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|Directed by||Brian Smith|
|Music by||Phil Collins (songs)|
Mark Mancina (score)
|Edited by||Ron Price|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Entertainment|
Tarzan II (also known as Tarzan II: The Legend Begins) is a 2005 direct-to-video animated film, a prequel to the 1999 Walt Disney Feature Animation film Tarzan. It was produced by DisneyToon Studios Sydney, Australia and animation production by Toon City Animation, Inc., Manila, Philippines. 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 is worried that a fabled monster known as the Zugor 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, disappointing Kerchak. When an accident leaves his ape mother, Kala, thinking that Tarzan has died after the gorillas have crossed a ravine, the other apes feel that Tarzan has reached a fitting end. Tarzan believes it’s best for everyone involved if he runs away.
Alone in the jungle, Tarzan gets pursued by Sabor the leopardess right to a rocky place known as the Dark Mountain. When the echo of the monster calls, Sabor runs away just as Tarzan is inhabited by two hulking, spoiled gorilla brothers, Uto and Kago, and their controlling, over-protective Mama Gunda, but they fear the Zugor as much as Tarzan does, and when the booming call of the monster again echoes through the valley, the trio flee and Tarzan is able to escape Dark Mountain. 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 along with Zugor, but they both promise not to tell anyone.
Tarzan's two best friends, Terk and Tantor, come looking for him and Kala also finds out that Tarzan is alive, so she goes looking for him as well. Terk and Tantor encounter trouble in Dark Moutain against Mama Gunda, Uto and Kago but they are able to escape. Then, Terk and Tantor eventually reunite with Tarzan and become best friends once again and leave Dark Mountain in which Mama Gunda, Uto and Kago follow them. Tarzan does not want to return home with them but he reveals that there is no monster, in which Mama Gunda, Uto and Kago hear their conversation and discover Zugor who was the actual monster and he gets himself into trouble. Uto and Kago wreck his tree house for revenge and with that, Zugor blames Tarzan for breaking his promise and runs away, refusing to help in which Terk and Tantor run to go and warn Kerchak. Kala arrives near Dark Mountain and also encounters trouble with Mama Gunda, Uto and Kago in which Tarzan finally realizes what he is supposed to be: a Tarzan, with his own special tricks that no one else can do in the jungle, (which the answer is figured out by Zugor before he returns and becomes friends again with Tarzan).
Tarzan is able to use tricks and traps, defeating Uto and Kago as Terk and Tantor try to save Kala as she begins to fall off a cliff, but Tarzan saves Kala just in time whereas Zugor helds hostage on Mama Gunda, but due to their connection and Zugor accidentally telling Mama Gunda that she has “beautiful eyes”, they both fall in love. Uto and Kago return and are shocked to see them together. Tarzan tells Kala that she was right before, and that he is a part of his family and Terk and Tantor again reunite with Tarzan. Tarzan, Kala, Terk and Tantor return to the gorilla troop and the film ends when Kala gives Tarzan a hug and tells him how proud she is of him for rescuing her from the fall and from Uto and Kago, after which Mama Gunda punishes them for destroying Zugor's tree house and orders them that there won’t be any more fighting or wrecking things. Tarzan, Terk and Tantor play a monster game, in which Tarzan is now happy and proud of himself that he knows what he is supposed to be.
- 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 gets poked around.
- 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. "Leaving Home" later became the song "I Need to Know" for the Broadway musical version of Tarzan.
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