Hollywood's New Swinger

This Tarzan doesn't just swing through trees. He flips, flies and surfs the branches like a master skateboarder at Venice Beach. There may have been myriad versions of the Ape Man's story, but none has moved like Disney's animated, ultrakinetic "Tarzan." It's a swirling, fluid retelling of the tale that packs an impressive cargo of laughs, thrills and wonders into a watertight 88 minutes.

Orphaned in the jungle when his parents are killed, this "hairless wonder" is taken in by a gorilla family with proper American bourgeois sentiments. "I just want you to be happy," says surrogate mom Kala (voice by Glenn Close). Even before he falls in love with Jane and discovers he's a human, Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) is grappling with his "difference." That's the true subject of this multicultural--actually multispecies--fable. As the message is hammered out in one of Phil Collins's ballads: "Two worlds, one family."

The real musical highlight here is a hilarious number when the gorillas--threatened by evil hunters--stumble upon the humans' camp and start an inadvertent jam session using a typewriter and broken dishes. No less terrific is how Minnie Driver's witty, throaty line readings turn Jane into a sexy and substantial heroine. "I'm in a tree with a man who talks to monkeys!" she exclaims. We share her amazement and, like her, wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

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