The story of Tarzan and Jane has been told time and time again, but if it's delivered in a fun and interesting way, audiences will gobble it up. The animated Disney movie Tarzan proved that in 1999 and now Netflix is taking its shot with the modern adaptation of Tarzan and Jane nearly 20 years later. This animated kids series will premiere on Jan. 6 and has Tarzan attending a London boarding school. While there unfortunately won't be any music from Phil Collins like there was in the Disney movie Tarzan (I already have "Strangers Like Me" stuck in my head just by writing the word "Tarzan"), fans of the movie from the animation powerhouse might want to give the Netflix series a try — or at least put it on for their kids.
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and Jane on Netflix was created by 41 Entertainment and has the approval of the Tarzan author's estate. (Disney's film also appeared to work with the estate.) That means the series can use Tarzan's famous jungle cry, which is pretty essential and was a feature in the Disney film as well. And although the series is very different from the Disney movie in some aspects — with modern-day Tarzan being stranded in the jungle after a plane crash and going to London to attend school with Jane — there are similarities that might draw in lovers of the Disney movie.
First off, both the Disney movie and Netflix series are animated. While this wouldn't seem like such a big deal, Disney's Tarzan was the first time the character was ever drawn instead of being portrayed by an actor (surprising, right?). So, like the movie, Tarzan and Jane will be able to have Tarzan doing some pretty incredible feats since the character won't be limited by real human abilities. That means Tarzan will still be surfing his way through the trees like in Tarzan, but he'll also be climbing London buildings. This animation factor comes in particularly handy for Tarzan and Jane since this version of Tarzan was given potions as a child to make him have the actual abilities of a lion, gorilla, and cheetah.
Speaking of animals, you'll also have animated versions of your favorite creatures from the African jungle, which are always far more cuddly than the real thing. No, there won't be Rosie O'Donnell's Terk, but look at the adorable baby gorilla in the above photo from Tarzan and Jane and tell me that it won't steal your heart. Even when he is in England, Tarzan will still interact with his friends from the animal kingdom, thanks to the London Zoo.
Yet, the biggest reason to watch Tarzan and Jane if you like Tarzan is for Jane. The teenager version of Jane is considered Tarzan's equal in the series, which might actually be an improvement on the Disney movie. There's also an improvement in terms of representation since the series' Jane is black. Tarzan and Jane's Jane will not only challenge and intrigue Tarzan like Minnie Driver's version did, but she is powerful and strong in her own right. As Tarzan and her will strive to fight the very relevant topic of environmental injustices, she's a modern girl that kids can look up to.
So while you shouldn't expect the eight episodes of Tarzan and Jane to be just like Disney's Tarzan, if you love the characters from the 1999 movie, you might want to check out this kids series on Netflix. Even without music from Collins, this series might be worth a swing in the trees.