Nov 3, 2005 By: Matt Hosack
Tarzan (SE) order
Director:
Chris Buck & Kevin Lima

Actors:
Tony Goldwyn
Minnie Driver
Glenn Close

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic tale of a man raised by gorillas reaches new heights (or lows) as a Disney animated feature. The film features a mesh of eye candy, formulaic story, sub-par voice acting, and Phil Collins!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Disney is one of the biggest paradoxes in the entertainment business. The company was built on solid animated features and a definitive vision. A good number of Disney’s features are truly inspired and timeless works of art. On the flip side, everything else they do pisses me off. Eisner be damned! All of this to leads up to 1999’s feature, TARZAN. I suppose, on paper this looked like a decent enough venture with a classic story, unique animation opportunities, and money to be made. In the end, I think they hit enough beats to consider this good but I still find the film to be overly formulaic. You can agree to disagree that voice actors are a big part of animated features these days; so despite having Glenn Close, Lance Henriksen, and Brian Blessed, none of the voice acting did anything for me.

The animation is definitely impressive showcasing Disney’s true talents combining cell animation with subtle CG effects. Another avenue for these features is the soundtrack and Phil Collins’ score is pretty unforgettable. No doubt you’ve heard “You’ll Be In My Heart” (the film’s theme) as well as “Trashin’ the Camp.” This was pretty unique. Seriously, I imagine some stoner working at Disney and coming up with Phil Collins doing an entire soundtrack for TARZAN! How do you connect the two? It somehow works though. At the end of the day, TARZAN works as a cookie cutter Disney entry that remains somewhere between inspired and sub-standard.
THE EXTRAS
TARZAN comes in a bright cardboard slipcase. If I had a choice, I much prefer the original Disney Collector’s DVD art, which showcased the gritty art style. But, I’m nitpicking. As for different features from the original DVD release, not much has changed other than some added music videos.

Audio Commentary with Bonnie Arnold (Producer), and directors Chris Buck and Kevin Lima: This trio tries to keep things fun with over-exaggerated remarks for those few kids that would dare the audio commentary. They talk about the fundamentals of animation and the process of getting the feature off the ground. Those interested in animation will want to check this out.

Deleted Scenes:

Introduction: The film’s producer nicely explains what a deleted scene is and TELLS you that you will enjoy them.

Alternate Opening: You know what, I did enjoy these. This is a much better opening for the film. It’s extremely dark, bloody, almost B horror style.

Terk Finds The Human’s Camp: I’m pretty lukewarm on this one. While it’s good for a chuckle, it didn’t need to be in the film.

Riverboat Fight: Now this is a finale! Disney should do this Michael Bay-like style more often. Tons of guns, explosions, and ravenous alligators!

“You’ll Be In My Heart” Music Video: What can I say, other than this video rocks – if you like Phil Collins that is!

“Strangers Like Me” Music Video: Yet another solid Phil Collins effort. The whole hand thing is a bit creepy though.

Everlife Music Video: Two words: Teenage girls.

“Trashin’ The Camp” Studio Session with Phil Collins and ‘N Sync: What this feature supplies is an affirmation that the ‘N Sync crew were serious (gay) dorks.

Terk’s Tree Surfing Challenge: Someone thinks that kids like to play with the directional remotes rather than a GameCube.

DisneyPedia: Living In The Jungle: This brief National Geographic wannabe is a brief look at African animals. Fun for the kids.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
For a Disney feature, you could do a lot worse than TARZAN. The shaky voice acting and formulaic storyline really keep it from being a gem. Still, the Phil Collins soundtrack is undeniable as is the beautiful animation. Marked by a terrible aspect ration and ho-hum features, this DVD is NOT worth the double dip.
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