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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Tarzan

Starring: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver
Director: Chris Buck
Rated: G
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: June 1999
Genres: Animation, Kids

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Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

"Tarzan" is the best animated adventure since "The Lion King"! Not only does it have family drama, laughter, love, and five new songs by Phil Collins, but it offers young boys a viable role model for the emotional conflicts of adolescence. The story begins as a shipwrecked infant is orphaned in Africa when his parents are devoured by a leopard. Despite the initial reluctance of her mate, he is adopted by a loving female gorilla, Kala (voiced by Glenn Close), who has herself lost a child. As Tarzan matures into a young man (Tony Goldwyn) with the instincts and athletic prowess of a jungle animal, his idyllic habitat is invaded by British visitors, most notably Jane (Minnie Driver). Quickly realizing that she's more like him than any other animal he's ever seen, he's immediately intrigued - and far too curious. Meanwhile, her nutty father (Nigel Hawthorne) and gun-toting, big game hunter (Brian Blessed) pose a threat to the sanctity of the jungle. That much is predictable from the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic. Yet there's a lot that's new here. Tarzan no longer swings on vines; instead, he glides through the trees like a skateboard surfer on safari. And Cheetah's been replaced by annoyingly brash, comical Terk (Rosie O'Donnell). But, even deeper, this Tarzan is an adolescent in search of his own identity, wondering: Who am I? What am I? And, most important, where do I belong? It's a coming-of-age comedy-drama, not unlike "The Lion King," and the thoughtful, sensitive conclusion differs from the traditional tale. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, this "Tarzan" is a timely, triumphant 10. He's a hero for our times: a cool guy who seeks harmony and acts from the heart, utterly devoid of machismo.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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