Monday, December 6, 2010

Mommy Movie Review: Tarzan

It is funny how you see things through different eyes when you become a parent.  Things that didn't bother you or that you didn't think twice about suddenly jump out and make their presence known. So was the case when we borrowed Disney's Tarzan from the library.

As you can see, Tarzan is our movie up for review, and Kristi is reviewing The Jungle Book over on her blog today.
The story of Tarzan (as told by Disney) takes place on the coast of Africa and in the tropical jungle.  A young family, consisting of a father, mother, and baby boy, is shipwrecked and makes their home in a tree on the coast.  In the jungle itself, there is a family of gorillas.  The silver back and, I guess, his "head wife" have a baby gorilla.  During the night a leopard kills the baby gorilla.  While in  her grieving, the mother gorilla hears a baby cry, and goes to investigate.  She comes across the baby boy whose parents have been killed by the same leopard.  The mother gorilla takes the baby with her and raises him as her own.

Suzette's Positives
  • Friendship despite differences is definitely a theme that runs through this movie.  Tarzan's best friends  are Turk (gorilla) and Tantor (elephant).  Jane accepts Tarzan's friendship despite his being completely different in every social way possible.
  • The musical montages are very well done.  The story is fit into the songs very well, and they help keep the story moving along.
Suzette's Negatives
  • Tarzan wants desperately to fit in and basically be a gorilla.  Even Kerchak (the silver back) says, "He can never be one of us!"  How funny that people are always trying to find ways to equate themselves to animals, but animals never try to be equal with humans.
  • There are a few references to evolution that are very subtly done.  At one point, the professor (Jane's father) says that Tarzan might be the missing link. However, we saw that Tarzan was born to two human parents, shipwrecked, orphaned, and then raised by gorillas.  Nothing there qualifies him to be a missing link. In fact, he just suffered a string of bad luck! Towards the end, when Jane and her father get ready to board the ship to England, her father starts telling Tarzan about all of the people who will want to meet him, "...Darwin and Kipling!"  As we all know, Darwin is the one who is credited for coming up with the theory of evolution.  By throwing Darwin's name into this children's movie, the seed is already being planted.   (Rudyard Kipling happens to be the author if the Jungle Book which Kristi is blogging about today.)
  • As a personal note, after seeing this movie, Addie will occasionally coming running into the room yelling, "Oh no!  Gorilla!"  Although the gorillas in the movie were not portrayed as being bad (in fact, the humans were the bad guys), she somehow developed a fear of gorillas.
  • Clayton, a poacher acting as a guide to Jane and her father, shoots and wounds Tarzan, points his gun at Tarzan, hits Tarzan with the gun, and in the end dies by an accidental hanging while he was trying to kill Tarzan.  Rather violent for a children's movie.
Suzette's Rating: 5

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