Characters / Tarzan

Characters from the Disney film and here is the link to the movie's sequel TV series.
    open/close all folders 

Main Characters

    Tarzan 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4068923_tarzan_wallpaper_walt_disneys_tarzan_6248938_1024_768.jpg
"Jane must stay with Tarzan."
Voiced By: Tony Goldwyn (original movie), Alex D. Linz (younger), Michael T. Weiss (TV series), BRIAN BLESSED (his signature yell)

Tarzan is the protagonist and titular character of Tarzan. Commonly known as the "King of the Jungle", Tarzan was rescued and raised by a colony of apes after his parents were killed by the bloodthirsty Sabor. As the years passed, he turned into an ape man, protecting all of the apes, and never knowing the outside world, apart from the jungle.
  • Accidental Pervert: During his first interaction with Jane, he lifts up her dress. She kicks him away in retaliation, mistaking his curious actions for perverted ones.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Black-haired in the books, brown-haired in this adaptation.
  • Adorkable: As a child, Tarzan was quite awkward at trying to fit in. As an adult, he's a lovestruck fool whenever he's around Jane.
  • All-Loving Hero: He cares deeply about his family and friends and was willing to risk his life to save them. He has also been known to be willing to rescue his enemies; an example of this was when Clayton was about to fall to his death, and Tarzan exclaimed "Clayton! Clayton, don't!" and reached out to save him, even though Clayton had fatally wounded Kerchak and attempted to kidnap his whole gorilla family.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Downplayed. Tarzan wasn't actively ostracized, but none of the gorillas had any instincts on how to cope with him. They adapt to him as he grows up - and vice versa.
  • Animal Motifs: Apes. First, he was raised his entire life by them. Second, his famous Primal Chest-Pound along with his equally famous yell is the same thing apes do. Thirdly, he will usually knuckle-walk. Fourthly, Clayton refers to him as "ape man".
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: After witnessing some of Tarzan's biggest feats such as killing a leopard and grappling a gorilla much bigger than him, viewers are treated to seeing the King of the Jungle wear his father's suit; unfortunately, the most we get of him with the suit on is a brief Le Parkour sequence that ends with his capture and the eventual stripping down back to his loincloth.
  • Badass in Charge: Becomes this after Kerchak dies and gives his son the job of protecting the family.
  • Badass in Distress: Following the ambush at the ship, Clayton's crew manages to lock him up there with no possibility of escaping, and they would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for Terk and Tantor coming to his rescue.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a pretty affable guy until you threaten him, or worse, his family.
  • Bookworm: After being introduced to books by Jane, Tarzan becomes an avid reader. He was even able to defeat a dangerous python by the information he read about its species in a book.
  • Braids of Action: In a Dreadlock Rasta style.
  • Brainy Brunette: Tarzan has brown hair and don't let his demeanor fool you. He's shown to be quick-witted, an avid book lover, and a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Justified. Tarzan refers to Kerchak by name unlike with Kala. This is due to the fact that unlike the latter, the former was openly suspicious and aloof towards Tarzan since his youth and Kerchak never referred to him as a son.
  • Chaste Hero: The TV series shows that Tarzan doesn't understand the concept of flirting. Justified considering he had no interaction with other humans after his parents were killed until Jane came along.
  • Chick Magnet: The TV series has Tarzan being immediately swooned over by Jane's friends, and to a darker extent, Queen La.
  • Child Prodigy: As a child, Tarzan was able to make impressive traps and stoneage inventions.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Tarzan doesn't seem to understand the attraction other females have for him, until Jane points it out.
  • Cultured Badass: He's well read and the King of the Jungle.
  • Determinator: As the "Son of Man" montage demonstrates, Tarzan's struggle to be accepted as a member of the ape pack didn't stop him from standing up after every failure and trying time and time again to overcome the jungle's challenges, eventually having paid off by the time he reached adulthood since he became as efficient and self-sufficient as any other gorilla in the pack, and probably even more.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: He relies on the flexibility of bare feet too much for shoes to be an option. Wearing his father's shoes near the end of the movie puts a real dent in his acrobatic abilities.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: His hairstyle... or, in this case, his complete lack of a hairstyle.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: He's fluent (and even a bit of a Deadpan Snarker) when talking to gorillas and elephants, but uses Hulk Speak when talking to humans. This is clearly a Translation Convention, as the gorillas and the elephants use Animal Talk and the humans speak English.
  • Experienced Protagonist: By the time he is an adult, Tarzan is fully skillful and experienced when handling the daily chaos of the jungle.
  • Fish out of Water: Downplayed, but still applies to Tarzan during his escape from the thugs on the ship; he was able to perform his jungle acrobatics on the ship's masts and cages for the most part, but wearing shoes while doing so promptly made him lose his stability at moments, to the point he's rendered unable to climb the ship's funnel because of this and winds up getting captured despite managing to outperform his pursuers.
  • Genius Bruiser: He develops stone-age technology by himself as a child with nothing to go on but his own intuition. And manages to figure out reading and human language conventions in a matter of months.
  • Green Eyes: Befitting his jungle home.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Has the same dreadlock hairstyle from his childhood.
  • Handy Feet: The result of being raised by primates. Restricting them with shoes is a hindrance to him.
  • Happily Adopted: By Kala and he grew as happy and loved as any child.
  • Happily Married: As seen in the sequel TV series, he and Jane form a stable and loving marriage.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: When he wears human clothing for the first time. Not that he was hard on the eyes before that.
  • Honor Before Reason: Tublat had been a terror to Tarzan and the other gorillas, trying to kill them every chance he got. When he gets captured by poachers, the gorillas celebrated, happy to be rid of the murderous Tublat and be free of his attacks. Tarzan, however, thought despite not liking the guy himself, decides to try and save him even if the other gorillas try to tell him Tublat deserves whatever fate awaits him.
  • Hulk Speak: When talking to humans. He mostly grows out of it by the end.
  • Humble Hero: His ego never grows despite how much of a badass he is.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: While fighting Clayton, he gets ahold of Clayton's shotgun and threatens him with it, causing Clayton to try to taunt him into pulling the trigger and "being a man." After first mimicking a gunshot to scare him, Tarzan refuses to stoop to Clayton's level and proceeds to destroy the gun:
    Tarzan: Not a man like you!
  • In a Single Bound: Tarzan as an adult is perfectly able and prone to jumps like these, owing to his determination to adapt to and survive in the jungle. One notable example is pulled off by him during the escape sequence aboard the ship that was supposed to take him and the rest to England (much to his pursuers' surprise and awe), point A being the top of a mast and point B being the top of the ship's funnel at a rather impressive distance, and all while wearing a suit. Partially justified in that the creators wanted him to be able to pull off stunts no actor could replicate in real life.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Tarzan (human) was raised and loved by Kala (gorilla).
  • Kubrick Stare: Jane comments on this habit of his: "I'd never seen such eyes."
  • Le Parkour: Takes this to new heights, especially with his "tree-surfing".
  • Loin Cloth: His only clothing throughout most of the franchise.
  • Love at First Sight: Tarzan fell for Jane the first moment they met..
  • Momma's Boy: Justified. Tarzan was closest to Kala when growing up because she was the only (initial) member to treat with respect and Kerchak (adoptive gorilla father) didn't consider Tarzan as a son.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A handsome, muscular young man who walks around in nothing but a Loin Cloth.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: While averted for the most part, given his displays of strength are plausible for a man of his build, this is played straight when he manages to get a throat lock on a silverback gorilla (none other than his adoptive father Kerchak) who's much more muscular than him.
  • Nature Hero: He is basically the Trope Codifier.
  • Nice Guy: Despite being a Nubile Savage, Tarzan is one of the sweetest, bravest, thoughtful and humble men you'll ever meet.
  • Not So Different: Tarzan was initially skeptical of Jane adopting a leopard cub in the same manner in which Kerchak was suspicious towards him.
  • Nubile Savage: He looks very clean for a man living in the jungle. Unusually for an Englishman, he doesn't seem able to grow facial hair.
  • Official Couple: With Jane Porter.
  • Only One Name: His original human name as a baby is never revealed, as his human parents go nameless. In the books it was John Clayton (same as his father, Lord Greystoke.)
  • Papa Wolf: Tarzan is fiercely protective over his family and will defend them no matter what.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Terk, she is his closest female friend.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: At the end of the movie, he pounds his chest while letting out his Signature Roar.
  • Primal Stance: To show his savage upbringing, he walks on all fours, using his knuckles as front limbs, similarly to the gorillas that raised him.
  • Protagonist Title: Tarzan is the main protagonist of Disney's Tarzan franchise.
  • Raised by Wolves: He was raised by gorillas.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Defied. Kala and Kerchak are well aware that Tarzan won't replace their dead child. However, Kala truly came to love Tarzan, while it took Kerchak a long time to accept him.
  • Signature Roar: The Disney team decided to keep the most iconic thing Johnny Weissmuller added to the Tarzan franchise: that primeval, challenging yodel. Credits go to BRIAN BLESSED for doing a near-perfect Johnny Weissmuller impression.
  • Silence Is Golden: Suddenly becomes this as he grows up, only speaking in Broken English as a result. Jane manages to re-teach him.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Explicitly stated by himself in the TV series — "Jane is the best."
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Tarzan speaks fluent animal (he even teaches it to other human characters). However, for all his skill there are some animals who just aren't interested in talking. Like Sabor.
  • Strong and Skilled: Tarzan is not only amazingly strong for a human, but thanks to living in the jungle, he is able to adapt to changes and use them to his advantage.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Without the mustache, Tarzan's father looks identical to his son.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: For a man living in the jungle his whole life, he is quite handsome.
  • Teen Genius: As a child he is shown to be able to work out how to make spears, slingshots, and hammocks without any guidance. At 18 years old he is shown to be able to learn to read and speak an entire language in what appears to be a few months or weeks. He's also a natural mimic and can teach himself to recreate any sound he's heard.
  • Token Human: Before Jane and Professor Porter came, Tarzan was the only human of his gorilla family.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tarzan was an awkward, clumsy kid who couldn't swing on a vine if his life depended on it. Fast-forward into his adulthood, he's the strongest and fastest of his family, who can now surf on the vines.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The TV series shows that Tarzan still keeps his deceased father's suit, and that he and Jane live in his parents' home.
  • Unkempt Beauty: He didn't look bad for a man living in the jungle with no opportunity for hygiene.
  • Vine Swing: He often travels around the jungle like this.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: For the majority of the movie and the series he wears nothing but a Loin Cloth.
  • Weapon of Choice: Tarzan's primary weapon is a handmade spear.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Tarzan is constantly seeking the approval of Kerchak, who refuses to accept Tarzan as a member of the gorilla pack, much less as his adopted son. Kerchak almost accepted him when he defeated Sabor, until the arrival of the British expedition team reminded him of his distrust in humans. That all changes when Tarzan comes back to save the gorillas. Sadly, it doesn't last that long, as Kerchak receives a fatal bullet wound from Clayton. After Clayton's death, Tarzan kneels over Kerchak, who passes on leadership of the pack to Tarzan and even acknowledges Tarzan as his son with his last words.
  • Wild Child: In the first act of the movie, Tarzan is shown as a child and how it was for him growing up different than his gorilla family.
  • Worf Had the Flu: As mentioned in Does Not Like Shoes and Fish out of Water above, while it's true being in a different environment did affect his movement, the reason he failed to escape from the mooks at the ship despite handily outperforming them at Le Parkour was that he was wearing his father's suit, thus the shoes made it impossible for him to climb up the funnel he ended hanging and eventually falling from. It's particularly more jarring when taking into account that no one asked him to wear the suit in the first place.
  • Young and In Charge: At the end of the movie Kerchak gives the role of leader and protector of the gorilla tribe to Tarzan.
  • Younger Than They Look: Tarzan is only 18 years old during the events of the movie and sequel series.

    Jane Porter 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jane_porter_tarzan_12.jpg
"London will seem so small after all this."
Voiced by: Minnie Driver (original movie), Olivia D'Abo (subsequent appearances)

Jane Porter is the deuteragonist of Tarzan. She is the love interest, sweetheart and eventual wife of Tarzan.
  • Action Survivor: Jane wasn't raised in the jungle and isn't a fighter, but survives using her wits and the lessons she learned from Tarzan and their family.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Blonde in the books.
  • Adaptational Modesty: At the end of the film, she wears a female variant of Tarzan's attire. In the sequel series, The Legend of Tarzan, she wears the outfit shown in the picture to the right.
  • Adaptational Nationality: American from Baltimore in the books, but British here.
  • Adorkable: She's nerdy and bookish, with a tendency to talk a lot, but this doesn't make her any less attractive. Tarzan certainly falls in Love at First Sight with her.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Provides the main image. In the beginning, her hair is a bun and in a large yellow dress. When she brings Tarzan back her hair is loose, and she starts wearing a shirt and skirt and occasionally goes barefoot. When she falls in love she's wearing loose fitting clothing, and by the end of the film she's wearing animal skin like Tarzan.
  • Badass Bookworm: Is smart throughout the entire movie, but when she takes a level in badass in the climax, it really comes to shine.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In the closing scene, she wears a Fur Bikini that exposes her midriff.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jane can only take the high road for so long until she snaps.
  • Brainy Brunette: Runs in the family: her father is a professor, and she must have learned a lot from him.
  • British Stuffiness: She's a proper English lady when she first shows up. She gradually gets out of it as her relationship with Tarzan develops.
  • Character Development: After she married Tarzan, Jane became less ladylike and more like an ape which was stated by Tarzan.
  • Crush Blush: She's endearingly shy about her attraction and blushes often.
  • Daddy's Girl: With a Bumbling Dad, as was tradition in the 90s with Disney, or so it would seem.
  • Damsel in Distress: Despite being an independent and brave woman, she often needs to be rescued by Tarzan due to the jungle being an alien environment to her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: How she gets by when being a Fish out of Water.
  • Deuteragonist: The second main focus after Tarzan.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: When out of her gown and in casual wear Jane forgoes shoes. Not to mention her first scene has her boot get stolen by a baboon. Then after choosing to stay behind to live with Tarzan, she gives up shoes all together and stays barefoot throughout the Sequel Series The Legend of Tarzan, because all of her shoes are designed for civilization (formalwear at that), and not for the jungle. Also, Tarzan leaves his feet free traipsing around the jungle, so it makes sense Jane would take after him.
    • Her princess style profile even says, "heels she should trade for bare feet", which she did.
  • Fish out of Water: She's a well-educated, independent and reasonably brave young woman, but she's out of her depths in the African rain forest. Resulting in her becoming a Damsel in Distress.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She came to the jungle (with her dad) to study gorillas. Jane even playfully conversed with a baby baboon.
  • Going Native: At the end of the film.
  • Happily Married: As seen in the sequel TV series, she and Tarzan form a stable and loving marriage.
  • Held Gaze: Her first meeting with Tarzan.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In the series when Hugo and Hooft debut, Jane had a low opinion of them since they seemed to be con artists and warns Tarzan to be wary of them. She winds up inadvertently helping Colonel Staquait into capturing them since he's an officer, so he couldn't be bad, right? Until she found out the colonel is a sadistic bastard who abuses his authority and that he planned to execute Hugo and Hooft simply because they refused to burn down a village full of innocent people. Jane realized she made a grave error in judgement.
  • I Choose to Stay: She would rather stay with Tarzan in the jungle than go back to England.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Just look at Minnie Driver. Plus, a lot of Jane's scenes were ad-libbed.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: To symbolize that she loses her stuffiness.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: She loses a boot in the escape from the baboons. It leads to her ditching footwear altogether.
  • Mama Bear: By the TV series, Jane has grown so close to her ape family, that she is willing to take on a giant python to protect one of them.
  • Missing Mom: Her father mentions that she takes after her mother, but it is unknown what became of Mrs. Porter.
  • Motor Mouth: Due to Minnie Driver's hilarious ad-libbing.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She becomes a bit more... relaxed with her attire as the film goes on.
  • Nice Girl: Jane is kind, empathetic, proper, charming, and sweet.
  • Official Couple: With Tarzan.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She initially wears her hair like this, in line with her British Stuffiness. She eventually loses it as she accomodates to the jungle environment.
  • Rescue Romance: Her relationship with Tarzan started after he saved her from a group of angry mandrills.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Her attraction to Tarzan started after he saved her from a family of angry mandrills. As they start to spend more time together, she becomes more enraptured by his sweetness. In one of the episodes in the TV series, she mentions how she loves his gentle and kind nature.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: The movie makes quite a bit of comedic use out of her inexperience in the jungle, though this eventually dies down as she gets more used to things still, chances are if there's a scene where she's in that huge, fancy looking dress, it's going to be ruined in some kind of slapstick scene.
  • Spirited Young Lady: She accompanies her father to a completely unexplored region of Africa and certainly doesn't stay in camp while the others explore.
  • Stripperiffic: In her final scene she's in a somewhat revealing two-piece, particularly by Victorian standards. Although bared midriffs have become common in kid's movies since The '90s, they are still considered a bit scandalous.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the TV series it was revealed that Jane looks exactly like her mother.
  • Tempting Fate: "It can't get much worse can it?" *cue rain* "Obviously, it can."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's the Girly Girl (proper lady who practices decorum) to Terk's Tomboy (admits to knowing little about etiquette and is One of the Boys).
  • Took a Level in Badass: One episode of the TV series has Jane showing her survival skills when her friends come to visit. A huge leap from her helplessness in the movie.
  • Uptown Girl: Jane is a London girl. Tarzan literally lives with gorillas. She ends up loving life in the jungle far more than life in the city.
  • Younger Than They Look: Like Tarzan, Jane is only 18 years old during the events of the movie and sequel series.

    Kala 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kala.png
"You'll always be in my heart."
Voiced By: Glenn Close (movies), Susanne Blakeslee (TV series)

Kala is the adoptive gorilla mother of Tarzan and is very loving to him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Although she is usually a gentle person, Kala is capable of aggression when necessary and is also very brave, fighting against the deadly leopard Sabor in order to protect the baby Tarzan.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Kala has brown fur and brown eyes.
  • Cute Little Fangs: As a gorilla, she has pointy canines, but they are small and don't make her look ferocious at all (except when she fights Sabor to defend Tarzan).
  • Cuteness Proximity: Her initial interaction with Tarzan is governed by this: she has no long-term plans, she just doesn't want the cute (admittedly stinky!) mystery creature to be eaten.
  • The Cutie: Rounded features, placid eyes and gestures, and a loving and sympathetic heart.
  • Mama Bear: She performs some impressive feats when trying to get the baby Tarzan away from Sabor.
  • Morality Pet: Acts as one to her mate, Kerchak. She's probably the sole person he listens to.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Averted; Despite Kerchak's belief that Kala was seeking to make up for the recent loss of their child with Tarzan, Kala adopted Tarzan simply because he needed someone to take care of him and there was no one else.
  • Nice Girl: Kala is calm, gentle, kind, loving, and beautiful. She loves her son Tarzan so unconditionally, although she said that she knew Tarzan wouldn't replace her firstborn son who was killed by Sabor.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her and Kerhcak's biological son was murdered by Sabor.
  • Parental Substitute: She takes Tarzan in after his parents are killed by Sabor. Her own son was killed by the same leopard.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Unlike in the book, she's still alive at the end of the movie.

    Kerchak 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kerchak.png
"Take care of them, my son. Take care of them."
Voiced By: Lance Henriksen

Kerchak is the leader of the Gorillas, Kala's mate, and Tarzan's adoptive gorilla father. Unlike Kala, he thinks of Tarzan as a threat and doesn't consider him his son.
  • Abusive Parents: While Kerchak was never physically abusive to Tarzan, he was emotionally — he would never hide his suspicions of Tarzan being a threat and at one point, said that he would never be like their gorilla family.
  • Action Dad: He often gets in fights to protect his family; first with Sabor and then with Clayton. He also has a big fight with Tublat in a flashback scene of the TV series.
  • Adaptational Heroism: He was a villain in the books, where he was the one who killed Tarzan's parents. Here, Kerchak is deeply suspicious of the title character, but only because he considers him a potential threat. Other than that, he's a heroic figure and good leader.
  • Animal Eyes: He has yellow sclerae, unlike the rest of the gorillas who have white, humanlike sclerae, giving him a more ferocious look.
  • Badass in Charge: He's a large, tough silverback gorilla and the alpha of the others.
  • Big Good: While he's an Anti-Hero that's opposed to Tarzan being part of the band, he's still the Alpha of the gorilla band that Clayton hunts in the end.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: When he sees Tarzan held at gunpoint by Clayton, he charges. Turns out Tarzan is family, after all. He'd also earlier pulled Sabor away from Tarzan, initiating the first act's climax.
  • Character Development: For most of Tarzan's life, Kerchak was cold and emotionally distant to Tarzan, as he perceived the latter as a threat. However, when Tarzan (as an adult) killed Sabor, Kerchak grew to respect him. And by the end of the film, he finally referred to Tarzan as his son.
  • Composite Character: Of the book's Kerchak (his name, leader of the tribe) and Tublat (Kala's mate, unfriendly father figure to Tarzan). He's far more sympathetic than either though, ESPECIALLY the original Kerchak.
  • Demoted to Extra: Only makes one appearance in the beginning and has no lines at all.
  • Famous Last Words: "No. Forgive me for not understanding that you have always been one of us. Our family will look to you now. Take care of them...my son. Take care of them."
  • Good Parents: Key word being "parent." While he doesn't consider Tarzan his son until the end of the movie, he was an absolute softie when it came to his and Kala's child. It's implied that the death of his child had a serious impact on him.
  • Hero Antagonist: Although he comes off as obstinate and hostile, Kerchak is loving to his family and dedicated to his entire community. He regularly fights to the death for their safety. Although he's suspicious of mankind and can't bring himself to accept Tarzan as a gorilla, he doesn't repudiate him for being a human.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is never friendly towards Tarzan over the course of the movie... because he sees Tarzan as a threat to the gorilla family. And yet he considered him a member of the family enough to attack Sabor when she threatened Tarzan. He has a change of heart when Tarzan saves the gorillas from Clayton.
  • Killer Gorilla: Subverted. He often gets in fights, and immediately attacks the humans when they get close to the gorillas, but he only does this to defend his family.
  • Large and in Charge: He's the biggest gorilla, and the leader of the family.
  • Mighty Glacier: Kerchak is incredibly strong but when it comes to faster, more agile opponents, he's at a disadvantage.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His and Kala's biological son was murdered by Sabor.
  • Papa Wolf: He menaces Jane and her father when they get close to the gorillas - and he's not bluffing. Before that, he effortlessly sweeps through a herd of rampaging elephants to rescue a baby gorilla and flies out without a scratch.
  • The Patriarch: Fittingly for a silverback gorilla, he's the stern, badass head of his family.
  • Posthumous Character: In the TV series due to his death in the movie. He remains a vital influence in Tarzan's life, as his son is still looking for Kerchak's approval.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: He does this twice in the movie: first when he's angry at Kala for adopting Tarzan, and then when he encounters and menaces Jane in the camp. He's a silverback gorilla, after all. He does it with open hands like real gorillas do, unlike the clenched fists like most cartoon gorillas.
  • Properly Paranoid: Kerchak turns out not to be entirely wrong about not trusting the humans once Clayton's true plans are revealed.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Kerhcak is cold, aloof, and doesn't hide his dislike over Tarzan. However, he has his family's safety at heart.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Kerchak coldly rejects the idea of Tarzan being his son.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Being an adult gorilla, his muscled forearms and torso are massive.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: An older example. When his and Kala's biological son was alive, Kerchak was shown to be more cheerful and happier. After his son's death, he became more bitter and cold.

    Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/professor_porter_tarzan.jpg
"Archimedes Q. Porter at your service."
Voiced By: Nigel Hawthorne (original movie), Jeff Bennett (subsequent appearances)

Professor Archimedes Quincy Porter is a major character from Tarzan. He is both Jane's father and Tarzan's father-in-law.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: An eccentric, bumbling scientist.
  • Adaptational Nationality: In the original novel, he and his daughter were Americans from Baltimore, not British.
  • Bumbling Dad: Following a tradition of fathers of Disney's female leads.
  • City Mouse: Not quite as strongly as in the books, but he's still a man accustomed to civilized life and its comforts. Just look at all the stuff he brought on safari. In The Legend of Tarzan, one episode revolves around how much he misses genuine English tea.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's obsessive in a goofy way, easily distracted and scatterbrained. Jane clearly thinks he's not fit to live by himself, which makes her decision much more difficult.
  • Ditzy Genius: He's smart, but clumsy, bumbling and spacey.
  • Friend to All Living Things: He approaches the gorillas with bumbling good will, and - aside from Kerchak - the gorillas quickly overcome their suspicion of him.
  • Green Eyes: Like his daughter, his green eyes probably reflect an affinity with the natural world.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He had no idea that Clayton was a poacher.
  • I Choose to Stay: Decides to remain in Africa with his daughter to live out his remaining years studying nature.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: His daughter towers over him.
  • Nice Guy: Professor Porter is caring, brave, joyful, and fatherly.
  • Shipper on Deck: He's the one that makes Jane realize she's in love with Tarzan and convinces her to stay with him.

    Terk 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/terk_tarzan.jpg
"The fun has arrived! Thank you very much."
Voiced By: Rosie O'Donnell (original movie), April Winchell (TV series), Audrey Wasilewski (Kingdom Hearts)

Terk is Tarzan's 'cousin' and best friend from childhood.
  • Composite Character: She's a composite character of Terkoz, a mean male gorilla whom Tarzan supplants among his pack, and Cheetah, a female gorilla friend of Tarzan's.
  • Cool Big Sis: After becoming nicer to Tarzan, Terk acts as a surrogate sister to him.
  • Cowardly Lion: She's often willing to bail at the first sign of trouble. But when the chips are down, Terk will be in the action.
  • False Friend: Early in the movie Terk is willing to help Tarzan and shows concern for his safety but is unwilling to be seen with him by her other friends. Thankfully, she stops being one.
  • Gender Flip: Zigzagged. She is loosely based on a male (villainous) character from the books called Terkoz, if the name is any indication. She becomes male in the stage production based on the film.
  • Incoming Ham: "THE FUUUUN HAS ARRIIIIIIIVED!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Underneath her crude and obnoxious personality, she has a soft and caring heart.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The tough-talking and crude Masculine Girl to Tantor's sensitive and thoughtful Feminine Boy.
  • Never My Fault: She never takes responsibility for her actions.
  • One of the Boys: She's very loud and masculine, and all her best friends are boys.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Tarzan and Tantor, as they are her closest friends who happen to both be males.
  • Stepford Snarker: It's implied that underneath her tough talking attitude, she's afraid of being isolated or rejected.
  • Those Two Guys: She and Tantor are seldom seen without one another.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy (admits to knowing little about etiquette and is One of the Boys) to Jane's Girly Girl (proper lady who practices decorum).
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the first movie, Terk becomes friendlier to Tarzan after initially ignoring him. She takes another level in the TV series in regards to not being mean to Jane.

    Tantor 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tantor_tarzan.jpg
"It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!"
Voiced By: Wayne Knight (original movie), Jim Cummings (TV series)

Tantor is Terk and Tarzan's highly neurotic elephant friend.
  • Adorkable: A huge, sweet elephant who's scared of almost everything.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Apart from being very, very big, he is loyal to Tarzan to such an extent that he puts aside his fear to jump off a cliff, climb onto a boat and beat the ever loving shit out of everyone and everything until Tarzan is rescued.
  • The Big Guy: He is an elephant, and he has the strength that comes with one.
  • Butt Sticker: Him sitting on Terk is a Running Gag in the television series.
  • Cowardly Lion: He has all sorts of phobias, despite being a gigantic African Elephant. He also displays courage and, surprisingly enough, calmness during chaos.
  • Gentle Giant: He's a large elephant, but he wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: No matter what, he has Tarzan's back.
  • Honorable Elephant: He may be cowardly, but when he needs to help Tarzan, his heart is at the right place.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The sensitive and thoughtful Feminine Boy to Terk's tough-talking and crude Masculine Girl.
  • Nervous Wreck: Is he ever! See Cowardly Lion above.
  • Nice Guy: Tantor is friendly, sensitive, pleasant, caring, and ultimately brave.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Near the end of the film, when he rescues Tarzan.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Terk, she is his closest female friend.
  • Those Two Guys: He and Terk are seldom seen without one another.

Antagonists

    Clayton 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phpLFZjBrPM-clayton_5152.jpg
"I was born for Africa, and Africa was created for me!"
Voiced by: BRIAN BLESSED

Clayton is the main antagonist of Tarzan, replacing the first act's antagonist Sabor shortly after her death for the other two acts of the film.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the novels, he is Tarzan's cousin who inherits the title of Lord Greystoke after Tarzan's parents are presumed dead. His worst fault is that he is not as brave as Tarzan, and his worst crime is concealing Tarzan's true identity after he accidentally learns the truth.
  • Badass Mustache: A rather small and thin one, but it emphasizes his toughness and masculinity.
  • Big Bad: He's the biggest threat towards the gorillas, replacing child-and-parent killer Sabor right after she's killed by Tarzan a few minutes before he first appears onscreen.
  • Bottomless Magazines: He rarely needs to reload his gun.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Courtesy of BRIAN BLESSED:
    Clayton: I could use a challenge, because after I get rid of you, rounding up your little ape family will be ALL TOO EASY!!
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted. His fall is stopped by a vine.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: He is the image on the trope page.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: The TV series reveal that he has a sister, who goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge him when she learns about his death.
  • Evil All Along: He was planning all along to capture and sell Tarzan's gorilla family.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED is probably the reason.
  • Evil Poacher: He is leading poachers to capture Tarzan's gorilla family.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Falling out of a tree and accidentally hanging himself with jungle vines. We actually HEAR his neck snapping!
  • Faux Affably Evil: Clayton initially appeared to be a chivalrous (if somewhat impatient) gentleman, but eventually, he is proven to be violent, selfish, greedy and ruthless.
  • Foil: Unlike Tarzan he was born in civilization but is actually far more of a savage barbarian than Tarzan.
    • Best exemplified by his last moments and death: when Tarzan traps him in vines, Clayton's first instinct is to start biting the vines off, before he remembers that he has a machete to cut them. He practically devolves into a slobbering, rage-filled monster while Tarzan desperately tries to save him from himself. But in the end, the jungle claims him.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Zigzagged. He's shown smoking a pipe in several scenes, but considering the time period it doesn't really serve as an indicator of villainy.
  • Great White Hunter: While acting as the Porters' safari guide... but he has his own agenda from the beginning.
  • Greed: His main personality flaw and villainous motivation.
  • Hero Killer: Kerchak's death was caused by Clayton shooting him.
  • Large Ham: He's voiced by BRIAN BLESSED, and it shows.
  • Last-Name Basis: He is always referred to as Clayton in the movie. The character from the books he's loosely based on is called William Cecil Clayton, but nothing in the movie confirms if this is his first name here as well.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulated Tarzan's feelings for Jane so he could show him where the gorillas were hiding.
  • Neck Snap: He dies when he falls with a vine wrapped around his neck, snapping it before he can hit the ground.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Although he is the biggest threat to Tarzan's gorilla family in the movie, the main conflict is Tarzan's own personal struggle to fit in with the gorillas, which has little to do with Clayton's plan to capture the apes (although Tarzan defending the gorillas from Clayton is what makes Kerchak finally accept him and promote him to the new leader of the tribe).
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: "Go ahead, shoot me... be a man..."
  • Related in the Adaptation: Inverted. In the novels, he is Tarzan's cousin. Here, he is one of the three human strangers Tarzan meets.
  • Starter Villain: Besides Sabor, he is the first villain encountered by Tarzan (he will meet more in the TV series).
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Keep an eye on Clayton's expressions and you'll see this attitude regularly appear as a Funny Background Event. At one point, the only reason he notices gorillas is because he's rolling his eyes at the behavior of Tarzan and the Porters.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Although his original plan was to double-cross the Professor in order to 'harvest' gorillas to sell at a great profit, he was more unethical than he was amoral - there were no laws or moral judgements involved in 'harvesting' unowned animals from a wilderness in 1870. When his get-rich-quick scheme is foiled by the 'savage', though, he enters a murderous rage.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hits Jane across the face with the butt of his gun when she tries to stop him from going after Tarzan.

    Sabor 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tarzan_disneyscreencapscom_629.jpg
Voiced By: Frank Welker (vocal effects)

Sabor is the secondary antagonist in Tarzan and the tertiary antagonist of Tarzan II. Sabor is a leopard who killed both Tarzan's parents and Kala's baby son at the beginning of the film. Sabor is introduced as the main antagonist of the film's first act, replaced by Clayton in the second act.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Sort of. In the original novel, Sabor was the term used for lionesses in the apes language(male lions were called Numa). Here it's the personal name of a leopard (whose species was called Sheeta in the book). The name Sheeta gets used in the tv series for one of the 2 recurring black panthers who fight Tarzan.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Given it's feral nature and lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, it's unclear if Sabor is male or female. Not that anyone in the jungle would dare to check anyway.
  • Artistic License Biology: Leopards live for seventeen years on average. Sabor was already an adult when Tarzan was a baby, and Tarzan is eighteen when he battles Sabor. So Sabor is very old for a leopard, yet still put up a very impressive fight against both Tarzan and Kerchak.
  • Cats Are Mean: Terrifying and brutal, but no more than a normal predatory animal.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Dies about 30 minutes into the movie, before the appearance of the British research team which includes the Big Bad replacement Clayton.
  • The Dreaded: Nobody wants to go up against this ferocious feline.
  • Hero Killer: Sabor is strong enough, fast enough, and cunning enough to kill Tarzan's parents in their own home, while they both outnumbered it and had a gun. Heck, Sabor's arguably a more dangerous villain in a one-on-one context than Clayton is, since Sabor's fighting in it`s own territory.
    • Justified, since leopards are actually a human's natural predator and can easily kill us, the treehouse is a great place to attack from above or dodge bullets, and Tarzan's parents may not have been experienced hunters.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sabor delivered the fastest onscreen death in any Disney film; in less than 3 minutes, killing Kerchak and Kala's baby gorilla. Not long after, she offs Tarzan's parents with a fairly graphic aftermath. She is far more sinister than your typical predator, and left the corpses mostly intact. Unlike Clayton, it has absolutely no amusing moments; Kala and Tarzan are in very real danger of dying and proves to be capable of nearly killing Kerchak. Even as an adult, Tarzan had to fight for his life, and no other villain in the films or TV series was as effective.
  • Panthera Awesome: A Badass leopard, and stronger than the gorillas.
  • Predators Are Mean: As the main antagonist in the first act of the movie, it constantly pursues the gorillas. Unlike the gorillas or the elephants, Sabor's not anthropomorphized at all. Sabor doesnt even seem interested in eating her prey so much as killing it, considering that it goes after the baby Tarzan, even though his parents' corpses are still lying around and would be an easier meal.
  • Roar Before Beating: This is a sign that Sabor is far more malicious than your typical predator; immediately after sneaking up on the baby gorilla, it roars loudly to scare it, before moving in for the kill. Sabor is stealthy in several other scenes, but the moment it lunges at Kala or adult Tarzanj, it yowls.
  • Starter Villain: The first foe Tarzan fights as an adult, and is killed by him prior to the 30-minute mark and before the other human characters appear.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Goes trough a lot of effort to catch on baby Tarzan, even when he's already defended by Kala, and then puts on an impressive fight with adult Tarzan.
  • Talking Animal: The only established animal character to avert this; Sabor is purely feral and dehumanized through and through.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kills Kala and Kerchak's baby gorilla and tried to kill Tarzan when he was a baby. Not that this is in any way unusual, a predator will get its food where it can, but since this is from the prey's point of view...

Other Characters

    Tarzan's Parents 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tarzan_disneyscreencaps_com_70.jpg
Voiced By: N/A

Tarzan's deceased, biological parents.
  • Action Survivor: The only survivors of the ship-wreck, and also able to create an awesome treehouse that would be the envy of the Swiss Family Robinson.
  • Badass Mustache: Tarzan's father has a cool one, combined with sideburns, and he's an impressive Action Survivor who struggles on until getting killed by Sabor.
  • Happily Married: Implied. When both of them are on the lifeboat, they immediately embrace one another, look lovingly at their son. And while on the island, they work extremely well together in building a new home on said island.
  • No Name Given: Their names are not revealed. In the books, they were John and Alice Clayton, Lord and Lady Greystoke.
  • Parental Abandonment: To Tarzan, as they were killed by Sabor.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Tarzan's mother had auburn hair and bluish-green eyes.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Tarzan received his father's hair color and facial structures, while gaining his mother's eye color and hair style.
  • The Voiceless: Neither character has any lines: in fact, they're already deceased by the time the movie has its first line of dialogue.

    Flynt and Mungo 
Voiced by: Erik von Detten (Flynt), Jason Mardsen (Mungo)

Two male gorillas around the same age as Terk.
  • Fat and Skinny: Both of them are bulky due to being gorillas, but Mungo is among the chubbiest ones whereas Flynt is more slender.
  • Manchild: Even when they become adults, they keep their childish personality.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Flynt does this to Mungo a lot. Surprisingly, Mungo doesn't seem to mind it.
  • Those Two Guys: They are hanging out with each other all the time.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/Tarzan