Agree with me or not, Tarzan (1999) was one of the best animated Disney movies of all time. And guess what – today is the film’s anniversary! That’s right, Tarzan came out on June 18, 1999, and today marks its 24th birthday. So, as a gift to this wonderful piece of cinematic art, here are the top 4 gifts it gave us.
1 – Phil Collins Music
Is this not the most obvious one? People on the internet today are still talking about how Phil Collins had no reason to go so hard on the Tarzan soundtrack. But we’re so glad he did. He graced us with such masterpieces as ‘Two Worlds’ and reminded us to “put your faith in what you most believe in.” He helped us live through Tarzan’s eyes with ‘Strangers Like Me,’ and inspired us with ‘Son of Man.”
And, of course, he wrote the perfect father/daughter or mother/son dance for any Disney fan’s wedding – ‘You’ll Be in My Heart.’ “For one so small/ you seem so strong/ My arms will hold you/ keep you safe and warm.” CUE the tears. So beautiful. Truly one of the best and most randomly amazing Disney soundtracks out there.
2 – Good Father Figure
Can we get a round of applause for Jane’s father, Archimedes Q. Porter? Is he not the dad of all dads? Not only does he share his daughter’s highly intelligent and admirable interests, but he lets her explore whatever her heart desires and never tries to control her. Plus, he’s so earnestly cringe that it’s adorable. He lovingly gives Jane his blessing for her to run off with some wild man in a loin cloth, and thinks, “Eh I might as well stay too!”
Always remember: when Jane recounts her harrowing tale of meeting Tarzan while being chased by a hoard of angry baboons, she says that they took her boot. Professor Porter replies, “ Your boot? those are the ones I bought you!” Classic Archimedes.
3 – Positive Masculinity
Tarzan is such a good example of masculinity in a non-toxic sense. Clayton and Tarzan are polar opposites, another thing the internet gladly admires more than two decades later. Even though they’re both large physically dominating men, Tarzan does everything out of his love for his family and protection, while Clayton is full of anger and greed. Clayton always chooses violence, but Tarzan refuses. Where Clayton wants to annihilate, Tarzan seeks to learn.
Even at the end when Tarzan manages to wrestle Clayton’s gun away from him, Clayton tells Tarzan to “be a man” and shoot. Tarzan, dressed in a suit but with the heart of an ape simply replies, “Not a man like you.” I mean what? This movie does not get enough love.
4 – Animation
The animation in this movie is so beautiful! Not only does it incorporate the amazing hand drawn style of true a Disney classic, but the jungle itself it’s so visually interesting. Surely I’m not the only one who remembers the Disney commercial about how the animators based Tarzan’s movements after pro skateboarder Tony Hawk. That’s okay, if you don’t remember, I found it on the internet for you to enjoy!
Ah! We love you Tarzan! And Jane gets a 10/10 too obviously.
What’s your favorite thing about Disney’s 1999 Tarzan?