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Tarzan (1999)


aka "Disney's Tarzan"


Action / Animation

88 minutes

Directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima

Voice Cast:

Brian Blessed as Clayton
Glenn Close as Kala
Minnie Driver as Jane
Tony Goldwyn as Tarzan
Nigel Hawthorne as Professor Porter
Lance Henriksen as Kerchak
Wayne Knight as Tantor
Alex D. Linz as Young Tarzan
Rosie O'Donnell as Terk

The movie revolves around the life of Tarzan. Tarzan was found alone by Kala and raised by him since he was a young child. He has always thought that Kala was his family. When he rescues Jane Porter on an exploration, he discovers that he is human like her. Now he must decide who his real family is.

Following a storm at sea, a British couple and their baby must establish themselves on the coast of a jungle in Africa. They create a treehouse from the wreckage of their boat, while their son plays with a family of gorillas the family met on land. The parent gorillas, Kala and gorilla leader Kerchak, sadly lose their baby to Sabor, a leopardess. One night, Kala hears the baby human crying. Quickly she goes to his treehouse, only to discover that his parents have also been killed by Sabor. She rescues the child, and despite her mate Kerchak’s disapproval, raises the boy as her own. She names him Tarzan.

Tarzan grows up with the gorillas, becoming a strong young boy practiced in the ways of the jungle. However, he still knows that he is different, so he tries even harder to improve himself. He grows up more, turning into a robust and swift man. He even manages to kill Sabor with a spear, finally earning the respect of Kerchak and the rest of the gorilla troop.

One day, the peaceful life of the gorillas is interrupted by human explorers from England. Professor Porter comes on an expedition to study gorillas, and is accompanied by his daughter, Jane, and their guide, Clayton. Jane accidentally upsets a baby baboon, whose family then chases her. Tarzan sees the commotion, and swinging down from a tree, rescues her. He discovers that she is the same species as he is – human. She takes him back to her campsite, where Porter and Clayton find great interest in the jungle raised man. They think Tarzan is the missing link in their research, and want him to take them back to the rest of his gorilla family. Despite warnings by Kerchak to be cautious of the humans, Tarzan keeps returning to the campsite. Here he learns English, discovers what the human world is like, and falls in love with Jane. However, he still remains unwilling to bring the humans to the troop. This creates an internal conflict within Tarzan, for he wishes to remain loyal to the family that raised him, but also desires to be with his own kind. 

When returning to camp one day, Tarzan discovers that Jane and the two men are going back home to England. He asks Jane to stay with him, but she refuses. Clayton tricks Tarzan, telling him that Jane will stay longer if she is allowed to see the gorillas, so Tarzan finally agrees to take them. However, he makes sure that Kerchak is kept away while the humans visit. Porter and Jane enjoy interacting with the gorillas, but then Kerchak is suddenly seen behind the humans. He freezes, then attacks Clayton when he sees him pointing a gun at another gorilla. Tarzan holds down Kerchak until the humans escape. Tarzan releases the gorilla , then leaves the troop, feeling alienated. That night, Kala visits him in the treehouse where she found him in. She shows Tarzan his true past, and encourages him to leave with Jane and the others. He decides to leave the next morning, but tells Kala that no matter where his travels take him, she will always be his mother. 

The next morning as they all begin to board the ship, Clayton locks Tarzan, Jane, and Porter in the brig. Clayton reveals his intentions to sell the gorillas for profit. Tarzan, Jane, and Porter escape with help from some jungle friends, and rush back to the gorillas’ home. Together Kerchak and Tarzan battle against Clayton, while Jane and Porter free gorillas from cages. Clayton is killed when he falls from a tree and gets hanged in the vines. Kerchack is dying, and with his last breaths, he asks Tarzan for his forgiveness. He accepts the man as his own son, and appoints him as new leader of the pack. 

Jane and her father leave the following morning, saying farewell to Tarzan as they leave on a ship. Tarzan waves, but Jane is too upset to return the gesture. Seeing his daughter’s dismay, Porter encourages Jane to remain with the man she loves. Jane jumps excitedly into the water and swims to Tarzan, kissing him when she arrives on shore. Her father follows, and Tarzan, Jane, and Porter live happily together in the jungle.

Directors: Walt Disney
Actors: Glenn Close, Minnie Driver
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Matinee Classics - Tarzan starring Brian Blessed, Glenn Close, Minnie Driver, Tony Goldwyn, Nigel Hawthorne, Lance Henriksen, Wayne Knight, Alex D. Linz and Rosie O'

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