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  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Animated menus
  • Music video
  • Interactive game

Tarzan & Jane

Disney/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 72 mins . G . PAL


While Disney's recent animated feature films have been varying in terms of quality (compare the technically brilliant but deadly dull Atlantis and Treasure Planet to the comparatively simple but far more enjoyable Lilo and Stitch), the direct-to-video sequels that they've been releasing over the last few years have been far more consistent: they've all sucked. Well, until now.

Tarzan and Jane follows on from one of my personal faves in the Disney canon, the 1999 adaption of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series. As you'd expect, the Africa that Disney present us with is a sanitised, kiddie-friendly environment filled with amicable, herbivorous animals (the only meat-eaters seem to be the nasty cougars, who never get a meal) who have a penchant for talking, singing and dancing. Fortunately the cute factor is toned down and the sarcasm turned up just enough so that adults can enjoy alongside their offspring.

Tarzan and Jane is a series of three 20-minute adventures linked by a subplot wherein Tarzan and Jane celebrate their first year of marriage. I suspect that the three sections are actually episodes of the Legend of Tarzan Saturday morning cartoon series that continued on from the film, but I can't find anything to confirm this.

Made-for-TV or not, the animation is surprisingly good. It's obviously not as complex as the big-budget feature film, but there are some nice bits of acting, great visual gags and beautifully rendered action scenes to keep viewers happy.

The first story, British Invasion, sees three of Jane's British Prep School girlfriends visit her jungle abode in an attempt to talk her into coming home. In the second, Volcanic Diamond Mine, a gang of villainous vagabonds endanger our heroes' lives when, displaying a sense of timing worse than Winona Ryder's, they attempt to steal diamonds from an about-to-erupt volcano. And the third reunites Jane with a childhood friend who is now a barrel-chested, square-jawed hunk of colonial beef - but are Tarzan's misgivings about him based on reality, or simple jealousy?


We get a widescreen 1.66:1, 16:9 enhanced image, and it's great. As is typical of most of Disney's recent releases, it's remarkably sharp and detailed, with vibrant colours and shadows: all in all, impossible to fault. The animation varies from acceptable TV fare to almost feature film quality - check out the scene where Tarzan surfs down a stream of molten lava on a rapidly shrinking piece of rock, while simultaneously juggling Jane and her father.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is effective - crisp and clear dialogue and effects, occasionally effective use of surrounds and subwoofer, and a decent music score (save for the odd interruption from Mandy Moore and Phil Collins).


Build Your Own Treehouse is a nifty game wherein the kids follow simple clues to construct Tarzan and Jane's jungle home. Some nice 3D graphics and plenty of cute touches make this a very decent time-waster for the young 'uns.

Tarzan and Jane's Adventure Builder is a corker - a "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" story, narrated by the cowardly elephant Tantor (Jim Cummings) and accompanied by some simple animation and still pictures.

There's a Music Video - Mandy Moore's Singing to the Song of Life - that I'd rather not talk about if you don't mind, as I'm still recovering. Too much sugar...


Tarzan and Jane is a decent kiddie-oriented adventure, and is well worth at least a rental to keep the youngsters entertained for a few hours. It won't make you forget the original (and far superior) Tarzan, but it certainly doesn't disgrace its predecessor either. The best of Disney's straight-to-DVD sequels by a looong way...

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      And I quote...
    "Tarzan and Jane is a decent follow-up to the much-loved original, and is well worth at least a rental to keep the youngsters entertained for a few hours."
    - Terry Oberg
      Review Equipment
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          Palsonic DVD3000
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    • Speakers:
    • Centre Speaker:
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    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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