Tag Archives: Tarzan

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Ralph and Vanellope, an unlikely friendship.

Ralph and Vanellope, an unlikely friendship.

Wreck-It Ralph is a big win for Disney. The characters are adorable, it’s contemporary while holding on to classic themes, and it embraces the original Disney mantra of focusing on strong original characters. Every one of them is flawed, and deeply lovable.

But most notably, this is the first Disney film in nearly a decade that returned to the Renaissance-era tactic of playing the long game. Promotion for the film started early, the characters were developed publicly and the merchandising appropriately on-key.

A version of Ralph’s game — Fix-It Felix Jr. — in the movie was released for smartphones in advance of the theatrical release to familiarize fans with the world of the film. It ramped up to the top of the iTunes best seller list inside of a week.

Previews of the characters rolled out alongside the main theatrical trailers on YouTube and the popular Apple Trailers website. The 8-bit-style poster of Ralph’s face began popping up in cities around the world, and television spots teased familiar video game characters like the Pac-Man ghost and Bowser to boost interest among older viewers.

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Tarzan (1999)

Tarzan was the last hit Disney would enjoy for awhile.

With the last few animated features, Disney was trying to shed its kid-flick image and appeal to a broader, more mature audience. Tarzan was no exception to that effort.

Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic novel Tarzan of the Apes, this beautifully animated film is one of Disney’s more faithful adaptations. The film explores big themes like identity and family — both biological and the ones we create for ourselves.  Tarzan spends much of the film intimately aware of the differences between himself and the ape family who adopted him after he was orphaned in the jungle. His journey of self-discovery is truly touching and the film packs a pretty good emotional punch at points. His efforts to please pack leader Kerchak provide interesting tension throughout the story, as well as a nice, film-long subplot while Tarzan befriends Jane and her father, and learns more about who he really is.

The characters are quite likeable. You really feel for Kala (voiced beautifully by Glenn Close) and her journey — she is the ape who takes Tarzan in after her baby’s life is claimed by a menacing leopard. Minnie Driver brings a certain sass and independence to Jane that is a delight to watch. And it’s refreshing to see a female lead who has more on her mind than getting married.

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