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|Directed by||Brian Smith|
|Music by||Phil Collins
|Edited by||Ron Price
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Home Entertainment|
Tarzan II (also known as Tarzan II: The Legend Begins) is a 2005 direct-to-video animated film, a followup to the 1999 Walt Disney Feature Animation film Tarzan. It was released on June 14, 2005 on DVD and VHS.
The film tells the story of young Tarzan's adventure to discover who he really is. Glenn Close and Lance Henriksen reprise their roles as Kala and Kerchak from the first film, while Harrison Chad, Brenda Grate, and Harrison Fahn are the new voices for the younger versions of Tarzan, Terk, and Tantor. They are joined by new characters voiced by George Carlin, Estelle Harris, Brad Garrett, and Ron Perlman.
As a young boy being raised by gorillas after his parents were killed in an African jungle, Tarzan (Harrison Chad) is worried that a fabled monster known as the Zugor (George Carlin) will someday attempt to capture him. He is disappointed that he can't run as quickly as the other young apes in his family, and his attempts to prove himself keep resulting in chaos. When an accident leaves his ape mother, Kala (Glenn Close), thinking that Tarzan has died, the other apes feel that Tarzan has reached a fitting end. Tarzan believes it best for everyone involved if he runs away.
Alone in the jungle, Tarzan gets pursued by Sabor the leopard right to a rocky place known as the Dark Mountain, inhabited by two hulking, spoiled gorilla brothers, Uto and Kago (Brad Garrett and Ron Perlman), and their controlling, over-protective Mama Gunda (Estelle Harris). But Uto and Kago fear the Zugor as much as Tarzan does, and when the booming call of the monster echoes through the valley, Tarzan is able to escape from them. He encounters a crotchety old gorilla who at first keeps the boy distant, but Tarzan discovers that this old gorilla is actually the Zugor, who uses hollow trees as megaphones to amplify his voice and pretend to be a monster to scare other jungle creatures away from his territory and food. Tarzan uses this discovery to force Zugor into letting the boy stay with him. Thanks to Tarzan's cheerfulness and helpfulness, Zugor begins to warm up to him as Tarzan continues to try to figure out what he is.
Tarzan's two best friends, Terk and Tantor (Brenda Grate and Harrison Fahn), come looking for him, but Tarzan does not want to return home with them. It is only when Kala arrives and encounters trouble with Gunda, Uto, and Kago that Tarzan finally realizes what he is supposed to be: a Tarzan, with his own special tricks that no one else in the jungle can do. Terk and Tantor eventually rescue Tarzan and become best friends once again. Tarzan tells Kala that she was right before, and that he is a part of his family. The film ends when Kala gives Tarzan a hug and tells him how proud she is of him for rescuing her from Uto and Kago, after which Mama Gunda punishes them for destroying Zugor's tree house and Terk and Tantor are finally reunited with Tarzan.
- Harrison Chad as Tarzan, a young human orphan raised by gorillas in the jungle. Before Kerchak's death and becoming king of the jungle, Tarzan was a socially awkward kid struggling to fit in with his ape family. When he was growing up, Tarzan had a childhood fear of the Zugor, a mythical monster said to live on Dark mountain. His second fear was that his mother Kala would get hurt because of him.
- Glenn Close as Kala, Tarzan's adoptive gorilla mother loves her son more than anything. Kala is caring and patient unless provoked, or if her family is in danger.
- Brenda Grate as Terk, Tarzan's sardonic, quick-witted, and mischievous "cousin". Her full name is Terkina, but she actually goes by the name of Terk.
- Harrison Fahn as Tantor, a germophobic, neurotic elephant, close to his best friends, Terk and Tarzan, despite these impediments.
- Lance Henriksen as Kerchak, Kala's mate and the leader of the gorilla family in the jungle.
- George Carlin as Zugor, an old hermit ape living in a hollow tree on Dark Mountain. He is the "monster" feared by Tarzan and almost all the animals, even Sabor before she was killed by the adult version of Tarzan in the first film.
- Estelle Harris as Mama Gunda, a loud, intimidating, and short, (both in height and temper), female ape mother of Kago and Uto.
- Brad Garrett as Uto, a slow-witted, immature, and cowardly ape who likes to throw any creature he finds off a cliff to see if they can fly.
- Ron Perlman as Kago, an aggressive, physically imposing silverback, and an all around bully. A running gag is that he always gets the hiccups when he loses his temper.
- Connor Hutcherson as Tonka
- Frank Welker as Sabor the Leopard.
The film won a DVDX Award for Best Original Score (in a DVD Premiere Movie) in 2006 and 2010. It was also nominated in 2006 and 2010 for the Annie Award for Home Entertainment Production and for the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Actress Brenda Grate. The film holds a score of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes where it received praise for good animation but was criticized for being a needless prequel.
The film features two new songs written and performed by Phil Collins, "Leaving Home (Find My Way)" and "Who Am I?" (the latter also performed by Tiffany Evans). The score for the film was composed by Mark Mancina and Dave Metzger.
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