Most Disney fans know that, in 1999, Disney took a classic tale and put its classic animated twist on it. Tarzan told the story of a young baby whose family found themselves stranded in the jungle. Sadly, Tarzan’s parents were killed, but he was saved by a loving gorilla and raised as one of them. Then he had to save his adoptive family from humans who wanted to destroy their home. Tarzan isn’t Disney’s most successful animated film, but it’s a great story with a great soundtrack.
While Tarzan was a fun animated film, it was not the first time Disney put its twist on the adventure story. Two years before Tarzan was released, Disney released a live-action comedy inspired by the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. The film was called George of the Jungle and it starred Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann, Thomas Hayden Church, Richard Roundtree, and Holland Taylor.
There are several things we know about Tarzan. He grew up in the jungle, was raised by apes, and swinging from vines and climbing trees kept him in great shape. However, getting into such great shape and staying in shape while filming was not an easy feat for Fraser. In fact, his diet was so strict that it actually affected the way his brain functioned.
Fraser spoke more about his George of the Jungle food struggles while speaking with Adam Sandler as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors.
“I was waxed. Starved of carbohydrates,” Fraser said. “I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn’t remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Banging on the thing. I didn’t eat that night.”
Sandler joked that Fraser’s physique and his “costume” — which was a loincloth — did right by the character, but made people feel about themselves.
In addition to George of the Jungle, Fraser was in a number of notable films during the 1990s, including Encino Man, School Ties, Now and Then, and The Mummy.