A man raised by gorillas encounters other humans for the
first time, and must choose between his people and his family.
Directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima
Written by Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White
Starring Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close,
Lance Henriksen, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorne,
Rosie O'Donnell, Wayne Knight
Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Oscar Wins - Best Original Song (You'll Be In My Heart)
Tarzan was really the last tentpole of Disney's 90's run that I had left to watch. I had seen it once or twice when I was a kid, but nothing really clicked at the time. Watching it again in my 20's really shines a new light on an underrated masterpiece. It was the one that closed out the best string of hits Disney ever made, and they really committed to it. While the animation is stunning and the story is engaging, it's Phil Collins's unbelievable soundtrack that finally made me connect with this movie. There's a reason "You'll Be In My Heart" won Oscar gold. It's a heartwarming, catchy tune that really just defines the entire movie.
Our hero is Tarzan (Goldwyn), a man raised by gorillas after his parents were killed by a leopard. His adoptive mother Kala (Close) considers him to be her son, but her partner, the pack leader Kerchak (Henriksen) sees Tarzan as an outsider. One day, humans arrive in the jungle and encounter Tarzan, who realizes he's not a gorilla, but a human being. He falls in love with Jane (Driver), a kindhearted explorer, and must save his gorilla family from the sadistic poacher Clayton (Blessed). It's a simple enough story that does justice to the iconic literary character of Tarzan, but brings enough Disney magic to justify this version's existence.
Tarzan may just boast the best soundtrack of the 90's classics, apart from maybe The Lion King. Apart from that, the film is a wonderful family film that features a host of great characters and some truly stellar animation that combines hand-drawn, traditional animation with CGI, which was quickly becoming the norm. Tarzan works as a great sendoff for the 90's run, and it stands on equal footing with the rest of those incredible movies.