Tarzan & Jane (2002)

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Released 12-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Game-Build Your Own Tree House
Game-Tarzan & Jane's Adventure Builder
Music Video-Singing To The Song Of Life-Mandy Moore
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 72:18
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Victor Cook
Steve Loter
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Jeff Bennett
Jim Cummings
Olivia d'Abo
Grey DeLisle
Alexis Denisof
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Don Harper
Dave Metzger


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Quoting the back cover, "The legend of Disney's Tarzan continues in TARZAN & JANE, an all-new movie packed with action, suspense ...": as you can see, they say this is an all-new movie, but that is not entirely true.

    When Disney has a successful release of some of its premium titles it usually follows on with a 'B' grade sequel and also with a weekly series version of the film. Many of the Saturday morning cartoons on TV consist of these weeklies; the Little Mermaid, Hercules and Tarzan in particular are examples. Now the weekly show is not bad if judged as a weekly - the animation is much simpler, as it would have to be to be produced on a weekly basis. The storylines are also expanded to include more characters so that each week there is something new happening. Usually, a string of new baddies is added.

    What Disney has done here is to string together three of the half hour weekly serials of Tarzan with a very poor premise for a storyline that includes flashbacks (three of them to be precise). I have actually seen two of these on TV on Saturday mornings while making breakfast for the kids. So what we have here is weekly series quality animation being released as a movie, and while Disney animation of this kind is still very good it does not match what you normally expect in even a 'B' grade Disney movie release.

    The main characters are drawn differently from the original movie and I think the voice actors are different as well. The two most noticeable differences are in the lip sync being in places quite bad and in the much greater use of the character being on one cel and only the mouth being animated on another, giving a very still appearance to the character, although, as I will mention in the video section, I have a suspicion that this film was animated on computer, so I am not sure that cels were actually involved.

    Ignoring the fact that this has come from the weekly series, picking up the premise of the movie we are one year on from Jane and Tarzan's wedding and Jane is wondering just how to celebrate this occasion. She mentions to Terk and Tantor that she wants to have a party. They remind her that civilised parties are not Tarzan's thing, in fact remember when (here comes the first flashback) your three friends came out to visit? In this flashback, three high society friends arrive to rescue Jane from the jungle. Tarzan sees himself through their eyes and tries to fit in by wearing a suit. Meanwhile, the three get themselves into trouble in the jungle and require rescuing by someone that knows the jungle, not high society. Having been convinced that a party is not a good idea Jane then suggests a simple gift exchange. Again Jane is reminded that the last time Tarzan tried to get her a gift they all nearly got killed. In this episode, Tarzan agrees to act as guide to a couple of nasty characters that are out to mine diamonds in a volcano. After getting the loot, they try to do away with Tarzan so they don't have to share. The final suggestion is that they could maybe dance to celebrate - cue the rather weakly-linked flashback where an old male friend of Jane's turns up and Tarzan catches them dancing and gets the wrong impression. They have tacked on a ending that I won't spoil but the new animation involved in this film would amount to about 10 minutes at a maximum.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     While the animation is not the best the transfer is absolutely flawless - it is so free of artefacts that I have to believe that it is a direct transfer from a computer source.

    The transfer is presented at 1.66:1 and 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is pin-sharp and the shadow detail is faultless. There is absolutely no low level noise

    The colours are wonderful with great saturation and brightness and are totally clear of noise. Often with even the best transfers, large areas of the same colour are affected by grain and have some minor artefacts, but there are none of these in this transfer.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, nor any film-to-video artefacts like aliasing. There were no film artefacts to be seen, either.

    The subtitles were a little hard to read, and I did not like the font chosen, although they are accurate to the on-screen dialogue.

    The lack of a layer change during the film leads me to believe that the film is on one layer of this RSDL disc and the extras on the second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There is a single English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on this disc.

    There were no problems with the dialogue quality. They appear to have toned down Jane's English accent as compared to the original movie.

    I was a little disappointed with the lack of quality on the animation of the mouths - Disney is usually much better than this, even in their weeklies. Other than that, the audio appeared to be in sync.

    The song from the first film, Two Worlds, One Family, is a real favourite of mine both for the music and the sentiment expressed. This song does make an appearance in this film. The new song for this film is not nearly as good. The rest of the music for the film is quite good and works well with the story.

    The music is mixed extremely well and surrounds you in just the right fashion. The jungle noises also are present in the surrounds but there was no evidence of split surround material.

    The sub was used on a couple of occasions, mostly when Tantor (the elephant) stops around but it sounded a little fake.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    A nice little jungle scene with some simple animated characters jumping in and out. Presented at 1.68:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Game: Build Your Own Tree House.

    A simple game where you need to chose the materials needed to build the tree house in the correct order. There is a voice over from the character of Jane's father helping you along the way. When you chose the correct piece from the selection on the ground below the tree Terk swings through and the piece appears attached to the tree. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Game: Tarzan and Jane Adventure Builder.

    This game takes the form of a talking story book, narrated by Tantor. As he tells the story a series of still images is shown, quite a lot in comparison with some talking books I have seen as extras. Each time something big happens you are given a page with two choices and from here can direct the story. The choices are fairly obvious, the first being helping Jane out of the mud or going to fight a fire in the jungle. The wrong choice leads to a poor outcome and the end of the story. Should be fun for the kids. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Featurette: Mandy Moore; "Singing to the Sing of Life". (1:48)

    A very short look at the theme song for this film, part video clip, part interview with Mandy Moore. Presented at 1.66:1 letterboxed in a 1.33:1 frame and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Other than some teaser trailers and sneak peeks for various Disney releases the R4 and R1 discs appear identical.

Summary

    I am not sure that three weekly cartoons strung together add up to the purchase price of this disc. Of course, the kiddies probably won't notice. I am probably most disappointed with the animation, which really is below standard for Disney.

    The video is top notch.

    The audio is all right.

    The extras will have some attraction for the right age group.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Friday, January 17, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
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Comments (Add)
Traditional Cel Animation is a thing of the past. - Christopher