2. Tarzan’s American Accent – Tarzan
Disney’s Tarzan actually presents one of its least problematic love stories – a sad fact when you really think about it – but its central character also has one key quality that makes no sense at all. To set the scene for anyone unfamiliar with his story: when he was an infant, Tarzan and his parents almost died in a shipwreck. Baby Tarzan’s parent’s were then almost immediately killed by an evil leopard, at which point the boy was adopted and raised by gorillas.
Now, as he plainly has no memories of his human parents or human society, Tarzan grows up as an ape-man. He moves like an ape, he communicates like an ape – he behaves, in practically every way, like an ape. Now, Tarzan‘s story sees him discover his humanity and meet his first humans: Jane Porter, her father Professor Archimedes Porter, and their hunter guide, Clayton. All three of these people are British, it’s important to add.
As Tarzan learns to speak English from Jane (with Clayton and the Professor also occasionally present), it’s only logical to assume that the ape man would speak in a British accent. However, Disney, in their infinite wisdom, gave him an American accent – something that he would never have heard at all. This conjures the impression that Tarzan’s humanity comes with a nationality, and that allows him to pronounce words in a perfect American accent without ever having heard one before. This one isn’t just nonsensical, it’s borderline insulting.