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Toon Talk: Tarzan II DVD
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(c) Disney

In addition to Close and Henriksen, the other main player from the original Tarzan team to return is Phil Collins, who won an Oscar for his songwriting on the first film. In addition to recycling "Son of Man? for the opening sequence, Collins has contributed two new songs (heard over a couple of redundant montages) that pale in comparison to his original tune stack. Reportedly, these songs ("Leaving Home (Find My Way)? and "Who Am I??) will also be folded into the original story when Tarzan makes his debut on the Great White Way in a future Disney Theatricals production. The Broadway stage: now there's a new world the ape-man has yet to conquer.

The handful of Bonus Features included on the disc are strictly aimed at its intended audience: young children. Aside from Fast Play, there's the Tarzan Matter-of-Facts viewing option, with jungle trivia popping up on screen during the film, as well as a mini-"making of?, the brief Bringing the Legend to Life, plus two set-top activities (Gorilla Grumble, a matching game (brought to you by "Serengeti Spaghetti?), and Tantor and Terk's Jungle Guide, offering even more wild kingdom facts, albeit with the naïve duo's own skewed observations) and a Music Video of the end title version of "Who Am I??, sung by Tiffany Evans, a little girl with a big voice, apparently a graduate of the Whitney Houston School of Hand Gestures.

Toon Talk Rating: C+

In this ‘Toon Talk' feature, I'll briefly highlight a recommended film or DVD, outside of the Disney universe, of similar interest to the main subject.

Buster Crabbe. Lex Barker. Gordon Scott. Ron Ely. Miles O'Keefe. Christopher Lambert. Casper Van Dien. Travis Fimmel. Many have tried, but none have been able to surpass the lasting impact of the Gold Medal-winning Olympian-turned-actor Johnny Weissmuller as Burroughs' Tarzan.

All six of Weissmuller's MGM jungle epics are included on the four-DVD Tarzan Collection (Warner Home Video): Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), Tarzan and His Mate (1934), Tarzan Escapes (1936), Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939), Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) and Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942). (Weissmuller would go on to make six more Tarzans at RKO from 1943 to 1948.)

If you haven't seen them since Saturday morning TV screenings when you were a kid, you're in for a nostalgic blast from the past with these delightfully Hollywood-ized adventures (for example: who knew that they had Brylcreem in deepest, darkest Africa?). Also included is the new, feature-length documentary Tarzan: Silver Screen of the Jungle.

Coming Soon in Toon Talk:

  • Lindsay Lohan continues her remaking of seemingly every Disney live action classic with Herbie: Fully Loaded, co-starring Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton (June 24th).
  • In celebration of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary comes the new DVD Disneyland: The Secrets, Stories and Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth (July 12th).
  • School may be out, but its in session for Sky High, a super-hero academy headed by Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston (July 9th).

And Coming Soon from Buena Vista Home Video:

  • ESPN's original series Tilt makes its DVD debut with its Complete First Season (June 14th).
  • Two recent big screen thrillers: Bruce Willis in Hostage and Christina Ricci in Cursed (June 21st).
  • Two Disney Channel movies come to disc with The Even Stevens Movie (starring Christy Carlson Romano and Shia LaBeouf) and Cadet Kelly (starring Hilary Duff); Vin Diesel goes Kindergarten Cop with The Pacifier; plus the award-winning film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders (June 28th).
  • Just in time to capitalize on the upcoming live action would-be blockbuster: The Fantastic Four: The Complete Animated Series; Christina Ricci and Anne Heche co-star in the long-in-limbo screen adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation; Skeet Ulrich stars in the hacker thriller Track Down; and Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler co-star in the critically acclaimed heart-warmer Dear Frankie (July 5th).
  • Check out The Mickey Mouse Club both "old? and "new? with The Best of the Original Mickey Mouse Club and The Mickey Mouse Club: The Best of Britney, Justin and Christina; classic Mouse shorts, including Steamboat Willie, can be found on Vintage Mickey; and Wes Craven presents Dracula III: Legacy starring Roy Scheider and Rutger Hauer as the Prince of Darkness (July 12th).
  • Its Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion time: Michelle Trachtenberg is the Ice Princess (co-starring Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall and Hayden Panettiere) and David Boreanaz is Death in The Crow: Wicked Prayer (co-starring Edward Furlong, Tara Reid and Dennis Hopper); and more Baby Einstein fun with Baby Einstein: Baby Wordsworth (July 19th).

Discuss It

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-- Kirby C. Holt
-- Logo by William C Searcy, Magic Bear Graphics

Kirby is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. He is also an avid list maker and chronic ellipsis user ...

Took Talk: Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt is posted whenever there's something new to review.

The opinions expressed by our Kirby C. Holt, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.

-- Posted June 13, 2005

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