Tarzan & Jane

 
(i)

 

Tarzan story is a fast-paced romp with some peril.
  • Review Date: July 11, 2013
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Tarzan & Jane offers positive messages about the importance of communication, loyalty, trusting your own instincts, valuing (and seeing) other perspectives, and learning to compromise.

Positive role models

Tarzan may move like a gorilla on speed, but he's sensitive and introspective. Jane isn't just a damsel in distress, but a thoughtful, capable woman. Together, they may have sacrificed a lot to be together, but here we see them working out the subtleties of perspective and compromise. Background characters are one-dimensional, but largely positive.

Violence & scariness

There's a sustained menace of various jungle threats throughout the film: the recurring panthers who advance and growl their way through multiple scenes are quire ferocious-looking and could easily scare younger children. Other violence is more humorous or slapstick -- a bonk on the head with a stick, a large portion of a tree breaking off and plunging down rapids. Fight sequences involves the use of spears, and guns make a few appearances, though most are broken in half. Tarzan tangos with some pretty terrifying crocodiles and whisks Jane and the professor out of harm's way from some hot lava.

Sexy stuff

There's no sex, but this is the tale of a married couple -- Jane collapses into Tarzan's arms with a swoon on a few occasions, and in a few scenes in the first flashback, Jane's friends remark breathlessly that Tarzan is "robustly proportioned" and "so brave...and muscular!"

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tarzan & Jane is an overall high-action spectacle that involves the premise of Tarzan's parents having been killed in front of him as a boy by jungle animals (referenced in one scene; not shown). It has some sustained peril featuring fairly vicious jungle animals (fang-baring panthers and angry crocodiles) that could scare younger children. It also contains a few fight sequences involving spears or guns, but no bloodshed. Notably, Jane is portrayed as a smart, highly capable female character who gets in on the action, too.

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What's the story?

As Tarzan (voiced by Michael T. Weiss) and Jane (voiced by Olivia d'Abo) are on the hunt for something special to show tokens of their love to honor their one-year anniversary, it's a chance for Terk and Tanton to help them reminisce about some of their past adventures. Through flashbacks, we find out just what lengths both of them have gone to in order to keep the marriage strong, and what lessons they've learned in compromise.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A one-year anniversary between a savage and a proper British lady provides some good sitcom-inspired opportunities for lessons about relationships and cultural missteps. (Tarzan's kind of a brooder/grimacer -- but can you really blame him?) And there's no shortage of positive messages as these two work diligently to understand each other's perspective in this decent high-octane jungle romp. It's also a very fast-moving adventure that almost never takes a breather, and that brisk pace may keep you from noticing that the movie still feels a little bit flat. 

Kids will enjoy the big chases and prowling jungle animals, and girls are likely to appreciate a female character with Jane's self-sufficiency and jungle safety skills. Parents can appreciate that there's little to object to here, as long as kids aren't too small or prone to nightmares, and that there are lots of lessons in compromise and teamwork along the way.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about trusting your own instincts. Have you ever just felt like something was good or bad? Did you follow your instincts? What happened? Was your assumption correct? 

  • Sometimes our friends don't always get along with each other. Have you ever had friends you liked but who didn't like each other? What happened? Did you try to help them find common ground?

  • Go online to explore real-life accounts of life in the jungle.

Movie details

DVD release date:July 23, 2002
Cast:Jeff Bennett, Michael T. Weiss, Olivia d'Abo
Director:Don MacKinnon
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Great girl role models
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Tarzan & Jane was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Great handpicked alternatives

  • Kids will be drawn to Disney's fast-paced version.
  • An enjoyable jungle jaunt with young Tarzan.
  • Kids will like that Mowgli can talk to animals.

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