TARZAN & JANE - 2002

Producer & Supervising Director Steve Loter
Executive Producers & Writers Bill Motz & Bob Roth
Directors: British Invasion
                  Volcanic Diamond Mine
                  Flying Ace
Don MacKinnon
Victor Cook
Victor Cook
Writers: British Invasion
                Volcanic Diamond Mine

                Flying Ace

Mirith Colao
John Behnke, Rob Humphrey, Jim Peterson
Jess Winfield
Character creation Edgar Rice Burroughs
Original Music Score Don Harper & Dave Metzger

Tarzan Michael T Weiss
Jane Porter Olivia D'Abo
Terk April Winchell
Professor Porter Jeff Bennett
Tantor Jim Cummings
Renard Dumont Rene Auberjonois
Hazel Tara Strong
Merkus Kevin Michael Richardson
"Bobby" Canler Jeff Bennett

• I grew up in the era when Walt Disney himself controlled the creative reins of the Disney studio and the idea of a sequel to one of the classic animated feature films was an unheard of thing.  This policy was discarded for the first time in October 1990, when the studio released The Rescuers Down Under, a sequel to The Rescuers (1977).  For purists, I should clarify that in this consideration I am not including The Three Caballeros (1944), a sequel to 1942's Saludos Amigos, because neither are feature films, but are collections of different animated segments.  In 1998 the Disney sequel machine moved into high gear and cranked out two direct-to-video sequels - Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride - which means the template for Disney animated sequels was well established before Tarzan was released the following year.  Having discarded restrained good taste in favour of the economic imperative, several years earlier Walt Disney Television Animation had begun producing cartoon series based on their animated features.  The first of these was the Alladin series (1994-96), based on the 1992 feature, 101 Dalmatians: The Series appeared in 1997, and the following year the Hercules series was released.  In 1999 Walt Disney Pictures proved to the world that they were not yet done scraping the bottom of the barrel when they released Hercules: Hero to Zero, an animated direct-to-video feature shoddily hobbled together from three episodes of the Hercules television series.  This is technically a prequel to the 1997 Hercules feature, as it covers the hero's teenage years.  Following the success of the 1999 Tarzan feature, Walt Disney Television Animation produced 39 episodes of an animated spin-off series called, The Legend of Tarzan.  This picked up where the feature left off and showed Tarzan adapting to his new role as leader of the apes and it also explored the adaptations that Jane and Professor Porter were making to living in the jungle.  Hercules: Hero to Zero, mentioned above, proved to the studio that they could make money cheaply by manufacturing direct-to-video animated features from several episodes of pre-existing animated series.   Tarzan & Jane did exactly that by using three episodes of The Legend of Tarzan series - British Invasion, Volcanic Diamond Mine and Flying Ace.  Like the Hercules prequel, it added about 10 minutes of new footage to string the unrelated segments together.  While the animation is not up to the same standard as the feature, it did also incorporate some interesting use of leaf and foliage shading to create mood and a sense of place.  Numerous characters from the Tarzan novels were also featured, including Princess La and Leopard Men (click on the link to see my pages about the Tarzan books).

• To hear the ape cry used in this film move your mouse over this image

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• Jane wants to plan a surprise party for Tarzan to celebrate their first wedding anniversary but when she confides her plans to Terk and Tantor they remind her of Tarzan's aversion to British customs.  When Jane's three friends, Hazel, Eleanor and Greenley, visited their jungle home Tarzan had refused to wear his father's suit to a polite picnic because he felt Jane was embarrassed by him.  When Jane suggest that she buy Tarzan an anniversary gift instead they point out what happened when Tarzan had attempted to obtain a diamond for Jane.  Tarzan, Jane and her father had been trapped inside an erupting volcano by two crooks, Niels and Merkus, who had duped Tarzan into leading them to a volcano to look for diamonds.  Jane then suggests that maybe her and Tarzan should spend their anniversary dancing under the jungle moon.  Terk and Tantor then point out to Jane that it might reawaken unpleasant memories of the time Tarzan had stumbled upon Jane dancing with her childhood sweetheart, Bobby Canler.  Tarzan had taken an instant dislike to Canler and convinced himself he was only jealous.  However, Canler was really a double agent and tried to kill both Tarzan and Jane in his biplane.  When Jane arrives home her discouragement is dispelled when Tarzan surprises her with a party.  He is wearing his father's suit, he gives her a diamond from the diamond mine and he dances with her while their jungle friends provide a musical accompaniment.

Click on the image below to view a montage of scenes from this film:

• All three photos are screenshots from the Tarzan & Jane DVD, Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2002
• The video clip of the montage of scenes from this film was uploaded to Youtube by me specifically to embed in this web page
• Read a review and rating of this film at At-A-Glance Film Reviews
• Visit the official Disney Tarzan & Jane Homepage

• Bag yourself a copy of this film on DVD at Amazon.com or eBay

TARZAN® is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2007-2008 Paul Wickham
This page was updated April 2008