Tarzan of the Apes - A Romance of the Jungle was first published in 1912, and has been adapted for the screen on a' />

Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel Tarzan of the Apes - A Romance of the Jungle was first published in 1912, and has been adapted for the screen on a regular basis ever since.

Disney did it in 1999 in the dying days of big-screen hand-drawn animation as well as a straight-to-video sequel. True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard is playing Tarzan in a live-action version due in 2016. Here, inevitably, is the 3D animated version.

But despite the spruce-up and modernisation of the story it's the traditional elements that remain the strongest.

German director Reinhard Klooss' reworking of the legend has a meteorite crashing in Africa, leaving a crater holding an alien life force. That's what John Greystoke snr is searching for when he and his wife die in a helicopter crash. The only survivor is his son John Greystoke, jnr, aka Tarzan (Lutz), who is raised by motherly gorilla Kala.


Many years and many acrobatic lessons later, the young Tarzan falls for Jane (Locke), a young conservationist, and they work together to prevent a greedy industrialist from finding the space rock.

There are problems with this, most obviously: the role of the meteorite and its red glowing life force is a bit vague, and the capitalist vs nature storyline is predictable and most recently appeared in Rio 2.

Narration is heavily used to bring the story together, which is never a good sign. Tarzan's primal grunts and snorts would probably have worked just as well.

The use of motion-capture technology gives the characters very fluid movement and a hyper-realistic quality, but doesn't bring them alive more than traditional CGI animation. Instead, they feel almost out of place in the lush and vibrant jungle.

Although it may not make much sense - they've even managed to get a dinosaur or two in - this one's really for the kids.

To be fair, there is plenty they will enjoy - cute animals, likeable heroes, an energetic soundtrack and goofy humour.


Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke


Reinhard Klooss

Running Time:

94 mins


PG (Violence)


Will satisfy the kids more than adults

- TimeOut