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Click above to purchase "Tarzan" at amazon.com

Tarzan

review by Zach B.

Rated G

Studio: Disney

Running Time: 88 Minutes

With the voices of Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Rosie O'Donnell, Nigel Hawthorne, Wayne Knight

Based on "Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Written by Tab Murphy and Bob Tzudiker & Noni White

Directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Read Along, Trivia Game, Phil Collins Music Video, NSYNC Music Video, Sneak Previews, DVD-ROM

Specs: Digital Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer (Aspect Ratio 1:66:1), 5.0 Dolby Digital in English, Spanish and French, Chapter Search (36 Chapters), English and Spanish Subtitles, THX Certified

In the summer of 99, Disney hit box office gold once again with their newest animated feature, Tarzan, based on the classic story by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Past summers, Disney did struggle a little with their animated features, they only made 100 million or a little bit over that sum. But with great animation, catchy music by Phil Collins and good voice acting, Disney did sort of redeem themselves, Tarzan made over 170 million at the box office. The film was also critically praised. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the film, but I did find it lacking in some areas. I thought some characters needed a little more development, and I saw ways the story could have been a little bit more expanded. But my biggest complaint was that there could have been more conflict between two central characters: Tarzan and his ape father Kerchak.

Anywho, the story of Tarzan begins when two parents and a baby get off a burning boat wreck, and settle down in an African jungle. But a mean animal by the name of Sabor kills the baby's parents, as well as the young daughter of two ape parents. The mother ape parent, Kala, finds the baby, who is all alone, and is adopted into their ape tribe, but still not excepted by her husband, Kerchak. Yet soon it all clashes together when a few years later humans arrive in the jungle, who Tarzan makes friends with. That includes Jane and her father. But soon enough, Tarzan suffers an identity crisis. Who is he? What is he feeling? And with a ruthless villian named Clayton, who is a threat to his family, it's time for Tarzan to find his place.

The lesson of family and being who you are in Tarzan is very good, and like all Disney movies, all the values and morals are good. Though I did point out the parts I did dislike about the film earlier, there is still lots to like about it. The voice acting is very good, and the animation is Disney's best yet. With some parts created with the help of computers, there are some great angles and shots are breathtaking to look at. The music is great and I must say catchy. All the songs were written by Phil Collins, and, he was awarded an Oscar® for the song "You'll Be in my Heart". Mark Mancia's score is very nice, but not up to par with other Disney features like "The Lion King", but it does work on many levels and fits perfectly into the film. It is better then some of their recent features though, but either how, I really did enjoy it.

Tarzan is great family fare, and if you are the least bit interested in it and have not seen it, it is worth checking out.

Simply put: Perfect. This is another great reference disc. No scratches or artifacts whatsoever, all the colors and detail are vibrant and perfect. It's a marvel to look at and it's a digtial transfer too, plus it's anamorphic. Still, I did notice some slight pixelation during the "Trashing the Camp" scene, which is about halfway through the movie. But I believe this was the layer change, and only occurs for a second. Truly a top-notch transfer, all in the ratio of 1:66:1. It's THX too. WOOHOO!

The Dolby Digital 5.0 mix is very nice, and it is needed. The chirps of the birds, the crashes, the various noises, without a good mix it's hard to watch the movie. But thankfully, it is a nice sound mix. Dialogue is clear too, and things are loud and ear-crackling. But for some reason, something feels missing in this mix, but I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps the lack of the .1 LFE. You may have heard there were some problems with early discs, that the sound was defected, so make sure you get a good version!

Go with the Collector's Edition if you like features... here, you'll find some Sneak Previews of upcoming Disney feaures and such.

Tarzan Read-Along, basically a storybook which you can read yourself or have read to you. For the kids, basically. There is also a somewhat hard Trivia Game, Disney seems to be including these in all their animated discs now. And just for the record, I scored 13 out of 15 the first time I played.

The Phil Collins Music Video is here, as well as some Behind The Scenes Footage of him and teen pop group NSYNC (ech). Finally, there are some DVD-ROM features.

If you don't like extras, then this is the version for you. While supplements are lacking, the picture and audio are spellbinding. Still, this is a great deal. You can score two wonderful movies in the same package for a retail of forty dollars. Online you can probably get them for cheaper. These movies deserve to be in your DVD collection, so just get them!

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(5/5)

(4.5/5)

(2/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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