Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Movie Review: Tarzan

So I got to see an advance screening of this last night, and all I can say is "Wow!"

Actually, that's not all I can say, because that would be a very short review.

This is easily the best Disney animated "classic" since Aladdin. A great, personal story with strong characters and amazingly beautiful visuals (I caught myself actually saying "wow" at some points during the film).

Everyone knows the story of Tarzan -- orphaned baby raised by apes, meets Jane, yells, etc. -- but this is the most touchingly human version I've seen. The connection between Tarzan and his ape-mother is so much deeper than past Disney protagonists (e.g. Belle and her dad, Ariel and Tritan, Simba and Mufasa, etc), and the attraction between him and Jane so tangible, it's just, well, shucks, it's just a good freakin' movie.

A new musical technique here has Phil Collins' songs playing in the background, as opposed to the characters bursting into song. And it works. Very well. The score, by Mark Mancina (Speed, Bad Boys) is also wonderful.

For anyone who has given up hope that Disney can make good animated movies (and who hasn't after Pocahontas?), please do yourself a favor and see this movie.