Document details

Lords of the Apes
Directors Chris Buck & Kevin Lima tame Disney's animated Tarzan.
Kyle Counts
It's the end of February, a little more than three months away from the world premiere of Tarzan, Walt Disney Studios' 37th animated feature. Considering that there is still considerable fine-tuning to be done on the film, co-directors Kevin Lima and Chris Buck are in amazingly good spirits. Could it be their excitement over the movie's June 18 release? The knowledge that their names will soon stand proudly beside those of the studio's great directors of animation? Would you believe a sense of relief that nearly four years of intense work is finally coming to an end? "Doing a feature is definitely a long-term commitment," says Lima, the assertive, long-haired half of the pair. '"You talk to most live-action directors, and they say [doing a feature] is like sprinting. This is like running a marathon." Lima was offered Tarzan on the strength of his directorial work on 1995's A Goofy Movie ("the most angst-ridden Goofy ever produced," he laughs), which he had just finished when he was given a copy of Tarzan of the Apes to read. "They had me read it to see if I was interested in directing it," he says. "At first, the studio was thinking about doing it as a 'B' picture up in Canada, the same way they had done A Goofy Movie. And I said, 'You can't do this book as a 'B' movie. Not only is there a whole world you must create, but you have to animate a guy in a loincloth, and anatomy is one of the hardest things in the world to animate.' Things got quiet after that, and then the project came over to Feature Animation. I said, 'Great — I'll do it.' " Tarzan the Magnificent Given his choice of co-directors, Lima states that "Chris was the guy who came to mind. We go way back. My first job in animation was right out of school, on a short called Sport Goofy. Chris was my supervisor." (They also worked together on The Brave Little Toaster and The Rescuers Down Under, doing character designs.) The bespectacled, contemplative Buck recalls, "I was just finishing up my work as supervising animator on Pocahontas when Kevin called. I had never directed a feature before, so I was very hesitant about accepting his offer, because of the sheer amount of work involved." But accept Lima's offer Buck did, and in late summer '95, the pair found themselves on the "fast track," immersed in pre-production and story conferences (along with Head of Story Brian Pimental) for Tarzan. […]




Source type Magazine
Volume 264
Language en
Document type Interview
Media type text
Page count 9
Pages pp. 39-47


Id 1968
Availability Free
Inserted 2015-12-08