The Call of the Jungle: Five Facts You Didn’t Know About Tarzan

As icons go, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle may seem a little dated in the modern day. Here is a man living in the depths of the wild with no real superpowers and no robotic limbs. It’s arguably why, in an age of countless remakes, that Tarzan has never had a real makeover for the 21st century. For those that remember him with fondness, however, here are some fun facts regarding Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous fictional creation.

Tarzan, My Lord

Tarzan” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Manuel Trindade

In the 1984 film Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan, our hero is depicted as an English Lord and it’s often wrongly assumed that this is the first time we saw this story emerge. In fact, this is well known to dedicated Tarzan fans who are aware of this from the very first novel in the series. Lord and Lady Greystoke are Tarzan’s parents and following their death in Tarzan of the Apes, our hero inherits their wealth but chooses to take up a life of swinging through trees rather than the comfort of the House of Lords.

Spinoffs

Tarzan is not a familiar face in merchandising, but there have been some interesting spinoffs that are far removed from the world of film and TV. Included in these is a slot game developed by Microgaming, Tarzan, which features an animated aesthetic and symbols based on the series. Jungle Spirit: Call of the Wild, meanwhile, also pays homage to the franchise and allows you to find your jungle spirit through its use of symbols including Tarzan, Jane, Archimedes, a leopard, chimp and fruits.

Tarzan Meets His Creator

edgar rice burroughs: master of adventur” (CC BY 2.0) by cdrummbks

Inevitably, Disney would eventually catch on to the appeal of Tarzan and the animated version is one of their more recent releases. In the film, Tarzan gets to meet the man who created him but is unaware of the significance during his encounter with Rice Burroughs. To date, the Little Mermaid is the only other character to run into the author that gave them “life”.

Clayton is Tarzan’s Cousin

Once again, this is a fact that will not astonish dedicated followers but for the casual Tarzan fan, this may come as a bit of a shock, for our hero and his arch nemesis are actually related. This is another established piece of information that Edgar Rice Burroughs openly lays out in the first novel but has since been lost amidst the many books, TV and film series that have followed.

Tarzan Quits

Like every Disney movie, the animated Tarzan has its dark side but it doesn’t stay completely true to the original story. Tired of a life where primates are his sole companions, our hero eventually quits his life and heads for civilization with his long-time companion Jane. Was Jane worth it or does a life of domesticity leave Tarzan longing to be back among the apes? You’ll just have to follow the rest of the story to find out.

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