top of page


The final film in the Disney Renaissance era is Tarzan.  Another great film based on a classic book.  The book Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a 1912 novel about a boy that is raised by apes.  The film is a great ending to one of the greatest eras of Disney films.  Like with other films around the same time, it was merchandised like crazy, but very little of it stuck.  You might see a character in the parks now and then.  But they missed the boat on big things for the IP.  They could have re-themed the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  Or they could have integrated Tarzan into the Animal Kingdom.  But today, Tarzan is mostly unrepresented with Disney.


At this point Disney movies had an expectation.  Instead of getting a bunch of publicity for the stars and musicians in the film it started to feel more like a big deal for the actors and musicians.  This type of prestige is something that Disney attempted to lean on for a few films afterwards before the studio started to pull back on spending.


The story to Tarzan is interesting even if it doesn’t fall from The Jungle Book.  Tarzan was a more modern Disney film than The Jungle Book and in so there is a good love story, some actual social issues, and a little bit of modern morals with taking care of nature.  It unfolds well and the evil colonials feel historical enough that it doesn’t feel like they are preaching at the audience.


The characters are great with Tarzan being very likable and relatable.  Watching his interactions with the Apes as he discovers his humanity is interesting.  And of course, Jane and her father are great in their comedic roles.  The villain is a bit over the top especially in his vengeance, but it is way better than the early Disney villains who seemed to be villains for stupid reasons.


The animation is very stylized.  This I feel started with Mulan and will remain for a while.  The characters are very recognizable to this specific film.  Great background art as well.


The music is very good, but lacks the classic Disney interaction.  It feels much more like any other movie with some scenes that have a background song written for the Top 40 charts.  Phil Collins does the main song and it is very good, but doesn’t feel like a Disney song.


Overall, this one is a good movie.  But it lacks that Disney magic.  It is likely a top 3 movie in the canon if we are only talking about quality of film, but when you consider the Disney magic and how much it brings the nostalgia and how it is included in the parks….   It falls a bit.


Run Time – 88 Minutes

72nd Academy Awards – 1 Nomination – 1 Wins

Best Original Song – “You’ll Be in My Heart” - Win

Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality

1. Beauty and the Beast 9-29-1991

2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 6-21-1996

3. Lady and the Tramp 6-22-1955

4. Aladdin 11-25-1992

5. Tarzan 6-18-1999

6. Mulan 6-19-1998

7. Peter Pan 2-5-1953

8. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 3-11-1977

9. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1-25-1961

10. The Lion King 6-15-1994

11. Hercules 6-13-1997

12. Dumbo 10-23-1941

13. The Fox and the Hound 7-10-1981

14. Oliver and Company 11-18-1988

15. Cinderella 2-15-1950

16. The Little Mermaid 11-17-1989

17. Pinocchio 2-7-1940

18. Sleeping Beauty 1-29-1959

19. The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 10-5-1949

20. The Jungle Book 10-18-1967

21. The Great Mouse Detective 7-2-1986

22. Robin Hood 11-8-1973

23. The Rescuers Down Under 11-16-1990

24. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946

25. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947

26. The Aristocats 12-11-1970

27. Pocahontas 6-23-1995

28. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937

29. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942

30. The Sword in the Stone 12-25-1963

31. The Rescuers 6-22-1977

32. Alice in Wonderland 7-26-1951

33. The Black Cauldron 7-24-1985

34. Melody Time 5-27-1948

35. Bambi 8-13-1942

36. Fantasia 11-13-1940

37. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944


Recent Posts
bottom of page