Alright! Who remembers the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books called Tarzan? Okay, let me rephrase that… Who remembers the Disney animated Tarzan movie? Got your attention now, didn’t I? Now, I’m not going to lie to you; when my dad made me read these books, I wasn’t overly interested. The first book was pretty decent. It tells the story of a British aristocrat and his wife getting set adrift in a boat after the sailors on their vessel mutiny. They land on a jungle island not far off the coast of Africa. From there, Lord Greystoke builds them a safe haven in the trees. Afterward, his wife gives birth to a son, but dies shortly after. He follows her, and their baby is discovered by an anthrapoid (Burroughs made it up) ape, adopted, and given the name Tarzan. From there, he has to carve a place for himself in the family group of apes. He faces his challenges and grows up to be a powerful man-ape.
Enter Jane Porter, an American girl and daughter of a Professor Archimedes Q. Porter. Tarzan saves her from a rouge ape and obviously takes an interest. However, there is another man who also likes Jane. Say hello to John Clayton, the ‘heir’ to Tarzan’s fortune. They were cousins or something like that. Well, Jane Porter and her father and Clayton eventually leave the island, and Tarzan misses her. He rescues a Frenchman from cannibals and learns to speak English. When they are rescued, the first thing he does is journey to America to see Jane. The book ends without him getting her, but Burroughs wrote several more and they did get married and had a son. However, Jane Porter needs to be saved so many times, it’s nauseating.
In the original movie they did, Tarzan has been living in England as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. Jane and he still do not have children, and are upset over a miscarriage. However, a cunning Belgian, Leon Rom, tricks them into coming to Africa and kidnaps Jane in an attempt to lure Tarzan into Mbonga’s clutches. The movie was entertaining and the banter between Tarzan and George Washington Williams (Sam L. Jackson) tickled my funny bones. However, it did not do well at the box office. My theory behind that is that many of the people who went to see it had never read a single Tarzan book. I read two (hey, at least I did that!). Although, who doesn’t appreciate a strong, tall, and handsome, and shirtless man swinging in to save them? Not like you see that every day anymore. And for the guys, there’s Margot Robbie.
And on that note, it’s been real!