Tarzan (1999) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a series of twenty-four adventure novels that has since captivated the minds of readers and moviegoers for generations. That series is none other than the seminal classic Tarzan. People have been fascinated with such a unique character that the legend of Tarzan has been alive for more than a century (as of 2018). Disney saw the potential of adapting such a legendary story into an animated feature, and that film was perhaps the final installment of the “Disney Renaissance” during the 1990s. Tarzan is a wonderful family film because it is filled with action, adventure, and serves as a reminder about what it means to “be a man.”

A Toast

Tarzan is one of the most beautifully animated films that Disney has produced. The computer animation brings the jungles to life as Tarzan has memorable adventures in such an exciting setting. The depiction of Tarzan in this film is perhaps the most realistic depiction of the famous “ape man” because classic black-and-white adaptations of the adventure series displays actors with clean haircuts. Tarzan’s hair should be logically long since he does not have access to a barbershop! This particular adaptation also features one of the greatest Oscar-winning Disney songs of all time–“You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins. Collins thanked his family, including his daughter Lily, in his Oscar acceptance speech, and she is also currently a rising star herself (as of 2018). The love in this film is very genuine because of the romance between Tarzan and Jane as well as the love behind the scenes within the production team that produced such a beloved animated classic.


The “Disney Renaissance” of the 1990s was one of the most important periods for both Disney animation and the history of cinema itself. A unique feature about films from this pivotal era was that Disney was transitioning from dainty and delicate films to bold and audacious family entertainment. Tarzan is obviously nothing like the films that Walt Disney himself made, such as Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). Therefore, Tarzan is a great example of how a family film does not necessarily need to be docile in order to be compelling. The film itself provides a nice closure to the Twentieth Century as the cinematic world transitioned to the Twenty-First Century. Hopefully Disney will be able to produce similar films for years to come!

Tarzan (1999) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Tarzan swings through vines

Take a Drink: every time Clayton shoots his guns while poaching

Drink a Shot: every time Tarzan does his famously distinctive ululating yell

And Fix your Favorite Drink: as Phil Collins provides fantastic singing with memorable songs from such a fabulous Disney film

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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