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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Disney's Tarzan At McDonald's

In 1999, Disney and Edgar Rice Burroughs joined forces for the animated feature Tarzan.  The film was directed by Kevin Lima (A Goofy Movie) and Chris Buck (Frozen).  The radio-ready songs were created by Phil Collins.  McDonald's provided some promotional partner muscle.  There were 8 Happy Meal Action Toys and 3 different Sound Straws.  I'm pretty sure there was a Banana Milkshake somewhere to promote the movie, too.

Glenn Close provided the voice of Tarzan's adoptive gorilla mom, Kala.

Early in the film, Kala does battle with the ferocious leopard, Sabor.

Sabor kills Tarzan's parents and Kala's baby gorilla in the first few minutes of Tarzan.

The character of Sabor is a relentless predator.  When watching James Cameron's 2009 film AVATAR, the destructive, panther-like Thanator creature reminded me of Sabor.

Instead of simply swinging on vines, Disney's extreme sports Tarzan "surfs" through the trees.

You would think that Tarzan would have a beard, but I guess the gorillas taught him how to shave.

In Tarzan, Jane is a refreshing comical character.

One of the highlights of the film is the extensive "Baboon Chase" sequence, which starts with Jane sketching a Baby Baboon.

Jane's loving father is Professor Porter.

The Porter toy rides a bike, which is pretty impressive.

Clayton guides Jane and Porter, and he has facial hair, so you know he's the villain.

Clayton has a rather gruesome death by vines.

Terk the Gorilla (voiced by Rosie O'Donnell) sings a song called "Trashin' the Camp."

"Trashin the Camp" was also covered by 'N Sync for the film's soundtrack.

Tantor the Elephant was voiced by Wayne Knight (Newman from Seinfeld).

The Tantor McDonald's toy is appropriately LARGE.

Tarzan inspired different McDonald's Happy Meal toys around the world.

There are 10 toys in the Tarzan McDonald's Happy Meal set from Australia.

The Australian set of toys seems a bit "low cost" compared to the American set, but I think the Australian set is charming and unique.

Jane enjoys sketching detailed drawings of Jungle animals and a wild man wearing a loincloth.

Though the Australian set of toys isn't lavish, it is nice that it mixes materials.  Jane has a real paper sketchbook.

Baby Tarzan will always be in Kala's heart.

I think there was a missed opportunity with Kala's voice.  Carol Burnett could have voiced Kala, and performed her famous "Tarzan Yell", giving a new twist to the origin of the Tarzan Yell.

The Sabor action figure is easy to spot.

Sabor may very well be the most feral Disney character ever created.

Clayton seems tame compared to Sabor.

Clayton uses antlers in all of his decorating, in addition to Gorilla Fur accent pillows (we can assume).

The Australian Tarzan McDonald's Happy Meal has a tree full of Baby Baboons.

Though there was only one Baby Baboon in the film, some of the International McDonald's Happy Meals featured multiple baby baboons.  Perhaps they did this to represent the mob of baboons in the movie in a kinder, cuter way.

Professor Porter sets up an elaborate camp that is just waiting to be trashed.

The gorillas will have to teach Porter and Clayton how to shave, just like they taught Tarzan.

Terk enjoys playing songs using pots and pans.

Terk, of course, is a New Yorker, so she's seen STOMP on Broadway.

Some very interesting character choices were made for the Australian McDonald's Tarzan Happy Meal.  Tantor the Elephant is not represented, but Flynt the Gorilla has a toy.

Flynt and his friend Mungo are Terk's cronies.

Young Mungo was voiced by Jason Marsden (Max in A Goofy Movie).

The Mungo "record player" is one of the most elaborate toys in the Australian set, yet Mungo is one of the most minor characters in the Tarzan movie.  Things really are upside-down in Australia.

Would you fancy a spot of tea with your Happy Meal?  Jane, Porter and Clayton's local McDonald's in England had a different set of Tarzan toys.  The Tantor toy looks the same as the American set, but all the others are slightly different.  Kerchak is featured here, climbing a tree that is about a foot tall when assembled.

Three magnetic Baby Baboons can be attached to Jane.  Clayton has a cloth jacket.  Tarzan's pose and vine are a bit different from the USA set, as is Clayton's bike.  The Kala/Tarzan toy and the Terk toy are also significantly different from the American set.

The U.K. Tarzan McDonald's Happy Meal had some beautiful boxes.  If I remember correctly, McDonald's in the USA used simple bags.
In addition to the Happy Meal, McDonald's in the U.K. had a Jungle Chicken meal, a Jungle McDouble and a toffee and banana sundae.

Tarzan was one of the last hand-drawn Disney animated films to have a great deal of merchandise, including Jungle Bachelorette Party Tarzan and Jane dolls (includes stacks of tiny $1 bills).

I bet Barbie would ditch Ken in an instant if the Tarzan doll appeared near her toybox.

Years before the TV series Scandal, Tony Goldwyn played Tarzan.  I wonder if that information has or will inspire any sort of Tarzan/Scandal FanFiction.

Minnie Driver provided a very fun (and funny) version of Jane.

For the video release of Tarzan, McDonald's had a chain-reaction "Mouse-Trap" type set of McDonald's Happy Meal toys.  When joined together, the toys created a jungle playset.

I used this Tarzan McDonald's playset to create Disney's Animal Kingdom Pandora AVATAR McDonald's Happy Meal.  (Click the link to see that).

Quite a bit of Tarzan McDonald's Happy Meal toys were created.  I will be adding more here gradually.  Stay tuned!