Despite its rich animation, the story is again the lacking problem ringing in Disney’s big ears. Every word and action falls under the strict Disney formula code, which is restraining imaginative thought more than helping it. But that’s what you gotta’ do I guess if you wanna’ sell a billion of Tickle me Tarzan merchandise.
The plot is like a ghost of what Burroughs’ novel was originally, but with the typical Disney formula points; there’s the hero suffering from an identity crisis wanting something more, the fawn-like love interest who will eventually fall in love with the only available white man in central Africa, the treacherous one-note villain, and of course the bumbling sidekicks with comic relief and one-liners of slapstick and amusement for the kids. None of this was in The Iron Giant and it still managed to be a great film. Can we at least drop some of the items on the list?
The movie can get overly pretentious at times with the hammering of the ideals that nature… good, animals… good, man… bad. I’ve heard it all before, do I need it set to Phil Collins’ monotonous radio-friendly pop songs as well now?
Despite some flaws and the worse villain in a Disney movie of recent memory (a poor man’s Gaston) it is still enjoyable and worthwhile even with the creative constraint of the Mickey Mouse. Sure it’s already made millions but for my money Mulan was better.
Nate’s Grade: C+