- “The legend begins.”
Tarzan II, also known as Tarzan II: The Legend Begins, released in 2005, is a direct-to-video midquel to the 1999 Disney animated feature film, Tarzan. The film tells the story of a young Tarzan's adventure to discover who he really is. It features two new songs from Phil Collins and takes place during the song "Son of Man" from the first movie.
As a young boy being raised by gorillas, Tarzan (voiced by Harrison Chad) is worried that a fabled monster known as the Zugor (voiced by George Carlin) will someday catch him. He is disappointed that he can't run as quickly as the other young apes in his family, and his attempts to prove himself resulting in chaos. When an accident leaves his mother thinking that Tarzan has died and the other apes feeling that Tarzan has reached a fitting end, the boy believes it best for everyone involved if he runs away.
He finds his way to a rocky place known as Dark Mountain after he was chased by Sabor the leopard, inhabited by two hulking, spoiled gorilla brothers, the dim-witted Uto (voiced by Brad Garrett), the exceedingly violent Kago (voiced by Ron Perlman), and their controlling, over-protective Mama Gunda (voiced by Estelle Harris). But they fear the Zugor as much as Tarzan does, and when the booming call of the monster echoes through the valley, Tarzan is able to escape from them.
He encounters a bad-tempered, old gorilla who at first keeps the boy distant, but Tarzan discovers that this old gorilla actually is Zugor, who uses hollow trees as megaphones to amplify his voice and pretend to be a monster to scare other jungle creatures away from his territory and food. Tarzan uses this discovery to force Zugor into letting the boy stay with him. Thanks to Tarzan's cheerfulness and helpfulness, Zugor begins to warm to him as the boy continues to try to figure out what he is.
Tarzan's friends Terk (voiced by Brenda Grate) and Tantor (voiced by Harrison Fahn) come looking for him, but Tarzan does not want to return home with them. It is only when his adoptive mother Kala (voiced by Glenn Close) arrives and encounters trouble with Gunda and her boys that Tarzan finally realizes what he is supposed to be: a Tarzan, with his own special tricks that no one else in the jungle can do. Terk and Tantor save Tarzan and become best friends once again. Tarzan tells his mother she was right before, and that he is a part of his family. Kala then gives him a hug and tells him how proud she is of him for rescuing her from the two ape brothers, after which Mama Gunda punishes her kids, Kago and Uto for destroying Zugor's tree house and Terk and Tantor are finally reunited with their best friend, Tarzan.
- Harrison Chad as Tarzan - Before he was king of the jungle, Tarzan was an awkward kid trying to fit in with his ape family. When he was growing up, Tarzan had a childhood fear of the Zugor, a mythical monster said to live on Dark mountain. His second fear was that his mother, Kala would get hurt because of him. Although he walks like an ape, he is nowhere as fast as one, which results in the accident that leads his family to believe he is dead. When he overhears his mother tell Kerchak she would have given her life for him, and three ape females who say Kala and the family are better off without him, he decides to run away. After he traveling perhaps two to three days he is chased by a leopard (probably Sabor) into a valley. After escaping the family of three apes who is trapped there, Tarzan follows/chases an old gorilla into a tree the ape calls home. When Tarzan discovers the old ape is really the Zugor, he blackmails him into helping him learn to be a good ape, and when he realizes he isn't an ape, he forces Zugor to help him figure out what he is. Later on in the movie, he finally finds out that he is where he belonged, and calls himself, a Tarzan. This being his name and the only thing that he, at the time, knew himself to be, (other than an ape that is).
- Glenn Close as Kala, Tarzan's adoptive mother loves her son more than anything. Kala is kind and gentle unless provoked, or if her family is threatened. When Tarzan is assumed dead, she is devastated. When she learns Tarzan is alive and that Terk and Tantor have gone to find him, she too goes off to find him but is joined by three unnamed Gorilla babies bored with staying home. When she encounters Mama Gunda and her boys, Kago rams her with his shoulder, sending her and the three babies down to a ledge below. Unable to help her son, she is trapped, and merely able to save the three baby gorillas. When the ledge breaks, and she is unable to have anything to hold on to, her adoptive son, Tarzan, comes to her rescue. When Tarzan explains why he left, she implies that instead of endangering her life, he has just saved it.
- Brenda Grate as Terk, Tarzan's sarcastic, wise-cracking, and blunt "cousin." Her Full name is Terkina, but she goes by Terk. When Tantor convinces her he heard Tarzan's voice from Dark mountain, she goes with him. When they get to the dark mountain, Zugor scares them into the gorge where two ape brothers and their Mama, Gunda, are "trapped" by the Zugor. Mama Gunda is looking for a new family to take over, so they "Squeeze" out where the family's nesting grounds are from Terk.
- Harrison Fahn as Tantor, A germophobic, panic-prone elephant, loyal to his friends, Terk and Tarzan, despite these impediments, Tantor hears Tarzan's voice from Dark mountain because he has "20-20 hearing." He drags Terk along with him to bring their friend back.
- George Carlin as Zugor, An old hermit ape living in a hollow tree on Dark Mountain. He is the "monster" feared by Tarzan and almost all the animals, even Sabor the leopard before she was killed by Tarzan as an adult years later. He claims he is alone because he got old and unable to keep up with his migrating family. However when Tarzan tells the Gorilla he is a danger to his own family, Zugor is rattled by this revelation. Tarzan blackmails Zugor into helping him figure out what he is; in return, Tarzan will not tell anyone he is the "Monster." As time passes, Zugor grows fond of Tarzan, even letting him be a "Zugor-in training" when Tarzan starts to think he is nothing at all. When Tarzan accidentally reveals Zugor's secret he is angry and hurt at the betrayal, which results in his tree getting destroyed by Kago and Uto. He later comes to Tarzan's rescue with a vine for him to use to terrorize the two brothers. While Tarzan deals with them, Zugor trades insults with Mama Gunda, which ends with him saying she has beautiful eyes. After the fight, she and her boys leave to live with him.
- Estelle Harris as Mama Gunda, A controlling, overbearing, and short, both in height and in temper, female ape. She doesn't like her boys fighting each other, and pulls them down to her eye level by their bottom lips. It is most likely her personality and her spoiled sons that got them kicked out of every family they have been in. When she falls for Zugor, she and her boys go to live with him, and plan to fix the damage they have done to his tree.
- Ron Perlman as Kago, A violent, easily provoked, and an all around thug. Kago enjoys picking on anyone smaller than himself, aside from his mother, before whom he is a complete wimp. He and his brother display unusual strength, shown in their ability to smash rocks.
- Brad Garrett as Uto, A dim-witted, clumsy, and panicky ape who likes to throw any creature he finds off a cliff to see if they can fly. He is the reason why he, his mother and brother are trapped the rocky valley dug into the dark mountain. When he fell in Gunda and Kago came to get him out and all three were "trapped" by the Zugor. When they learn Zugor is just an old ape he and Kago, under orders from their mother, destroy Zugor's tree.
- Lance Henriksen as Kerchak, Kala's mate and the leader of the gorilla troop.
- Connor Hutcherson as Tonka
Reviews for the film were generally mixed to negative. While it was praised for having decent animation quality in comparison to most Disney direct-to-video sequels, but was criticized for not being necessary. It holds a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.