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Western Animation / Tarzan II

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Spoilers from Tarzan will be unmarked here. You Have Been Warned!

Tarzan II is a 2005 Direct to Video Interquel to the Disney Animated Canon film Tarzan, produced by Disneytoon Studios.

Tarzan (now voiced by Harrison Chad), seen as a young child, is unsure about his place in the jungle. He can't even run as fast as his gorilla family when chasing the mysterious monster Zugor. Therefore, when his mother Kala (Glenn Close) thinks he died in a river accident, Tarzan thinks he's so isolated from everyone else that running away is the best solution.

He finds a place called the Dark Mountain where he meets Zugor (George Carlin) face-to-face, who turns out to be an eclectic monkey who pranks the jungle into thinking he's threatening. Tarzan and Zugor soon bond over feeling like they don't belong, and Tarzan thinks that staying in the Dark Mountain forever isn't a bad idea. When Kala realizes that Tarzan is still alive, she must now team with her family, Terk and Tantor to find Tarzan. Will Tarzan leave his family forever, or could he find purpose back home despite his differences?

Tarzan II provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Mama Gunda doesn't shy away from physical punishment when disciplining Kago and Uto.
    Mama Gunda: Lips!
  • Affably Evil: Mama Gunda talks in a sickeningly sweet manner with everyone.
  • Animation Bump: Scenes of the film, while consistently passable, fluctuate in quality a bit, ranging from high quality TV budget to practically matching the fluency of the first film.
  • Berserk Button: Kago does not like being poked by his brother.
  • Be Yourself: The Aesop of the movie. As Tarzan tries to seek exactly what he is, he is left with the answer he is... a Tarzan, something that is unique and special in itself. Rather than try to emulate other animals, Tarzan learns to use his ingenuity to survive on his own and help others in ways no other animals could. This ties into the first movie where an adult Tarzan becomes an useful member of his troop using his own abilities and ideas.
  • Blackmail: To get Zugor to change his mind, Tarzan blackmails Zugor by threatening to tell everyone that he's the Zugor.
  • Book Ends: The movie ends exactly the same way the first did - the camera zooms out as Tarzan emits his famous yell from a tree branch, then cuts to the film's title on a drumbeat.
  • Central Theme: Identity. After realizing he's not like the other gorillas, Tarzan tries to figure out what he really is.
  • Continuity Nod: Near the start of the movie, when Tarzan accidentally pushes a rock down a hill that almost crushes three baby gorillas, Terk says "It's Elephant Falls all over again", referencing the incident from the first movie when Tarzan caused an Animal Stampede of elephants.
  • Copycat Mockery: Terk does impressions of Kerchak and Kala to make fun of the arguments they have about Tarzan. She even changes her hair to match.
  • Cynical Mentor: Zugor becomes this to Tarzan for a while.
  • Death Glare: Kerchak gives one to Terk and Tarzan, respectively for mocking him and endangering the family.
  • December–December Romance: Between Zugor and Mama Gunda.
  • Dumb Muscle: Kago and Uto are both enormous, but rather dim-witted. Especially Uto, who mistakes Tarzan for a baby bird and accidentally points at himself while responding with a No, You to one of Kago's insults.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kago and Uto may be big and violent apes, but they are very respectful towards their abusive and controlling mother.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The movie opens with Tarzan fleeing from what appears to be the monster Zugor. It's actually just a game he plays with Terk.
  • Full-Boar Action: While trying to figure out what he is, Tarzan attempts to befriend a young warthog, resulting in a whole sounder of hogs attacking him.
  • The Hermit: Zugor is an elderly gorilla living all by himself.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: When he is really offended, Kago tends to get the hiccups.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Even Sabor, the most terrifying predator in the jungle, runs from the Zugor's calls.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Zugor looks very much like George Carlin as an ape, complete with a bald forehead and a grey beard-like tuft on his chin.
  • Interquel: Takes place between in Time Skip of the first movie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Zugor. He scares the other animals so that they leave him alone, and is initially very dismissive of Tarzan and insensitive to his problems, but he softens up to the boy once he realizes they are similar.
    • Also, Kerchak. For as much as he dislikes Tarzan, he still consoles a tearful Kala when she assumes that he died.
  • Kick the Dog: Kago is introduced as playing with a mouse - that is, blocking the way of the scared rodent with his fists, just for kicks.
  • Killer Gorilla: Kago is an aggressive gorilla who takes pleasure in smashing things.
  • Laughably Evil: In contrast to the antagonists of the first movie, Mama Gunda and her sons Kago and Uto are silly, comical villains.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original movie, this one is less violent and a lot more kid-friendly. The villains are incompetent and Laughably Evil, and the greatest apparent threat (the Zugor monster) is just imaginary.
  • Love Redeems: Mama Gunda does a full Heel–Face Turn when she and Zugor realize their attraction to each other.
  • Mama Bear: Kala charges at Kago and Uto, who are at least twice as big as her, when they threaten one of the gorilla babies as well as Tarzan.
  • Manchild: Kago and Uto are both fully-grown male gorillas rivaling Kerchak in size, but have the personality of little boys.
  • Metaphorgotten: Mama Gunda's bedtime story about three little frogs is meant to be a clear allegory to her and her sons' situation, but soon it devolves into an evil monologue ignoring the frog metaphor.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Wildebeest, giraffes, warthogs, and gazelles are shown living in the jungle.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gunda is a very overbearing mother to Kago and Uto.
  • Mythology Gag: When Zugor tells Tarzan to stay in the far corner of his shelter, Tarzan mutters "Me Tarzan, you grouch", an obvious play on "Me Tarzan, you Jane".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The oxpecker perching on the rhinoceros that competes with Zugor for fruit has a very zany, cartoony design, complete with Feather Fingers, compared to the somewhat realistic design of the other animals in the movie.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Zugor realizes that he and Tarzan are not that different after discussing that both of them have been cast out of their gorilla troop (Zugor because of his old age, Tarzan because of his species).
  • No, You: When Kago calls Uto a "banana brain", he responds with this (while accidentally pointing at himself).
  • Outliving One's Offspring: A few years after losing her own child to Sabor, Kala believes she lost Tarzan too after he falls off a cliff in a storm.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Sabor the leopard actually shows up briefly in this movie to chase Tarzan while he is alone. While she is the antagonist of the first half of the previous movie, here she is just a temporary threat. She promptly leaves once Zugor yells his name throughout the jungle, which frightens her.
  • Rhino Rampage: As Zugor forages for food, he encounters an angry rhino who takes his food. He attempts to scare away the rhino by the "Zugor monster" act, but Tarzan blows his cover, resulting in the rhino chasing both of them.
  • Scarecrow Solution: Zugor uses a hollow tree trunk to amplify his voice, and some light effects to cast a gigantic shadow, pretending to be a monster.
  • Sequel Escalation: Inverted, the movie is a much more low-key story than the original movie, with fewer life-threatening situations and more Laughably Evil villains, focusing on Tarzan's childhood.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: Uto and Kago are huge gorillas who are huger and more muscular than their mother Gunda (who is also a gorilla). Truth in Television, as male gorillas, even as adolescents, are bigger than females.
  • Vine Swing: Tarzan begins to realize who he really is after he discovers his skills with this. He also uses his swinging skills to rescue Kala in the climax.