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The Many Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
"The master of imaginative fantasy adventure...
...the creator of Tarzan and...
...the 'grandfather of science-fiction'"


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Welcome to the second
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... well, the last year of the 20th century

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1. Trivia bits
2. Reviewer picks top books of 1999
3. Tarzan leads foreign box office on slow Christmas weekend
4. Special Disney Tarzan DVD Release
5. The man with the jungle in his head
6. Weissmuller Family Album Site
7. The Boys of Tarzan
8. Stellan Windrow: The "First" Movie Tarzan
9. Review of Tarzan
10. Northern Kentucky University Syllabus ~ Allen Ellis
        Understanding Tarzan: 87 Years of an International Icon


ERB's name is on the World War I memorial in Scoville Park (he was a Reserve Captain who never went overseas)

Film star, Rod Taylor, made his professional debut as Tarzan in a series of Australian radio shows in the early '50s

Variety: January 4, 1990, reported that Hollywood Pictures had aquired the rights to A Princess of Mars and that they were considering Tom Selleck for the title role. (A rather strange choice for the Dejah Thoris part ~ JoN)

The original title for the British comedy film, Carry On Up The Jungle was Carry On, Tarzan.

Every February 15 for seven straight years, ERB Inc. published a new ERB book: Apache Devil (1933), Pirates of Venus (1934), Lost on Venus (1935), Swords of Mars (1936), The Oakdale Affair and the Rider (1937), The Lad and the Lion (1938), and Carson of Venus (1939).

A recent news story reported that a boy had been found  in Africa who had been raised by monkeys. He was abandoned by his father in the jungle as a toddler and lived with small monkeys for a few years.This seems to give a whole new level of believeabilty to Tarzan. The boy could aparently communicate with them and lived as a monkey. A lot of feral children throughout history were unable to adapt fully to human life and never developed language to a high level but this boy, now a teenager, has adapted to human language and lifestyles.


2. Reviewer picks top books of 1999
By Bill Marvel (The Dalles Morning Star)

#9.  Tarzan Forever by John Taliaferro (Scribners, $28)

A surprisingly lively biography of a surprisingly dull man.  Although he fought Apaches, dredged gold and cowboyed, Edgar Rice Burroughs mostly just wanted to make money.  To that end he invented one of the most memorable literary characters of the century, Tarzan of the Apes, and learned to market and merchandise his creation.  Against all odds, one ends up liking

From the  "Focus" book section of the Sunday Lincoln Journal Star
Contributed by Steve Soberski

InfoBeat Entertainment News item: 99.12.29

3. Tarzan leads foreign box office on slow Christmas weekend

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Based on skimpy reports from overseas
outposts, Tarzan, Bond and Schwarzenegger appeared to dominate a
weekend box office that was impacted by Christmas Eve closings in
many territories and a Saturday holiday that deprived theaters of an
extra exhibition day. Most overseas offices of the major distributors
were shuttered during the holiday period. Disney's "Tarzan" had a
field day as the family trade in Europe and Japan, shelling out $12.1
million at 3,231 screens in 22 countries, lifted the international
cume of the animated musical to $200.1 million, making it the seventh
animated movie from the Mouse House to pass $200 million. Arnold
Schwarzenegger's millennial action picture, "End of Days," came in
second to "Tarzan" in France, but in Japan it beat out the jungle
hero for the No. 1 position with a $1.8 million take.

4. announces that there will be
Two Tarzan DVD Releases
Read the Review of Tarzan
~ 1999 Disney Animated Feature ~
Tarzan (1999)
Starring: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver
Director: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima
Reel Snapshot: Disney's high-speed adaptation of Burroughs' novel about an ape-raised orphan.
With its thrilling treetop action, kid-centered humor, groundbreaking
animation, and moving drama, this delights family viewers age 5 & up.
Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: G
Genre: Animation, Kids

February 1, 2000 release:
Tarzan (1999)
Languages: French, Spanish
Special Features:  Trivia, Theatrical Trailer, Web Links

Retail: $34.99 ~ price: $20.99

April 18, 2000 Release:
Tarzan (Collector's Edition) (2 DVD Set) (1999)
Special Features:
Director Commentary, Featurette, Production Notes, Deleted Scenes
History and development of the film
Legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan
Early Presentation Reels
A look at the music of 'Tarzan', featuring
    interviews with Phil Collins and his original song demos
'Strangers Like Me' music video by Phil Collins
Trivia Game
Sneak Peeks

Retail: $49.99  $29.99


5. The man with the jungle in his head
Tarzan the Ape Man returns
By Ken Trainor
A report on the Disney Tarzan opening day celebration hosted by the
Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

Visit the
6. Weissmuller Family Album Site
Compiled by Johnny J. Weissmuller ` the first cousin,
twice removed to the late actor Johnny "Tarzan" Weissmuller.


THE BOY'S  (sic) OF TARZAN is a site devoted to the young actors who starred in the Tarzan movies.
Gordon Griffith - The first Tarzan in 1918's Tarzan Of The Apes.
Gordon Griffith
1918 - Tarzan Of The Apes and The Romance Of Tarzan
1920- Son Of Tarzan, a serial
See full coverage of all these films in
ERBzine's Silver Screen Series

The "First" Movie Tarzan
Incredible new historical information  on the filming of the first Tarzan movie.
by Ed Stephan

Stellan Windrow
See much more in ERBzine at:


9. Review of Tarzan ~ 1999 Disney Animated Feature
Disney's latest animated extravaganza is a tightly knit roller-coaster ride of treetop excitement. Despite a routine story, this visually thrilling coming-of-age tale is a worthy follow-up to last year's more elegant Mulan.

Based on the oft-filmed novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan recounts the familiar story of an orphaned human child raised by gorillas in the jungle. With its lone hero, animal menagerie, and budding romance, it's the perfect premise for a Disney film. Thematically, Tarzan revisits territory mined in The Lion King, The Jungle Book, and Bambi -- a boy's ascent into manhood and the ever-popular "circle of life." As derivative as the plot seems, directors Kevin Lima and Chris Buck master the medium with their attention to detail and artistry, making Tarzan a high-flying adventure.

 Disney is using the release of Tarzan to tout its all-new computerized animation technique, "Deep Canvas." A groundbreaking blend of hand-drawn and generated animation, Deep Canvas makes Tarzan's arboreal acrobatic scenes so exhilarating it's as though they were shot with a fast-moving monkey-cam. The angles, framing, and "camera movement" are repeatedly inventive, but some of the most unique visual moments are poetic rather than palpitating. While learning about the "civilized" world, Tarzan watches a slideshow of Victorian etchings; it's a beautifully rendered series of sepia-toned images that equal the flashier scenes' eye candy.

Punctuating the bough-breaking ballet is Mark Mancina's rhythmic score. Thankfully, Tarzan was not permitted to sing. Instead, Phil Collins provides a series of unremarkable tunes that both narrate the action and speak for the characters. To his credit, the lyrics are integral to the film's storytelling, but none of his songs match the witty charm of Beauty and the Beast's Menken/Ashman songwriting team. Affecting, with a capitol "A," the music elicits the desired emotions, building climactic moments with aggressive tribal intensity. But the sound is so reminiscent of Collins' ex-Genesis bandmate Peter Gabriel that one wonders what additional depth Gabriel might have brought to the film.

Keeping apace with Tarzan's plentiful action is its abundance of kid-centered comedy. Rosie O'Donnell's largely ad-libbed performance aims right for the pre-teen jugular, falling just short of irritating. Minnie Driver lends a lighthearted goofiness to proto-feminist Jane, nicely offsetting the brooding sensibility of the ape man (Tony Goldwyn) himself. The vocalizations are all on-target, but the domesticated humans seem generic when compared to the more complex apes. The gorillas, particularly Tarzan's adoptive mother Kala (Glenn Close), give Tarzan its heart and dramatic depth.

Balancing the cute-and-cuddly factor are several intense depictions of nature at its most terrifying. (After all, it is a jungle out there.) Tarzan's parents and a hapless baby gorilla die at the paw of Sabor, a vicious and unrelenting feline predator. And Jane's ill-advised foray into the wild results in a truly scary baboon rally that rivals The Omen in its ferocity. Still, the deaths are implied, and little violence actually takes place on-screen, allowing older viewers to process more mature content without foisting bloody carcasses on the wee ones.

Tarzan has its full share of too-precious and emotionally manipulative moments, but even at its most shamelessly tear-jerking and tender, the story never stops moving forward. There's not a wasted moment in this film. With a new cartoon every summer, Disney's high standards have had the ironic side effect of making airtight storytelling, perfect pacing, and glossy production seem formulaic. If only The Phantom Menace had been so predictable. Lucas could learn a lot from Disney.

Parents' note: Some combat scenes are too intense for very young children. Age 5 & up recommended.

 - Mary Kalin-Casey


Understanding Tarzan:
87 Years of an International Icon
Northern Kentucky University
Fall 1999

Course: RTV 395, Topics in Popular Culture, section 02, Communications Department
Location and time: Landrum 101, Thursday, 4:30-7:15
Instructor: Allen Ellis
Office:  Steely Library 323
Phone: 572-5527

Required texts:
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, Tarzan of the Apes, Penguin, 1990
                                    (with introduction by John Seelye)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, The Return of Tarzan, Ballantine, 1990
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, Tarzan Triumphant/Tarzan and the City of Gold, Del Rey, 1977
Erardi, Glenn, Guide to Tarzan Collectibles, Schiffer, 1998

Course objectives: To examine the phenomenon of Tarzan, one of the most universally recognized figures in the world. Why has the popularity of this character endured (or not) since 1912? How and why has he changed over the years? Does he still have relevance today? What does he represent? Is the basic concept of Tarzan racist? Sexist? How significant is the fact that he is a trademarked commodity? How does the Tarzan story stand up to scientific fact? How much of what we think we know about Africa has to do with Tarzan? These and other question will be addressed as we examine literature, motion pictures, radio and television programs, comic art, toys, and other media in attempt to unravel the meaning of Tarzan.

Course assignments and grading: Grades in this course will be based upon: 1) 10 quizzes; 2) group presentations) and 3) attendance and class participation.

Quizzes will be announced in the preceding class. If for some reason a quiz is missed, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule a make-up quiz with the instructor. Failure to do so within 7 days of the quiz will result in a grade of  0 (F) for that quiz. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. Unexcused absences on scheduled quiz days will result in grades of 0 (F). Any student missing the final quiz must inform the instructor within 24 hours of the scheduled quiz so that appropriate action may be taken at the instructor’s discretion.

The group presentation will be approached as a capstone to the course. Students must sign up for
groups examining one of these four topics: 1) Tarzan vs. Reality; 2) Tarzan and the Politics of Race; 3) Interpretations of Tarzan. Other topics will be considered. These topics and the presentation requirements will be discussed in our September 16 class. Individual students' grades for the final project will be based on an average of 1-5 points awarded by a) the rest of the class, b) fellow group members, and c) the instructor, who has final say.

Attendance and class participation are vital aspects of this class. Since this is an interdisciplinary study, students are expected to share their knowledge and experience. Attendance will be taken, and students will be expected to ask questions and express opinions, concerns, or observations. I would appreciate the courtesy of being advised should you expect to be absent, late, or excused early.

The University’s published guideline for academic honesty will be enforced. Any students caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a grade of “F” for the course.

Final grades will be based on the following point system:

? 10 quizzes ................................... 100 points                    360 - 400 = A
? Group Presentation ..................... 200 points                    320 - 359 = B
? Class participation/attendance .... 100 points                    280 - 319 = C
? Total ............................................ 400points                     240 - 279 = D
                                                                                                     0 - 239 = F
Class Schedule
( * - indicates items on reserve in Steely Library)

Section 1: Introduction; The Tarzan of Edgar Rice Burroughs
August 26
      Video: A&E Biography: Tarzan: The Legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs
      discussion of  Tarzan on the Internet
      Read: Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, John Seelye's "Introduction" and chapters 1-14.
               * Torgovnick, Marianna: "Taking Tarzan Seriously," Gone Primitive, 1990,
               *Mandel, Paul: "Tarzan of the Paperbacks," Life, 11/29/63:11
      Video: Investigating Tarzan

Section 2: Tarzan of the Movies
September 9
      Read: Tarzan of the Apes chapters 15-28
               *Vidal, Gore: "Tarzan Revisited," Esquire, 12/63:193, 262, 264
      Video: Tarzan, Lord of the Movies"
September 16
      Read: Bozarth, David Bruce, "Tarzan of the Apes: Child's Tale or Adult Fantasy?"

                Burroughs, Return of Tarzan chapters 1-13
      Video: Tarzan of the Apes
      Discussion of Final Project

Section 3: Tarzan of the Comics
September 23
      Read: Return of Tarzan chapters 14-26
                *Cazedessus, Camille E. Jr.: "Lords of the Jungle," Don Thompson and Dick
                  Lupoff, eds., The Comic-Book Book, 1973, 256-289
                 Gore, Miatthew H.: ”Tarzan of the Comics,"
                *Tarzan comic books/strip compilations
      Video: Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
September 30
      Read: Burroughs, Tarzan and the City of Gold chapters 1-10
      Video: Tarzan and His Mate

Section 4: Tarzan of Radio & TV
October 7
      Read: Tarzan and the City of Gold chapters 11-19
      Video: Tarzan's Greatest Adventure
October 14
      Read: *Burroughs, Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion" chapters 1-15
                *Anez, Nicholas. "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure," Films in Review, 40:1,
                  1989:2-11; Part II: 40:2, 1989:76-86; Part III: 40:3, 1989:146-154
      Listen: *As many of the Tarzan radio shows as possible
      Video: TV clips

Section 5: Tarzan the Environmentalist and the International Icon
October 21
      Video: Tarzan Goes to India

Section 6: Tarzan and Gender Issues
October 28
      Read: *Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion" chapters 16-30
                * Creed, Barbara: "Me Jane: You Tarzan! – A Case of Mistaken Identity in
                   Paradise,  < >
      Video: Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)
November 4
      Video: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes

Section 7: Tarzan and Race Issues
November 11
Read: *Jurca, Catherine, Tarzan, Lord of the Suburbs," Modern Language Quarterly,
                  57:3, 9/96: 480-492.
      Video: Tarzan's Secret Treasure

November 18
      Read: *Schneider, Jerry L., "Tarzan the Censored," Burroughs Bulletin, fall 96: 30-36
      Video: Tarzan and the Lost City

Section 8: Understanding Tarzan through Parodies
December 2
      Read: *[Uncredited] (w), and [Severin, John] (a), "Melvin," Mad 1:2, 12/52-1/53: [9-
                * [Uncredited] (w), and Severin, Melvin {John] (a), "Melvin of the Apes," Mad
                  1:6, 8-9/53: [9-15]
                *O'Donoghue, Michael (w), and Springer, Frank (a), "Tarzan of the Cows," The
                  Best of National Lampoon, #1, 1972: [30-39].
      Video: George of the Jungle cartoons
December 9
      Video: George of the Jungle

Final Summations: Group Presentations
December 16

The instructor reserves the right to amend or modify this syllabus as circumstance may require.

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