Tarzan II

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Rating: G

Starring:
Harrison Chad as Tarzan (voice)
Brenda Grate as Terk (voice)
George Carlin as Zugor (voice)
Brad Garrett as Uto (voice)
Ron Perlman as Kago (voice)
Estelle Harris as Mama Gunda (voice)
Lance Henriksen as Kerchak (voice)
Harrison Fahn as Tantor (voice)
Glenn Close as Kala (voice)

Special Features:
Gorilla Grumble

Terk And Tantor’s Jungle Guide

Bringing the Legend to Life

Tiffany Evans Music Video

Tarzan Matter-Of-Facts

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Running Time: 72 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film is the sequel to the 1999 film Tarzan. The following is the description from the DVD cover:

“Experience the beginning of the legend with Disney’s Tarzan II, a hilarious, all-new, animated motion picture loaded with laughs, irresistible new songs by Phil Collins, and the inspired voice talent of Glenn Close, George Carlin, and Emmy Award winner Brad Garrett. Before he was King of the Jungle, Tarzan was an awkward young kid just trying to fit in. When one of his missteps puts his family in jeopardy, Tarzan decides they would be better off without him. His thrilling new journey brings him face to face with the mysterious Zugor, the most powerful force in the land. Together, Tarzan and Zugor discover that being different is not a weakness and that friends and family are the greatest strength of all.

This action-packed adventure is sure to delight the entire family. Get ready to go ape over Disney’s wild, new Tarzan II.”

Tarzan II is rated G.

The Movie:
I really enjoyed the first Tarzan film. I thought it had great music by Phil Collins, beautiful animation, and a fun story for both adults and children. Unfortunately, Tarzan II pales in comparison to its predecessor. The songs by Phil Collins are just OK, the animation is not groundbreaking, and the story is aimed more at children than wider audiences. While it’s great fun for kids, adults won’t get as much out of it.

This story focuses on Tarzan’s early years which were glossed over in the theatrical film. That time period is great territory for establishing new adventures about the maturing superhero. Tarzan II introduces a new group of gorillas. The dysfunctional family is led by Estelle Harris (George’s mom on Seinfeld) as Mama Gunda. Any time you need a loud and obnoxious mother figure, Harris certainly fits the bill. Playing the brothers are Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Uto and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Kago. Uto is just plain stupid while Kago has violent tendencies. The three act as the heavies in the story and provide a lot of comic relief, especially in a Home Alone kind of sequence towards the end. Also added to the cast is George Carlin as Zugor, a grouchy old gorilla who was also cast out of his family. He helps Tarzan try to discover what he really is. Despite the adult appeal of Carlin, he doesn’t really do anything in this role that makes him stand out. To be honest, anyone could have played Zugor and done just as good a job. Returning from the original film are Lance Henriksen as Kerchak and Glenn Close as Kala.

There are only two new songs by Phil Collins. One is “Leaving Home” where Tarzan ditches his gorilla family. It’s pretty good, but nowhere near as entertaining as his earlier work. The same goes for the song “Who Am I”. They’re not bad songs, but when “Son Of Man” is reprised in the movie it reminds you just how good Collins’ earlier work was.

The animation isn’t much better than that in the Tarzan TV series. They do a little more tree surfing, but it’s not nearly as elaborate as that in the movie.

Overall, Tarzan II is a great film for kids, but I think adults and hardcore Tarzan fans will find it to be a step down from its predecessor.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:

Gorilla Grumble – In this game, you must copy the pattern that Uto and Kago hit each other. (Just like the old Simon games.) It progressively gets more difficult, but my kids really enjoyed it.

Terk And Tantor’s Jungle Guide – In this feature you can learn more about the real life animals featured in the film. Video clips of animal footage are shown while Terk and Tantor ham it up.

Bringing the Legend to Life – This is the ‘making of’ feature for the DVD. They interview the cast and crew and show footage of the stars recording dialogue.

Tiffany Evans Music Video – Disney’s pint sized starlet with a surprisingly adult voice sings her pop version of “Who Am I?”. It’s a pretty good rendition of the Phil Collins song and my kids liked it quite a bit.

Tarzan Matter-Of-Facts – With this option turned on, you can watch Tarzan with little factoids that pop up. Most of them are obvious and not really informative. They cover a lot of facts about the real life animals as well as info on the language Edgar Rice Burroughs created for the apes.

The Bottom Line:
While Tarzan II isn’t as good as the first film, it should entertain kids quite a bit. Adults may just want to revisit the original.

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