Fifteen years on from Disney’s cute animated version of Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic tale comes another cartoon featuring the boy raised by apes, and it certainly boasts a different twist on the well-known story.
You realise straight away that this is probably not a screen version Mr Burroughs would have approved of, as an opening scene shows us dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs!) being wiped out by a big jagged asteroid that slams into the earth. That rock has some glowy red alien properties that could power the whole planet (or something), so millions of years later a man is searching for it with his wife and young kid in tow.
Unfortunately their helicopter flies a bit too close to the spiky rocks, and the next thing you know, mum and dad are dead and the boy is being raised by an ape who has lost her husband and child.A few years later on, and young Tarzan is swinging through the trees when he spots Jane (looking rather curvaceous for a movie aimed at kids) and discovers there is more to life than eating bananas and playing with his ape brothers.
Made using motion capture so the animated characters are realistically human, this looks impressive but is lacking in most other departments. Children will be bored by the big business subplot, while very little ones will be upset by the deaths and scared witless by some of the darker scenes (that’s if the slow plot hasn’t caused them to nod off). One of those movies that doesn’t seem to be aimed at anyone in particular – certainly not kids – if you’re under 10 you’re better off with Disney’s version, and if you’re older then Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes may be more up your street.
Is Tarzan (2014) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Young viewers may find the helicopter crash distressing.
The ape that threatens Tarzan and his ‘mum’ will be frightening for the under 7s.
The dark caves and rocks may scare younger viewers.