It seems like Tarzan is in a lot of movies, isn’t he? Every time you see a wild jungle man clothed in animal skins (even though he talks to animals) who swings by vines, your brain assumes by default that “oh it’s Tarzan!” I mean, who else could he be?
But wait! Not every wild jungle man is Tarzan, but all iterations of Tarzan are wild jungle men. So that might have been a Tarzan clone, and not the real Tarzan you saw! If you don’t believe us, here are 5 characters you might very well have mistaken for Tarzan. But we’re here to set the record straight and tell you who’s Tarzan and who’s not.
1. George from George of the Jungle
George (Brendan Fraser) in George of the Jungle. Credit: Sky Movies
It’s easy to mistake George as Tarzan. Both are buff adults who are ignorant of civilisation – and both have been played by famous actors before. But while Tarzan is serious and out to save his people (who also happen to be animals), George generally just goofs around, bumping into trees. That’s why his theme song’s most popular verse is “Watch out for that tree!”
The real Tarzan would never crash into trees.
2. Mowgli from The Jungle Book
Poster for The Jungle Book. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas
Both Tarzan (Edgar Rice Burroughs) and The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) were written around the same time, so it’s natural that their respective creators have some sort of rivalry, with Kipling commenting that Burroughs wrote Tarzan to see just how bad a book he could write and get away with. But while Mowgli is frequently depicted as a small, young boy, Tarzan is often a fully grown muscular man. In this case, though, since The Jungle Book came first… it’s Tarzan who might be the clone, although Tarzan is arguably more famous than Mowgli.
Also, the real Tarzan doesn’t have an angry tiger as an archenemy. It’s usually an unscrupulous human.
3. Mimi-Siku from Jungle 2 Jungle
Mimi-Siku (Sam Huntington) and Michael (Tim Allen) in Jungle 2 Jungle. Credit: Film-Cine.com
Jungle 2 Jungle is a Tim Allen comedy which sees a wild jungle teen (rather than man) who’s named Mimi-Siku trying to adapt to the concrete jungle. But the similarities stop there – Mimi-Siku wields blowpipe darts and helps Tim Allen’s character fight mobsters, something that’s not exactly Tarzan territory. Plus it’s a comedy, and we all know Tarzan isn’t funny.
The real Tarzan wouldn’t use a blowpipe, he’d punch his way out.
4. Krishna from Jungle Boy
Asif Mohammed Seth is Krishna in Jungle Boy. Credit: The Movie Scene
As you can tell from the name, Krishna might look and act like Tarzan, but he’s from a completely different continent – Asia. In fact, Krishna hails from the jungles of India, unlike Tarzan (who’s from Africa). Also, Krishna was born in India, and lives in an Indian forest, unlike Tarzan who was born in in Britain and lives in an African rainforest.
Wonder if Tarzan would have voted for Brexit?
5. Victor from The Wild Child
The Wild Child. Credit: Wikipedia
Unlike the other movies in this list, The Wild Child is actually based on a true story! It’s a French film that tells the tale of Victor, a French boy who was only discovered by civilisation at the (presumed) age of 12. He spends most of his time becoming a part of society and learning how to live in civilisation. While Victor’s struggle is to abandon the forest and embrace the city, Tarzan’s quest in The Legend of Tarzan is to abandon the city and embrace the forest.
The Legend of Tarzan. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas
So after seeing all these Tarzan clones, don’t you want to catch the real Tarzan in action? This month’s The Legend of Tarzan tells an all new tale of Tarzan, starring Alexander “True Blood” Skarsgård. He starts in the city, but don’t worry – he eventually ends up in the jungle with a loincloth, like the Tarzan we’re all familiar with.
Catch The Legend of Tarzan in cinemas now, and don’t settle for any Tarzan clones!
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