Tarzan-3DWhile the film world fervently awaits the live-action adaptation of Tarzan, set for a 2016 release, in the meantime comes yet another reimagining of the classic tale, with director Reinhard Klooss marking the fictional creation’s centenary year with an animated offering. While certainly enjoyable, it lacks any true individuality, causing us to sincerely hope that David Yates’ impending endeavour shows a little more ingenuity.

Kellan Lutz, renowned primarily for his performance as Emmett Cullen in the Twilight franchise, voices the eponymous lead, who is left abandoned in the jungle when victim of a helicopter crash as a child, which killed both of his parents. He was then raised in the wild by gorillas, adapting their mannerisms and culture. Years later, now one of the most agile creatures in the jungle, he makes human contact for the first time – with the adventurer Jane Porter (Spencer Locke), as the pair come up against a mercenary army dispatched by the unethical corporation Greystoke Energies.

Though certainly an impressive, visual spectacle on the big screen, allowing the audience to immerse themselves into the depths of the jungle, with a vibrant greenery making up the prominent aesthetic – the animation itself, particularly where the human beings features are concerned, leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately however, the intimidating, looming presence of the trees, matched by the serenity of the passing river makes for a gentile ambiance, capturing that of the actual jungle.

The story itself is mostly faithful to the original tale, which though expected, is something of a frustration, given Tarzan has been adapted on so many occasions before. To fully warrant yet another version, there needs to be something unique and fresh, and this struggles in that department. The beginning of the picture is the only time we see something different, as we’re introduced to Tarzan when a child, where he discovers an ancient meteor alongside his father. However it’s not fully expanded upon, and we eventually resort back to convention.

Where Klooss must be commended, however, is in his willingness to take risks, and attempt to reflect the laws of the jungle in as honest a way as possible. You only need to see five minutes of a nature documentary to see the animalistic, often violent, traits of the jungle’s inhabitants, and in this we explore such themes, as the filmmaker doesn’t shy away from death, violence and honour – all the while remaining accessible to children, serving more of an educational purpose than anything else. This is where the film’s German origins come to the forefront, as you can’t help but feel that a Hollywood animation may just have played this a little safer.

That being said, ultimately this is a generic, superfluous offering. There’s very little in here for the adults, but kids may learn a thing or two at he very least. Even if the overriding message does contradict a parents instructions somewhat, because when I was younger I was always told acting like a monkey would land me in trouble. Try telling that to Tarzan after he pulls Jane Porter.