Review Date:
Director: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima
Writer: Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White
Producers: Bonnie Arnold
Tony Goldwyn
Minnie Driver
Glenn Close
Rosie O’Donnell
Small child is abandoned in a jungle after his parents are killed by a tiger, and eventually brought up by a pack of gorillas. Once matured, some humans visit the island and attempt to lure the ape-man back to their civilization, and capture said gorillas.
Impeccably animated, this feature pulls you in with its incredible depiction of a labyrinthian jungle tainted in emerald, majestic waterfalls and island settings, a creatively scrawled Tarzan, and wonderful action sequences featuring our main wild man frenetically swinging from vine to vine, branch-surfing and roller-footing down limbs, and bellowing his way through many a physical confrontation. The story, on the other hand, is one that we are obviously all familiar with by now, and does little more to pull us in further than any of its previous incarnations. All Disney animated films generally take me over the top with a superior performance from either the bad guy in the film (Jaffar from ALADDIN (7/10)) or the goofy sidekick (Mushu from MULAN (7/10)). This film struck out on both counts, with a less than compelling wicked character and no standout crony to speak of.

Having said that, I still found myself interested throughout most of this picture because of its exquisite achievement in animation, with some sequences eerily skimming the lines to reality, and other jumpin’ jungle shots suggesting three-dimensionality at their core. Pretty incredible up on the big screen! If this was a live remake of the same story with the same plot-line and characters, I probably would’ve dismissed it as hackneyed and unimpressive in narration. But when you consider that it’s a Mickey Mouse Corp. feature starring many wondrous images and a familiar, yet oddly original (in respect to its highly visual context), story, it has to be appreciated on a much simpler playing field…that of a wide-eyed-child’s point of view. So I turn my head to its lack of overwhelming narrative and the scary Phil Collins tunes, and applaud its ingenuity in animation, musical numbers snub, fun action scenes and emotional effectiveness. Kids, of course, will adore it!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian