Thursday, October 29, 2009

The darkness of Disney 12: Tarzan vs. Sabor

Disney's Tarzan (1999) is, to date, the most expensive traditionally-animated (that is, 2D/hand-animated) movie ever made, costing nearly $150 million U.S. to produce. Much of the film's cost was due to the Deep Canvas 3D backgrounds that the studio developed to make the backgrounds MOVE and appear much more realistic -- though still like traditional paintings. The investment paid off, and the film earned back well beyond its cost, making it the last big hit of the 1990s Disney Renaissance.

Many longtime Tarzan fans have criticized the liberties the Disney studio took with the story and characters, but one scene, in particular, earns praise from most viewers. The fight between Tarzan and the leopard Sabor is straight out of the comic strip artwork of legendary artist Burne Hogarth -- with a touch of Frank Frazetta thrown in for good measure. It's a dark, fierce, primal fight to the death, and it never pretends to be otherwise. Many movie fans acknowledge it as one of the greatest scenes in Tarzan's very long and varied film history -- and one of the best fight scenes in Disney history.


SallyP said...

It WAS a good fight. I like Tarzan, but there's no denying that there was a fair amount of death and destruction, from the deaths of his parents, to the fight with Sabor, to the bad guy's death by hanging. All you see is the silhouette, and only for a second or two, but it was chilling.

Good stuff!

MetFanMac said...

Again, excellent scene, but not all that dark to me. Clayton's death scene might have been a better choice... and other movies would have benn better choice than this.


Sea-of-Green said...

Well, as with all things, one person's porcupine is another person's fluffy bunny.

Thomas Funkmonkey said...

I think Tarzan is one of my favourite Disney films, even just for Phil Collins' music.

I agree that both the fight with Sabor and Clayton's death are very dark scenes... but I still think the film is very well balanced between humour, love and frights.
It never slips into being labelled as one particular genre.