Judging by box office figures over the last decade, this opinion will put me in the distinct minority-- but I have to tell you that as a lover of creative movies, I hate summer.
Summer for the studios seems to be the time to play it safe by recycling old formulas, ideas, characters, and, of course, releasing the inevitable sequels. Now I am not even a guy to necessarily use "formula" as a dirty word; there can be good formula movies, and it can be great to bring back old characters.
The best example of this is Disney's "Tarzan." After all, there are few better examples of heroes with a long movie tradition. This one began back in 1918, when Elmo Lincoln first played the King of the Jungle in the silent "Tarzan of the Apes." The most famous Tarzan drove author Edgar Rice Burrough's nuts. Johnny Weismuller's illiterate dunce who named his child "Boy," was a far cry from the Ape Man superwarrior with the genius intellect who taught himself to read in his dead parents' jungle tree house.
Direct Hugh Hudson ("Chariots of Fire") was closer to the mark in 1984 with "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," but much of Burroughs' stirring sense of adventure was gone in this somber character study.
But Disney's new animated feature "Tarzan," while changing the story quite a bit, manages to get the setting, the characters, and best of all the spirit of Tarzan almost right. Particularly good is the relationship between Tarzan and Jane, voiced by Tony Goldwyn and the terrific Minnie Driver.
Sure, Disney anthropomorphizes the animals even more than ERB ever thought of-- making Kala, voiced by Glenn Close, Tarzan's ape mother, capable of abstract thought-- but in the end, it is Tarzan's human intellect and spirit that make him Lord of the Jungle.
With just a touch more sophistication, and the elimination of the obligatory comedic side characters (especially Rosie O'Donnell's irritating sidekick) this could have been a classic like "Beauty and the Beast." As it stands, this is easily the best non-Pixar Disney animated feature since "Aladdin," and the new computerized animation techniques are simply dazzling.