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Western Animation / Tarzan (2013)

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Tarzan (released as Tarzan 3D in some markets) is a German 3D computer-animated motion capture film directed and produced by German producer Reinhard Klooss.

In this animated adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic tale, John Greystoke, Jr. was just a toddler when he accompanied his adventurous mother and father on a journey into Africa in search of a mineral that could revolutionize the energy industry. That trip turns tragic, however, when their helicopter crashes in a race to escape a massive storm, leaving young John the sole survivor. Raised from that day forward by a motherly gorilla named Kala, the boy, now named Tarzan, quickly integrates into the family of primates. But alpha male Silverback Tublat refuses to accept Tarzan's presence, viewing him as a direct threat to the clan. Nearly a decade later, Tarzan encounters beautiful Jane Porter, and begins to long for human contact. When Jane returns to the jungle accompanied by smooth-talking entrepreneur William Clayton a few years later, her relationship with Tarzan is rekindled. But while Clayton has ostensibly come to the jungle to support Jane's conservationist endeavors, he's actually searching for the very same energy source once sought by Tarzan's father, and hopes to turn a tidy profit by exploiting the precious resource. The situation turns critical when Jane recognizes Clayton's true intentions, and the only one who can save her from both the villainous industrialist and the menacing Tublat is the noble Tarzan of the apes.


Tarzan contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nationality: It appears that Tarzan and his parents are American, unlike in the original books where they're British.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Tarzan and his parents' last name went from Clayton to Greystoke.
  • Big Bad: Clayton, natch.
  • Big "NO!": After going to the place he was first found by the gorillas and remembers his humanity, he screams "No".
  • Bookends: The beginning and the ending are both related to the meteor.
  • Composite Character: Tublat takes the role of Kerchak, who was the original rival to Tarzan.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Clayton.
  • Disney Villain Death: Clayton and Smith are last seen plunging to their deaths in an out-of-control helicopter.
  • Disposable Pilot: The pilots of both Greystoke's and Clayton's choppers perish with their respective crafts (and employers).
  • Advertisement:
  • Green Aesop: Do not meddle with nature. You will be punished for meddling with the meteor rock.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: After Jane falls in the river, she is swept over one and Tarzan follows in an attempt to save her.
  • Killer Gorilla: Tublat killed the former leader of the gorilla group and is an enemy of Tarzan.
  • Lost in Imitation: Clayton as the primary human antagonist comes from the 1999 Disney film, whereas Tublat as a villainous Killer Gorilla originates from its spin-off TV series.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Tarzan and Jane are nearly eaten by a mutated plant when entering the meteorite chasm.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The meteorite that promises to be an unlimited energy supply.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Birds that heavily resemble cassowaries show up in the middle of the movie, in the African jungle. Also sporting long, dinosaur-like tails, teeth, and raptor claws on their feet.
  • Naughty Bird Watching: Derek claims to be bird watching (at night) when Jane catches him spying on her with binoculars.
  • Percussive Therapy: After seeing the pictures of his parents he gets so angry that starts punching things.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Tarzan brings down a helicopter with a single well-aimed rock.
  • Setting Update: The film is set in modern times instead of being a period piece if one were to follow the books.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Tarzan does this to teenaged Jane after she is bitten by a snake.
  • Take My Hand!: Happens multiple times in the movie. It ends tragically when Kala reaches for her baby, with the branch snapping before she can reach him. When Jane falls of the cliff, Tarzan manages to grab her, but loses his grip so that she falls into the river and he has to dive in after her. When Jane misses her jump over the chasm in the climax, Tarzan grabs her and promises to never let go.
  • Truer to the Text: The Porters are American, like they were in the original novel, whereas other adaptations usually make them British.
  • When Trees Attack: Tarzan and Jane are attacked by mutated trees as they enter the meteorite chasm.
  • Wild Child: Tarzan, obviously.