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Western Animation / Tarzan of the Apes

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In 1999, Golden Films released a film they had made two years prior in time for another adaptation of the same beloved story: Tarzan of the Apes. In contrast to the Disney film, this production more or less follows the original book but it is, for the most part, a Lighter and Softer adaptation.


The film has examples of:

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the original ending, Tarzan gives up on pursuing Jane and would only be with her later. However, since the couple is iconic, this film has Jane go with Tarzan.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Rather than Terkoz being Tarzan's enemy, he is Tarzan's friend and adoptive brother.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Kerchak is still a jerk, but is far less antagonistic to Tarzan.
  • Composite Character: Sabor, a blanket term for lionesses in the Mangani language of the book series, is the name of a lion, whose blanket term in the Mangani language is "Numa."
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  • Death by Adaptation: Black Michael and his mutineers are killed in a storm not long after marooning the Claytons. It is never stated what happened to them after the marooning in the novel.
  • Decomposite Character: Terkoz's role as a villainous exile of the ape tribe is given to Kerchak.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Tarzan's biological father John dies because of an illness rather him being killed by Kerchak. Illness was how his mother Alice died in the original novel making it the exact same.
  • Distant Duet: In "Everlasting Love", Tarzan and Jane sing about their love despite being in different destinations.
  • Gender Flip: Sabor is a male lion instead of a lioness.
  • Killer Gorilla: Kerchak and Bolgani, or rather a killer "brown ape" and "grey ape" respectively.
  • Lighter and Softer: Just for an example, Kerchak does not kill John Clayton. Rather he dies of illness just as his wife Alice does. the movie also omits many of the darker and violent elements from the Disney film, such as Kala's gorilla baby getting eaten by Sabor and the brutal deaths of Tarzan's human family and Clayton by Hanging.
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  • Non-Indicative Name: While "Brown Apes" and "Grey Apes" would imply the two tribes are based on fur color, many of both tribes don't have the indicative fur color with Kerchak, Leader of the Brown Apes, having orange fur, and Bolgani, Leader of the Grey Apes, having black fur.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Kala is not killed by the Tribe of Mbonga, as they were called in the original book.
    • Terkoz is not killed by Tarzan due to the Adaptational Heroism.
  • Truer to the Text: As strange as it is, this film pretty much covers many of the episodes from the original novel: the marooning of the Claytons, Sabor's attack at the water hole, Tarzan following Jane to Baltimore, it is all there.
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