Tarzan: Special Edition (1999)

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Released 29-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
THX Optimizer
THX Trailer
Audio Commentary-Directors And Producer
Deleted Scenes
Music Video-'You'll Be In My Heart' & 'Strangers Like Me' ByPhil Collins
Music Video-Studio Session-'Trashin' The Camp' By Phil Collins & 'N Sync
Game-Terk's Tree Surfing Challenge
Game-DisneyPedia: Living In The Jungle
Featurette-History And Development (Three Featurettes)
Featurette-The Music Of Tarzan (Three Featurettes)
Featurette-Story And Editorial - Building The Story
Storyboard Comparisons
Featurette-The Characters of Tarzan (6)
Featurette-Animation Production - Galleries, Featurettes
Theatrical Trailer-3
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 84:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Chris Buck
Kevin Lima

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Tony Goldwyn
Minnie Driver
Glenn Close
Brian Blessed
Nigel Hawthorne
Lance Henriksen
Wayne Knight
Alex D. Linz
Rosie O'Donnell
Taylor Dempsey
Jason Marsden
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Phil Collins
Mark Mancina
Gregory Perler

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish Audio Commentary
Portuguese Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Disney's adaptation of this classic was a surprise to me, as I thought that Tarzan had already been done enough. Edgar Rice Burroughs' first Tarzan adventure debuted in 1912, and the character has been seen in countless movies since. Memories of Saturday afternoons watching black and white Tarzan serials with Johnny Weissmuller and the 80s film Greystoke : The Legend of Tarzan starring Christopher Lambert sprang to mind. Why a kid's cartoon?

    To my surprise, I found Tarzan an unexpected delight. Visually impressive, Tarzan is nothing short of breathtaking. Considering I already knew the general story I was still drawn into this adaptation. In this version, Tarzan's human parents are stranded in Africa after a shipwreck. They establish a primitive life for themselves and their son, but a leopard kills his parents. A kindly ape named Kala rescues the human baby. She adopts it as her own child against the wishes of her mate and pack leader, Kerchack.

    Young Tarzan grows up among the apes, but is always keenly aware that he is different. Once he reaches adulthood and meets humans for the first time, the story gets more complicated. It becomes clear that Tarzan is caught between two cultures - he lives with apes but will never be one of them. When he meets humans, he is treated as though he is an ape.

    I'm certainly no fan of Phil Collins (he's a bit past his prime) but I have to give him credit. The songs in this film add a lot to the storyline and are extremely catchy. Not as good as some of Disney's other recent efforts, but the use of the songs is quite suitable to the storyline. Unlike most Disney releases, the characters don't sing the songs - the music is just part of the background and it is used well to advance the story.

    Tarzan is probably one of Disney's better animated films of the last 10 years  It is certainly no Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, but it is a fun adaptation that kids who are being exposed to Tarzan for the first time will love and adults will find a refreshing reinterpretation.

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

Transfer Quality


    The movie is presented in PAL at 1.66:1 and the disc is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is spectacularly clear and a real credit to Disney. There is a lot of fast moving action in the movie and at all times it looks amazingly fluid, almost like Tarzan is going to swing right through the screen.

    The brilliant colour almost makes the screen come alive. The jungles look lush, the water is an amazing blue, the bright coloured birds and fruits are a treat to the eyes. It is a beautiful picture.

    There are no MPEG artefacts at all and no grain.

    Tarzan is a great example of how spectacular hand drawn animation can look and Disney have done a great job at transferring it to DVD.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The main track is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) track.

    Whilst not as stand-out impressive as the video transfer, this is still a great audio treatment.

    The dialogue comes through clearly. There were no sync or other audio related issues.

    The music sounds great and helps to advance the storyline (I'm not a big Phil Collins fan though).

    The surrounds are used well, especially to add to the sense of the jungle (i.e. birds in the distance, elephants, and so forth).

    The subwoofer is used for a few scenes, but for the most part is pretty subtle.

    There is also an English Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Menu Audio

Disc 1

Audio Commentary-Filmmakers:

    Directors Chris Buck and Kevin Lima and producer Bonnie Arnold provide a lively and entertaining commentary.

Deleted Scenes

Music Video-'You'll Be In My Heart' & 'Strangers Like Me' By Phil Collins

    The songs work well in the film, but not much out of it!

Music Video-Studio Session-'Trashin' The Camp' By Phil Collins & 'N Sync

Game-Terk's Tree Surfing Challenge

Game-DisneyPedia: Living In The Jungle

    Simple and fun games for kids

Disc 2

Featurette-History And Development 

    From Burroughs to Disney (2:33)

    Too brief to be anything of substance, but a good overview for the attention deficient!

    Early Presentation Reel (1:51)

    Storyboard and conceptual art set to music.

    Research trip to Africa (2:50)

    Artists get a trip to get some creative juices and inspiration flowing.

Featurette-The Music Of Tarzan 

    The Making of the Music (2:43)

    Interview with Phil

    Tarzan goes International (2:15)

    The difficulty of translating the music to different languages. Phil even sings in a few languages!

    Original Phil Collins Song demos:

    Audio of the actual tape demos he submitted to Disney. Nothing to see, but interesting to hear.

Featurette-Story And Editorial

    Building The Story (3:06)

    Brief look at the script and screenplay process.

    Storyboard to Film Comparison (3:13)

Featurette-The Characters of Tarzan

    Goes through the creation and animation of all the key characters in the movie.

    Featurette-Animation Production - Galleries, Featurettes

    There were a few brief featurettes here. The most interesting were on the Deep Canvas technology which gave the animation such an impressive fluid look in the fast jungle swinging scenes.


Theatrical Trailer-3

R4 vs R1

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

    Region 4 is the clear winner here.

    For some reason the SE release in the US was touted as a 2 disc release but in the end only a single disc was released. As a result the special features were pretty scaled back.


    Overall, a really fun movie for the whole family.

    The video is superb.

    The audio is great.

    The special features are good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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R4 vs R1 - David Starkey REPLY POSTED