Co-directed by American filmmakers Kevin Lima and Chris Buck, ‘Tarzan’ follows the story of its titular character, a man raised by gorillas who must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is actually a human. A part of the Disney Renaissance era, ‘Tarzan’ blends the archetypes of “Hero’s Journey”, proposed by an American professor of literature Joseph Campbell and the classic Disney narrative archetypes. The film, adapted from American fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘Tarzan of the Apes‘, published in 1921, is an imaginative piece of work with glorious animation and an engaging voice cast.
At the time of its release, ‘Tarzan’ was met with critical praise, with many hailing it as one of Disney’s best works. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 4 stars, writing “Tarzan is another attempt by Disney to push the envelope of animation”. Over the years, it has gone on to become a favourite for kids and adults alike. For this compilation, I have taken into account films which carry narrative traits similar to this incredibly entertaining flick. Here’s the list of best movies similar to ‘Tarzan’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Tarzan’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Directed by American effects animator and filmmaker Mark Dindal, ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ is the story of a young Incan Emperor Kuzco who, when turned into a llama as a punishment by his ex-administrator Yzma, must regain his throne with the help of Pacha, a gentle llama herder. The film functions as a slapstick comedy and explores the story with a compassionate touch. It explores themes of responsibilities and duty. The movie went on to bag a couple of nominations at the Annie Awards and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.
9. Mulan (1998)
A musical action-adventure film, ‘Mulan’ is the story of the titular Mulan, a young maiden, who in order to save her father from death in the army, secretly replaces him with herself and goes on to become one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. Though the film was criticised for its slightly problematic portrayal of gender roles, it still is quite good, showcasing the destruction of wars and the path to becoming a true hero. The film, with its visually bright images and the voice performances, is a great watch.