Friday, August 6, 2010


Do you like Phil Collins? Do you looooove Phil Collins? That's the question you have to ask yourself if you intend to watch Disney's Tarzan, a mostly acceptable Disney film which also features liberal sprinkling of Phil Collins and montages.

The story goes that one day a man with an awe-inspiring mustache and his wife move to Africa. They build a big elaborate cabin and listen to lots of Phil Collins music. Also fans of Collins are a family of apes, who just had an adorable baby. Unfortunately, there's a big mean leopard about, and it eats the adorable baby. In spite of his abilities to grow amazing facial hair, the leopard also eats the man and his wife, though their child survives. As a result, said child is adopted by a lonely ape, and we learn valuable lessons about love, adoption, fitting in, and listening to the music of a former Genesis drummer and current bald man.

It actually is a mostly interesting film. Tarzan's journey to find himself and learning about where he came from is pretty good, and his interactions with Jane and trigger happy evil man Clayton are just as compelling as the wacky ape parts. It's also very beautifully animated, meshing 3D and 2D in often fascinating ways, proving that they can live together in perfect harmony and are actually more attractive this way - I'll take a million Tarzans over something that looks like Bolt.

That said, there's also stuff that is less successful. Rosie O'Donnell, who plays best buddy ape Turk, is annoying. Actually, the middle part of that sentence wasn't really necessary on second thought. There's this elephant that hangs around who doesn't seem to fit in anywhere but as a plot device, and I am really quite sick of Phil Collins now.

It's pretty standard fare and I'm not going to call it the best thing Disney has ever done. On the other hand, it's solid entertainment and has a number of really interesting quirks and twists as it goes. It's pretty good entertainment, and it is actually fairly decent as a whole. Unless, of course, you don't like Phil Collins. The number of people that applies to is surprisingly high, isn't it?

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