• 1999’s
    earns a 10 out of 10 score from an ape expert for its depiction of a gorilla protecting a human baby from a leopard.
  • Despite this, a primate expert concedes that an ape could not successfully raise a human.
  • Disney’s
    was a major success critically and commercially.

Disney’s Tarzan scores a perfect grade from a primate expert. Released in 1999 and directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima, Tarzan adapts a story first published in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a man raised from a baby by apes. The animated Disney film, which features voice performances from Tony Goldwyn and Minnie Driver, earned positive reviews from critics and was a box office hit.

In a recent video for Insider, primatologist Mireya Mayor analyzes scenes from Tarzan and grades them for their accuracy.

The film ultimately earns a perfect score for its depiction of a leopard attack scene, though Mayor admits that the concept of a human being raised by apes is implausible. Check out Mayor’s comments below:

“I love this clip because one of the things you see happening is that the gorilla takes great care and concern for this infant. And they have these massive canines that you see here, so they’re very powerful animals, but they’re not predators. Leopards are in fact the only predator to a gorilla, but it’s not often that you see this interaction.

“So in the scene where you see Tarzan being raised by apes, that is highly unlikely and almost impossible. Because humans are highly altricial, they really depend on the mother and all our behavior is learned. There is no way that a gorilla would possibly be able to teach a human everything that they would need in order to survive in the wild.

“This movie holds too special a place in my heart and I have to give it a 10.”

Tarzan Was A Major Success

The 1999 Disney Film Connected With Moviegoers

Tarzan Of The Apes animation

Disney released a number of successful animated movies in the 1990s, including the likes of Aladdin, The Lion King, and Pocahontas, and Tarzan is certainly among them. The film currently enjoys a strong 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, speaking to the generally positive response to the movie among critics. The audience score for the film is a little lower at 75%, but this is still perfectly respectable.

The period between 1989 and 1999 is widely regarded as the ”
Disney Renaissance
” due to the many acclaimed and successful films that were released during these years.

Tarzan ended up earning $448.2 million worldwide at the box office after its release in 1999, and it has undoubtedly made millions more in the decades since due to digital and physical media sales. The soundtrack for the film, too, which features all songs written and composed by Phil Collins, was a major hit that lived on as its own entity outside the film. The soundtrack album ended up going double platinum, and “You’ll Be In My Heart” won the Oscar for Best Original song.


The 10 Best Phil Collins Tarzan Memes That’ll Be In Your Heart

Disney memes are often funny, but a Phil Collins Tarzan meme referencing how memorable and catchy the Tarzan soundtrack is, is especially hilarious.

Unfortunately, 2016’s The Legend of Tarzan, one of many Disney live-action remakes, didn’t quite hit these same highs. The remake, by contrast, has only a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $357.2 million at the box office, though it does feature some exciting primate action sequences. While Tarzan may now be 25 years old, the strong 10/10 ape accuracy score speaks to the positive reputation that the film continues to enjoy all these years later.

Source: Insider

Disney Tarzan 1999 Movie Poster

Tarzan (1999)

Kevin Lima , Chris Buck

Release Date
June 18, 1999

Tony Goldwyn , Minnie Driver , Glenn Close , Alex D. Linz , Rosie O’Donnell , Brian Blessed , Nigel Hawthorne , Lance Henriksen , Wayne Knight

88 Minutes

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