Fish out of Water: In human society after being raised by gorillas for most of his life.
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.
"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.
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 during the entire sequel series.
Composite Character: Of the book's Kerchak (his name, leader of the tribe) and Tublat (Kala's mate, unfriendly father figure to Tarzan).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is constantly hostile towards Tarzan over the course of the movie. However, he only does so because he sees Tarzan as a threat to the gorilla family, and changes his heart when Tarzan saves the gorillas from Clayton.
Adaptational Villainy: In the novels, he is Tarzan's cousin who inherits the title after Tarzan's parents are presumed dead. His worst fault is that he is a coward, and his worst crime is concealing Tarzan's true identity after he figures out the truth so that he can keep the title.
Big Bad: He's the biggest threat towards the gorillas.