Son of Man

Tarzan II is the oddly titled sequel to Disney’s Tarzan. Odd, because Tarzan & Jane is technically a direct follow up while Tarzan II is more of a midquel that focuses on Tarzan’s childhood. Apparently there was an entire life changing experience that happened between the “Son of Man” sequence. As a direct-to-video Disney sequel, I remember when my brother and I rented it on DVD and thinking it was unnecessary. Although the Renaissance style animation is more high quality compared to the repackaged episodes of Tarzan & Jane. The only cast members who return are the dedicated Glenn Close and Lance Henriksen who only has a few lines.

Kerchak is mostly around to give disapproving looks while Kala continues to look after her adoptive son. Kid Tarzan is now voiced by Boots himself Harrison Chad while Terk and Tantor have soundalike voices. Tarzan’s new concern is being too slow for his family and discovering who he is. Following a younger Tarzan is inherently similar to The Jungle Book, but running away from home is more like The Lion King. Tarzan and the rest of the jungle are afraid of a monster called Zugor who turns out to just be a cranky old gorilla. A kid friendly George Carlin is just right for a curmudgeonly mentor like this. He promises to help Tarzan in exchange for keeping his secret.

The villains are a significant downgrade compared to Sabor or Clayton, but even they have their moments thanks to Brad Garrett, Ron Perlman, and Estelle Harris. The dimwitted Uto and hostile Kago are a pair of lumbering gorillas who take orders from their feisty Mama Gunda. They live in fear of Zugor, but they escape their uncomfortable mountain home with plans of taking over the jungle. By the end, Tarzan learns to fight back by swinging and even discovers his trademark yell. The songs don’t stand out too much, but they do benefit from Phil Collins returning to score. “Son of Man” gets a reprise, “Leaving Home (Find My Way)” plays at a low point, and “Who Am I?” plays at three different times when Tarzan learns who he is. Tarzan II is a cute enough side quest.

17. Tarzan II

Zugor teaches Tarzan

Preceded by: Tarzan

2 thoughts on “Son of Man

  1. Tarzan II sounds more like a prequel as it goes into his childhood and how he was raised to be who he became. Not a bad concept I have to say as few films really went into what Tarzan’s early years were like.

    Liked by 1 person

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