Tarzan (1999 movie)

1999 American animated film
(Redirected from Tarzan (1999 film))

Tarzan is a 1999 animated movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel Tarzan of the Apes and made by The Walt Disney Company. It was the first Disney animated feature to start at #1 in the box office since Pocahontas. It was the first to have a production budget of $100 million since The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Directed byChris Buck
Kevin Lima
Screenplay byTab Murphy
Bob Tzudiker
Noni White
Based onTarzan of the Apes
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Produced byBonnie Arnold
StarringTony Goldwyn
Minnie Driver
Rosie O'Donnell
Glenn Close
Brian Blessed
Lance Henriksen
Wayne Knight
Nigel Hawthorne
Edited byGregory Perler
Music byMark Mancina
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release dates
  • June 18, 1999 (1999-06-18)
(United States)
  • October 22, 1999 (1999-10-22)
(United Kingdom and Ireland)
  • November 24, 1999 (1999-11-24)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$130 million[1]
Box office$448,191,819[1]

a British couple and their infant son are shipwrecked in Equatorial Africa. The adults build a treehouse but are killed by Sabor, a vicious leopard. Their son is found by Kala, whose son was also killed by Sabor, and Kala adopts him despite the objections of her mate, Kerchak. Years later, the adopted human, named Tarzan, befriends other animals including Kala's niece Terk and the paranoid elephant Tantor. Tarzan finds himself treated differently because of his different physique, so he makes valiant efforts to improve himself. As an adult, Tarzan kills Sabor with a spear, gaining Kerchak's reluctant approval.


Meanwhile, a team of human explorers from England, consisting of Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, his daughter Jane, and their hunter escort Clayton, are looking to study the gorillas. Jane accidentally becomes separated from the group and is chased by a baboon troop, until Tarzan rescues her out of sheer curiosity. After comparing her to himself, he realizes they are similar. Jane leads Tarzan back to their camp, where Porter and Clayton both take interest in him; the former in terms of scientific progress, while the latter hopes to have Tarzan lead the group to the gorillas. Despite Kerchak's warnings to avoid the humans, Tarzan repeatedly returns to the camp. Porter, Clayton, and Jane teach him how to speak English properly, and tell him what the human world is like. Tarzan and Jane begin to fall in love; however, she has difficulty convincing Tarzan to lead the humans to the gorillas, as Tarzan fears Kerchak's fury.

The explorers' ship soon returns to retrieve them. Jane asks Tarzan to return with them to England, but Tarzan, in turn, asks Jane to stay with him when Jane says it is unlikely that they will ever return. Clayton convinces Tarzan that Jane will stay with him forever as long as he leads them to the gorillas. Tarzan agrees, and leads the trio to the nesting grounds while Terk and Tantor lure Kerchak away. Porter and Jane are excited to mingle with the gorillas, but Kerchak returns and attacks the humans on sight. Tarzan restrains Kerchak while the humans escape. Afterward, Kerchak accuses Tarzan of betraying his family, causing Tarzan to flee in shame. Kala takes Tarzan to the treehouse where she found him, reveals his true past, and says that she wants him to be happy whatever he decides. Tarzan puts on his late father's suit, signifying his decision to go to England.

When Tarzan boards the ship with Jane and Porter the next day, they are ambushed by Clayton and his traitorous band of stowaway thugs. Now aware of the location of the nesting grounds, Clayton reveals his plans to capture and sell the gorillas for a fortune, and imprisons Tarzan, Jane, and Porter to prevent them from interfering. Tarzan manages to escape with the help of Terk and Tantor, and he returns to the jungle, rallying the animals to come to the aid of the gorillas and scare off the thugs. Clayton then mortally wounds Kerchak and battles Tarzan across the treetops. Although Tarzan spares Clayton's life and breaks his rifle, Clayton tries to kill him with his machete. Their battle comes to a cluster of vines, and Clayton tries to cut free when a vine becomes tangled around his neck, hanging him to death. Kerchak, with his dying breath, finally accepts Tarzan as his son, and names him the leader of the gorilla troop.

The next day, Porter and Jane prepare to leave on the ship, while Tarzan stays behind with the gorillas. As the ship's rowboat leaves shore, Porter encourages his daughter to stay with the man she loves, and Jane jumps overboard, followed soon after by her father. The Porters reunite with Tarzan and his family, and embark on their new life together in the jungle.

Main cast

  • Tony Goldwyn as Tarzan, a 20-year-old man raised by gorillas who finds his human roots.
  • Minnie Driver as Jane Porter, the benevolent, eccentric, feisty and intelligent 19-year-old daughter of Professor Porter.
  • Glenn Close as Kala, Tarzan's adoptive mother, who found and raised him after losing her biological son to Sabor. She is also Kerchak's mate.
  • Lance Henriksen as Kerchak, Kala's mate and Tarzan's (reluctant) adoptive father, a silverback and leader of the gorilla troop, who struggles to accept Tarzan since he is a human.
  • Brian Blessed as William Cecil Clayton, an intelligent and suave yet arrogant and treacherous hunter, who assists the Porters on their quest.
  • Nigel Hawthorne as Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, an eccentric, short-statured scientist and Jane's father.
  • Rosie O'Donnell as Terk (short for Terkina, a feminization of Terkoz merged with Teeka), Tarzan's best friend, a wisecracking gorilla. She is also Kala and Kerchak's niece, making her and Tarzan adoptive cousins.
  • Wayne Knight as Tantor, a paranoid and submissive elephant, and Tarzan and Terk's close friend.



A spin-off television animated series named The Legend of Tarzan ran from 2001 to 2003. The series picks up where the movie left off. Tarzan is adjusting to his new role as leader of the apes following Kerchak's death.



Direct-to-video sequels:



Tarzan won the following awards:

Annie Awards


Tarzan was also nominated for 11 Annie Awards, winning one.

Result Award Winner/Nominee Recipient(s)
Nominated Animated Theatrical Feature
Nominated Individual Achievement in Directing Kevin Lima (Director)
Chris Buck (Director)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Writing Tab Murphy (Writer)
Bob Tzudiker (Writer) &
Noni White (Writer)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Brian Pimentel (Story Supervisor)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Production Design Daniel St. Pierre (Art Director)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Character Animation Ken Duncan (Supervising Animator - Jane)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Character Animation Glen Keane (Supervising Animator - Tarzan)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Effects Animation Peter DeMund (Effects Supervisor)
Nominated Individual Achievement in Voice Acting Minnie Driver ("Jane")
Nominated Individual Achievement in Music Phil Collins (Songs)
Won Technical Achievement in the Field of Animation Eric Daniels (Computer Graphics Supervisor)
(For the development of the Deep Canvas device in the movie)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tarzan (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 11, 2011.

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