The Legend of Tarzan is a Disney show starring the main cast from the movieTarzan. It takes place after the events of the film; Jane and Tarzan live in the jungle as husband and wife, along with his gorilla pack and her scientist father. Hijinks ensue.It adapted several characters and locations from other original Tarzan books and Edgar Rice Burroughs material such as Queen La and the hidden dinosaur world of Pellucidar. An episode even brought Burroughs himself into the action.
Averted in one episode, which features a cameo appearance by Theodore Roosevelt of all people.
Anachronism Stew: The original film was set in the 1880s, but 'Dumont's Trading Post' is established in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt shows up after his presidency (1901-09) and 'Tarzan and the Flying Ace' is implied to be taking place during World War One. And Jane is able to identify Velociraptor, a dinosaur genus described in 1923.
Animal Talk: Subverted. Only gorillas, elephants and some monkeys seem to be talking in a language the audience hears as English. Baboons, leopards, rhinos and other animals communicate with growls, grunts and roars. The only three people who Speak Fluent Animal are Tarzan, Jane and Professor Porter, but the latter two understand only gorillas and elephants.
Anti-Villain: The Leopard Men. As Jane discovered in "Leopard Men Rebellion", it was Queen La that transformed them from normal leopards into her humanoid henchmen. They kidnap Jane so that she becomes their queen and frees them.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Being a man of science, Professor Porter tends to be more concerned with finding scientific explanations to more mystical occurrences. Nevermind that he regularly converses with apes and an elephant, and has encountered thought-to-be-extinct dinosaurs. The trope is subverted in "The All-Seeing Elephant." After doubting the concept of such a being, he is reminded of how he doubted the all-too real Mangani.
Talking Animals and living dinosaurs are, at least, not supernatural. On the other hand, there's also an evil sorceress with an army of leopardmen...
Arch-Enemy: Professor Philander with Professor Porter. Ironic, since in the original books the two were colleagues and friends.
Artistic License - Biology: Rhinoceroses and leopards are solitary animals, never move around in herds or packs. Also, gorillas don't catch termites with sticks (it's something chimpanzees do) - they hardly ever eat any insects.
Bad Boss: Queen La. Especially in her debut episode, where she has a habit of disintegrating minions for no reason whatsoever other than they happen to be there when she's in a bad mood. One of the episodes deals with her Leopardmen getting fed up and revolting.
Character Development: The episode "British Invasion" has Jane realise how much she has changed for the better since leaving England. And when her friends reappear again in "New Wave", Greenie had previously been the most superficial and spoilt of the girls but has now fallen in love with a man her friends disapprove of and has become a lot more competent.
Chekhov's Skill: From "Tublat's Revenge": "I can't protect the family. I am not even an ape. But I can swim!"
Clip Show: "Tarzan and the Visitor" contains lots of footage from previous episodes, where various characters (such as Philander, Dumont, Hugo and Hooft) tell Edgar Rice Burroughs about the way they met Tarzan.
Comedic Underwear Exposure: In "The British Invasion", Jane and her friends Eleanor, Greenley and Hazel remove their dresses to walk or run more easily in the jungle, and they're all in their white pantalets.
Compilation Movie: Tarzan & Jane. Three then-unaired episodes ("British Invasion," "The Volcanic Diamond Mine" and "The Flying Ace") were used with a framing story about Tarzan and Jane's wedding anniversary.
Does Not Wear Shoes/Foot Focus: Since the show is set in the jungle, it's hardly surprising that many of the human characters go barefoot. There are thus quite many closeups, such as Jane wiggling her toes in front of a projector to show Tarzan the images are not real.
Also, Nikolas Rokoff in the show is less of the Rokoff from the original Tarzan books and much more like General Zaroff from the famous short story "The Most Dangerous Game".
Robert Canler, in the meanwhile, is actually closer to the original book's William Cecil Clayton than to its Robert Canler, who had a very small and shallow role.
Fangs Are Evil: Technically all gorillas have fangs, but Tublat's are much larger and more prominent than the rest of the cast. Justified in the case of Terk or Kala, since female gorillas have smaller fangs than males. Not so much in the case of Moyo or Kerchak.
Foreshadowing: Throughout the series' run several characters from America and Europe wind up coming across their patch of jungle and begin making a sort of shanty town and port. When there wound up being practically a town now, an episode ended with Kala silently worrying that their jungle may be lost to the new humans forever.
Find the Cure: Tarzan was poisoned by a spider in one episode, and Jane and Terk had to work together to get a flower which was needed to make the antidote.
Fluffy the Terrible: One episode had Terk and Tantor trying to name a leopard cub. Terk likes "Fluffy" and "Doodles" while Tantor likes "Bobo". The end up deciding on "Commandor Fluffy Paws".
Girl of the Week: Tantor gets a girlfriend called Dania in "Tarzan and the Rift". They break up because she and Terk cannot get along. Terk also gets a boyfriend named Gobu in "Tarzan and the Enemy Within". He disappears in the following episodes with no explanation.
Green Aesop: Three episodes (one of them is technically a double episode) deal with environmental issues. In "Tarzan and the Outbreak", a group of loggers release a dangerous virus that was dormant in the soil. In "Tarzan and the Seeds of Destruction", Jane plants a vine which almost destroys the jungle's ecosystem. And in "Tarzan and the Poisoned River", a group of miners release poison in a river.
How Unscientific: The original film's setting, while featuring Talking Animals and a hero capable of physically impossible actions, was more or less realistic. This carries on to the series... up to the episode "Tarzan and the City of Opar", which suddenly introduces magic in the form Queen La.
Hulk Speak: Averted with Tarzan. Lampshaded in "Tarzan and the Silver Screen", where the actor playing the Nature Hero in the Show Within a Show is supposed to talk like this, which really confuses Tarzan.
Incidental Villain: Dumont. He's not particularly mean, he's just selfish and greedy, and has little respect towards nature.
Killer Gorilla: While most ape characters avert this trope, Tublat plays it straight.
Limited Wardrobe: Somewhat justified, in that over half of the main characters don't really wear clothing, and it's rather difficult for the other two to get their hands on new clothes in the middle of the jungle. Lampshaded when Dumont opens his store. Jane complains about having only one change of clothing, then comes back from Dumont's with an elephant load of Paris fashions. Though her main outfit remains the same, occasionally she changes into others afterwards.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: Similar to The Little Mermaid TV series, an episode focuses around Edgar Rice Burroughs as a struggling author traveling to Africa searching for inspiration for a book after reading a news story about Tarzan
Misplaced Wildlife: Mostly averted, but there is the odd mention of tarantulas, alligators or howler monkeys. The ring-tailed lemurs from the original movie also appear in the background. And in one episode, Queen La turns Dumont intoa gibbon.
My God, What Have I Done?: Clayton's sister has this reaction when she realizes that Tarzan isn't the monster she thought he was and that she's been doing the truly monsterous things in seeking her revenge.
"Mangani" is the name of the species that raised Tarzan in the books.
Also, to show that La is actually Atlantean, the animators decided to give her dark skin and white hair, like the characters in Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Naked People Are Funny: Professor Porter losing his clothes is always Played for Laughs. The apes are always shocked to see him that way, which is a bit of Fridge Logic when you realize they aren't wearing clothes themselves. Terk gives that a Hand Wave, saying that apes are beautiful so they don't need to cover themselves, unlike Porter.
Never My Fault: Professor Philander always blames Professor Porter for his own misfortunes.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Leopard Men Rebellion" Tarzan helps Queen La get her staff back off the leopard men when they kidnap Jane. Turns out they kidnapped her to make her their queen so she could free them.
Raptor Attack: As inspired by Jurassic Park. The raptors found in Pellucidar are far larger than real velociraptors (their size actually exceeding that of the Deinonychus, edging closer to Utahraptor territory) and stronger (they easily overpower Tarzan and a single one of them makes prey of a leopard). They are also featherless and their necks are incredibly long. It could however be argued that all these features were evolved over millions of years in Pellucidar. The series takes place before the first velociraptor fossil was found and named, and yet Jane seemed to know what they are called at a glance..
Rogues Gallery: The most recurring foes are Tublat, Professor Philander and Queen La. Other villains appearing in more than one episode are Mabaya the rogue elephant, Sheeta and Nuru the black panthers, Niels and Merkus the diamond miners, and Colonel Staquait. The latter appears along with Tublat and La in the Rogues Gallery montage part of the show's intro.
Save the Villain: Tarzan saves Tublat from a pair of poachers, then the very same poachers from Tublat, in the episode "Caged Fury".
Shout Out: In "The All Seeing Elephant" Tantor falls off a cliff and thanks to trees gets launched into the air. At one point Tarzan and Jane see him fly by and Jane comments:
Jane in her loincloth/swimsuit in "Tarzan and the Lost Cub".
Styrofoam Rocks: Used in-universe in an episode involving movie filming. Tarzan freaks out when he sees a seemingly helpless actress about to be crushed by an avalanche, and rushes to save her. However, the actors show him after the scene that the boulders were actually fake ones that are incredibly light.
Those Two Guys: Flynt and Mungo for the gorillas, Hugo and Hooft for the humans.
Terrible Ticking: In one episode, Tarzan's animal friends go crazy, complete with the Madness Mantra "Stop the ringing!" Turns out the local trading post had installed a long-range radio tower, and something in the equipment was generating an ultrasonic noise that was doing this to Tantor, Terk, and the rest. The humans couldn't hear it, but it was driving the animals nuts for miles.
Translation Convention: Tantor and Terk are shown as speaking English with each other and with Tarzan, Jane, and Professor Porter, but several episodes make it very clear that Tarzan et. al. speak their languages. In one episode, Jane has difficulties because her Baboon is a bit rusty.
Ungrateful Bastard: Tublat, after Tarzan saved him from poachers. Tarzan never even expected a "thanks" from him.