Review Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1976)

Doctor Omega

Staff member

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle is also the title of the eleventh novel in the original Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs(characters)
Directed by Don Towsley
Starring Robert Ridgely
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 36
Executive producer(s)

Producer(s) Don Christensen
Running time Half-hour
Production company(s) Filmation
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network
Original release September 11, 1976 – September 6, 1980
Followed by
The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle is an animated series created by the Filmation studio for CBS, starting in 1976. There are a total of 36 episodes produced over the first four seasons.

Opening-credits narration

The jungle: Here I was born; and here my parents died when I was but an infant. I would have soon perished, too, had I not been found by a kindly she-ape named Kala, who adopted me as her own and taught me the ways of the wild. I learned quickly, and grew stronger each day, and now I share the friendship and trust of all jungle animals. The jungle is filled with beauty, and danger; and lost cities filled with good, and evil. This is my domain, and I protect those who come here; for I am Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle!


In many ways, the series is the most faithful of all screen-based adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan and featured a number of "lost cities" from the original novels. The rotoscoped animation is based upon the work of Burrough's favorite Tarzan artist, Burne Hogarth.

In the series, Tarzan is depicted as intelligent and well-spoken – not the simple-minded ("Tarzan... Jane") caricature of many films. His sidekick is N'kima the monkey, as in the novels ("Cheeta" the chimpanzee was the creation of movie producers). It even uses much of Burroughs' Mangani language (though some of the words used, particularly for animals not encountered in the novels, do not appear in Burroughs' Mangani lexicons, and so were presumably newly invented for the show).


Doctor Omega

Staff member

Tarzan and N'kima
  • Tarzan (voiced by Robert Ridgely) – The main protagonist.
  • N'kima – Tarzan's manu (monkey) companion.
  • Jad-bal-ja – A golden-furred, dark-maned lion raised and trained by Tarzan.
  • Tantor – African elephants that are friendly towards Tarzan, and will also come to his aid if summoned.
  • Queen Nemone (voiced by Joan Gerber in the first appearance, Hettie Lynn Hurtes in the third appearance) – The ruler of Zandor who has had encounters with Tarzan.
    • Tomas (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) – Queen Nemone's prime minister who does her bidding.
    • Belthar – Queen Nemone's pet lion.
  • Phobeg (voiced by Ted Cassidy in the first appearance, Alan Oppenheimer in the third appearance) – The strongest man in Zandor and member of Zandor's Royal Guards. In Phobeg's first appearance, Tarzan must fight him in a tournament. Tarzan managed to defeat him and Phobeg later frees him and Thia. Phobeg has since remained a secret ally of Tarzan when it comes to Queen Nemone's plots. In "Tarzan and the Soul Stealer," it is shown that Phobeg has a son named Tiborgh who assists his father in working in Zandor's Royal Guards.
  • Jane Porter (voiced by Linda Gary) – Tarzan's love interest in the original novels, she only appeared once during the Filmation series. In "Tarzan and Jane", she and her father were part of an archaeological expedition looking for the lost city of Cowloon and were accompanied back to civilization by Tarzan.
Fictional races[edit]
  • Mangani – A type of great ape. They are intelligent where they have their own spoken language (which Tarzan knows), are Tarzan's friends and family, and will come to his aid if summoned. Named Mangani include Terkoz and Tor. Kala was only seen in the intro of this cartoon.
  • Bolmangani – A race of gorilla-men. They take monkeys, normal gorillas, and other animals to be used as slaves in plots to enhance their city and to take over the entire jungle. They have fought Tarzan many times and have been thwarted by him.
  • Donlumangani – A race of short humanoid primates that live in the snowy mountains. They are nicknamed the Ice People.
  • Monkey People – A race of creatures that are part human, part monkey.
Other animals[edit]
Almost all of the animals in the Filmation series are referred to using the Mangani-language names that Tarzan knows them by.

  • Argus – A giant eagle
  • Bazansi – A spider
  • Bolgani – A gorilla
  • Borta – A common warthog
  • Buto – A rhinoceros
  • Dango – A spotted hyena
  • Duro – A hippopotamus
  • Eta-pamba - A Kangaroo rat
  • Gimla – A crocodile
  • Gordo – A aquatic beast resembling a sauropod
  • Gorgos – An African buffalo
  • Gryf – A dinosaur-like creature in Pal-ul-don that is described by Tarzan as "ancient". It resembles a Triceratops with the dorsal plates and spiked tail of a Stegosaurus and teeth like a Tyrannosaurus.
  • Handal – A hornet
  • Histah – A snake
  • Lukota – A giant tortoise
  • Manu – A monkey. N'kima is one.
  • Nita – A hawk
  • Numa – A lion
  • Pacco - A zebra
  • Plesa – A fish
  • Sabor – A lioness
  • Sheeta – A large jungle cat
  • Tangani – A baboon
  • Tarbogani – A white gorilla
  • Tar-Sheeta – A large white tiger that lives in the snowy mountains
  • Zupisa – A great whale

Doctor Omega

Staff member
Episode list

There were 36 total episodes, produced over four seasons.

The first season (premiered September 11, 1976) consisted of 16 half-hour episodes. The second season (premiered September 10, 1977) added six new episodes, and aired with the half-hour series The New Adventures of Batman as The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour. The third season (premiered September 9, 1978) added six new episodes, and aired with a number of other series as the ninety-minute Tarzan and the Super 7. The fourth season (premiered September 15, 1979) added eight new episodes, and aired as part of the second season of Tarzan and the Super 7.

The "fifth season" (The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour), and the "sixth season" (The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour) were all Tarzan reruns aired with other series.

Doctor Omega

Staff member
DVD release

The series does not appear in the Universal Television library, and the rights are owned by the Edgar Rice Burroughs company. Warner Home Video has released one episode on DVD, "Tarzan and the Colossus of Zome," on Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Volume 1; Warner Bros.' rights to the series may originate from their ownership of international TV distribution rights in the 1970s and 1980s. Ironically, Warner has released most of the Tarzan franchise it owns either through its Turner Broadcasting subsidiary or in-house.

The first half of the series was released on DVD on June 14, 2016 as part of its 40th anniversary.[1]