Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rein-Toon-Ation: The Legend of Tarzan (2001)

Two years after a loose adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic hero hit the big screen, Disney brought Tarzan back to television with The Legend of Tarzan, which spent two seasons split between ABC & UPN, then moving to cable on and off for the next decade.

Unlike his 1976-82 Filmation series for CBS, Tarzan (Michael T. Weiss, ex-The Pretender) is joined by wife Jane (Olivia D'Abo, ex-The Wonder Years), and her father, Professor Porter (Jeff Bennett). Some of the classic Burroughs novels were adapted again for this series, and Disney cleverly snuck Burroughs himself in for an episode (voiced by Steven Weber, ex-Wings). There were plenty of guest stars as well, ranging from singer Sheena Easton to TV vets such as Neil Patrick Harris, Dave Thomas, and Stephen Root. Only 38 episodes, however, were made, well below the maximum episode limit imposed by Disney.

Following is this series' adaptation of "Tarzan and the Lost City of Opar":


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Rating: B.

2 comments:

magicdog said...

I remember this show and it was quite good. Too bad Disney didn't let it go a bit longer.

This I think was my first exposure to Michael T Weiss as a VA. Before that, I'd only seen him in various on cam projects like "The Pretender". Considering he's still thriving in the VA biz (his last project was Captain Atom on "Young Justice") is a testement to his longevity. He made a great Tarzan, and Olivia D'Abo made for a prim and proper Jane.

hobbyfan said...

Weiss went on to work on Justice League (Jason Blood/Etrigan) before YJ, so like so many others before him, he's found his niche in the recording booth as face acting jobs have become fewer and further between.

I can only imagine how Filmation would've utilized Jane had she been part of their Tarzan series. Probably pro-active, but perhaps not as much as this version.