Tarzan is a good Disney movie. It's sentimental in all the right ways, shows parental love and pain in a way only rivaled with Pixar films, and has some pretty good Phil Collins tunes. But that won't stop me from finding issues with it.
Even if Daddy Tarzan was an architect/carpenter/professonal-tree-climber who somehow had access to basic tools to build it, that multilevel house seems extremely glamorous (and sturdy, as it still remains intact when Tarzan comes as an adult). Sure, it was the olden times when people were more competent at working with their hands so over enough years it would MAYBE be feasible that two people could build it, but Tarzan is AT MOST 6 months old when Kala finds him in the fully constructed home.
We see the boat they wash up in: it has a barrell, a trunk, a suitcase, and some kind of wrapped fabric. That's a bit of stuff, but not that much.
Sure, some of it washed up from the shipwreck. But it sure is convenient they had hinges, handles, ropes, chairs, frames, pots, rifles, ammo, clocks, furniture, feather pillows, sheets, curtains, books ... all without any water damage.
Tarzan runs around with naked gorillas, doesn't understand the concept of clothes, and needs full mobility at all times.
Okay, okay, it's a kids movie so of course we aren't gonna see Tarzan's swingin' dingdong, but Disney really should have offered some kind of quick, clever nod at the character design choice.
The gorillas are introduced to Tantor after an elephant stampede that destroys the gorilla home and almost kills a baby gorilla. Kerchak's whole deal is he doesn't like creatures different than him who threaten his family AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT TANTOR REPRESENTS. But he's always around, and Kerchak doesn't care. All the gorillas seem weirdly accepting of this interspecies friendship.
Why did the gorillas never talk to Sabor, even just a "Please stop!" or "DUDE, really not cool" ? Gorillas can talk to baboons and elephants, but not to leopards? Or can all animals talk to all animals, but it's generally considered rude to talk when you have a predator/prey relationship?
How did the gorillas know that the leopard's name was Sabor? Did she introduce herself one day before going on a killing spree?
Sabor dramatically claws at Tarzan's chest, then the cuts disappear quickly. I geeeet it, it's an annoying detail to include in a beautifully animated movie, but at least keep it there until the end of the fight scene.
Maybe in old timey England saying Daddy was normal, but it's still insanely creepy to hear a grown woman say Daddy THAT much.
Kerchak's distrust of Tarzan is COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED. Tarzan meets ONE human woman and he brings humans to the family's home against explicit instructions not to. It wasn't like Clayton followed him into the jungle without Tarzan's knowledge. Tarzan LED THEM THERE. Sure, Clayton betrayed his trust, but Clayton is the norm to human relationships with gorillas--not the exception.
When a boat comes back again, more people are going to come and destroy that family. Kerchak was completely right to distrust humans in the same way he was completely right to distrust leopards. But even big scary Sabor was never an equal threat to the entire group of gorillas.
It's noble of Kerchak to forgive Tarzan before he died, but that whole incident was COMPLETELY Tarzan's fault. The only thing Kerchak was wrong about was leaving Tarzan in charge. Tarzan should at most be some sort of gorilla-human ambassador.
No, just me?! Okay, let's forget I said anything.
Dude must have gone through the entire jungle sanding and greasing up branches so he can slide down them without friction. But even then, his feet must be calloused to the extreme to not be constantly swollen with splinters, cuts, and blisters.
Tarzan spent his whole adolescence in his physical prime with a lot of angst learning how to swing and navigate the jungle. It's possible that Jane might learn too, since she's still pretty young. But her dad is way too old to be swinging in trees without any upper body strength.
1880s England wasn't the best time for women so maybe Jane wasn't missing out on too much, but she gave up THE ENTIRETY OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION for a dude with whom she can barely communicate. Of course Tarzan wants Jane to stay, he's never even met another human female.
"I know we just met--totally no pressure--but this REALLY needs work because we are the only two unrelated humans we might ever see again."
Also, Tarzan would be a TERRIBLE sexual partner. Everything he knows about reproduction he learned from gorillas. And there's NO WAY he hasn't had sex with a gorilla. After all, he thought he was one, and a high-ranking one at that. That dude probably has some very serious STIs.
Easily the best thing about the movie is the cool branch-sliding-vine-swinging animation. All Disney World has to offer is some boring, stationary Tarzan treehouse. THAT'S THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT MAKES TARZAN COOL!
I don't know how to build it or what it would look like--I'm not a ride designer, I'm just a whiney Internet writer, AND I WANT TO SURF ON BRANCHES AND SWING ON VINES NOW NOW NOW GIMME!!!