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Tarzan Blu-ray Review

Tarzan Blu-ray

At long last, “Tarzan” swings onto Blu-ray.

The story: After his parents are killed, an orphaned child (Tarzan) becomes raised in the jungle by gorillas (specifically Kala and Kerchak). As Tarzan grows up and adjusts to life in the jungle, his life becomes turned upside down he he encounters other human beings that include a hunter (Clayton), Professor Porter, and, of course, Jane (Tarzan’s future love interest). As Tarzan tries to comprehend his feelings, he has to contend with the evil Clayton who is trying to capture his gorilla family. Can Tarzan save the day? How will his feelings for Jane impact his future?

In the post “The Lion King” Disney animated film era (not including Pixar or Studio Ghibli titles here), “Tarzan” stands tall as one of the stronger Disney animated features. While not on the level of “Aladdin” or “Pinnochio,” the iconic chest pounding, vine swinging jungle man character is a natural fit for the Disney universe as the character is able flourish in animated form. Granted, the film isn’t perfect. I could do without Terk (the loud comedic relief character voiced by Rosie O’Donnell), the “Trashin’ the Camp” number, and the unnecessary amount of time devoted to his childhood, but those flaws don’t affect the film too harshly.

While many folks will be delighted to see Tarzan swing, jump, tree tunk slide through the jungle via fast paced eye-popping 2D/3D animation, the real star of this film is musician Phil Collins. Even though the film was released 15 years ago (if you can believe it), Collins’ songs “Two Worlds,” “Strangers Like Me,” and “You’ll Be In My Heart” have stood the test of time. They are completely stirring and catchy tunes that are often more emotional than the images on screen. It’s no wonder he won an Academy Award for his work on this film.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The 3D animation is absolutely stunning in hi-def. This is one of the Disney animated films that truly benefits from a Blu-ray transfer.

Audio Track: 5.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The songs, sound f/x and dialogue have never sounded better.

Extras:
* DVD copy and Digital HD copy.
* 4 deleted scenes including an alternate opening.
* “Creating Tarzan”- A short featurette that talks about their interpretation of the source material.
* A music video for Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be In My Heart” song.
* “Animating Tarzan”- A featurette about, you guessed it, the animation process.
* “The Making of the Music”- Phil Collins talks about the songs and Mark Mancina talks about the score.
* “Tarzan Goes International”- A brief featurette that talks about Phil Collins recording the songs in other languages.
* Disney trailers and 3 “Tarzan” trailers.
* Performances of “Strangers Like Me” by Phil Collins and Everlife.
* A “Trashin’ The Camp” studio session with Phil Collins and N’Sync.
* A Phil Collins song demo.
* A 3 part “History and Devlopment” extra that contains segments called “From Burroughs To Disney,” “Early Presentation Reel” and “Research Trip To Africa.”
* “Creating Jane and Porter,” “Creating Kala and Kerchak,” “Creating Clayton,” and “Creating Terk and Tantor”- More character featurettes
* A 4 part Animation Production extra that tackles “The Deep Canvas Process,” a “Deep Canvas Demo,” “Production Progression Demo,” and “Intercontinental Filmmaking.”
* “Building The Story” and “Storyboard-To-Film Comparison” bonus features.
* “Disneypedia: Living In The Jungle”- A kiddy 6 minute nature segment about jungle animals.
* Commentary by Chris Buck, Kevin Lima and Bonnie Arnold.

Overall Thoughts: With striking animation, memorable songs and strong themes about acceptance, family, and trust, “Tarzan” is an easy film to recommend.

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August 7, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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