4 Reasons Disney’s ‘Tarzan’ Is Too Good For This World

tarzan and jane porter sketch bird in jungle tree top 1999 disney
Credit: Disney

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

disney 1999 tarzan movie sound track cover art phil collins

Credit: Disney

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

archemides q porter janes father 1999 tarzan disney jungle professor porter

Credit: Disney

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

clayton tarzan in suit gun 1999 disney on ship

Credit: Disney

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?

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!