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Catholic Family Movie on Disney: Tarzan and Mary, Our Mother

May: Month of Mary

When the month of May rolls around each year, it seems to always catch me by surprise. So many things happen in this month: graduations, end of year teacher gifts, closing down homeschool, first communions and confirmations, oh and Mother’s Day is in there somewhere. With so many things squeezed into this one month, it’s hard to remember that the whole month is dedicated to Mary. 

In honor of Mary, the Catholic Family Movie Night for May focuses on an example of motherhood taken from a Disney movie! Yes, even Disney movies can illustrate the good, true and beautiful of our faith!

catholic family movie on disney illustrates importance of mary

Catholic Family Movie on Disney: Tarzan Illustrates Mary’s Love for Us.

With the Catholic Family Movie Night series we write, we are training our children to identify the good, true and beautiful found in media. We must show them how to discern what is truly good, true and beautiful, not just the world says is. We must show them that goodness, truth and beauty points people toward God.

Tarzan is free to stream on Disney and you can read more about the reviews here to read about the suggested viewer age. It’s thrilling and could even be scary for younger kids so be aware.

I chose this movie for Mary’s month because of the example of motherhood illustrated by the mom gorilla, Kala.

Please keep in mind, this movie by no means is able to capture the perfection of Mary, but It does however illustrate the role of a mother and the beauty of how Mary loves each of her adopted sons and daughters.

Before The Movie: Family Discussion Questions

Before you show this movie to your kids, tell them that you want to show how much Mary loves each of us. Kala acts a lot like Mary in this movie. Ask them the following questions:

  1. How would you describe a good mother?

  2. Do you think of Mary as your mother?

  3. Do you think Mary loves you like her own child?

  4. Do you go to here when you need comfort?

Then ask them to try and spot and shout out similarities between Kala and Mary. Here are the ones I spotted.

Similarities Between Kala and Mary:

Their Only Son is Murdered

In the opening minutes of the movie, we are met with some dramatic developments. Kala’s only son is killed (off screen) by the leopard Sabor. Both Mary and Tala lose their only son. 

They Adopt 

After this tragic loss of her son, at the foot of the cross of her suffering, Kala finds an orphaned Tarzan and decides to adopt him. At the foot of the cross of Christ, Mary became the mother to John and to all of us. 

They Raise a Savior

Kala’s decision to raise Tarzan made it possible for Tarzan to grow up and eventually defeat the leopard Sabor (who represents evil and death) once and for all. During this fight scene, Tarzan Disappears into the ground (buried) and rises, having defeated the enemy (sin and death)

Likewise, Mary’s yes at the Annunciation made it possible for Jesus to be born, die and resurrect, defeating sin and death. Both Mary and Tala’s Yes changed the world. 

They Defend Against Evil

Kala’s motherly instinct shows us that she protects her children with her own life. At minute 6:45 we see Tala wrestle with the leopard in order to save Tarzan. Likewise, I like to think of this meme:

Catholic Movie on Disney illustrates truth about Mary

Mary is known to be a powerful weapon against the devil and temptation. The rosary has been considered a very effective tool against the enemy. She helps us fight temptation and snares or the devil. 

They Comfort Us, Always

At minute 11, pause the movie and say the next song or lullaby is like Mary singing to each of us. We are like her adopted sons and daughters. She loves us even more than Kala loves Tarzan which is a lot. When we are scared or sad and need comfort, don’t ever be afraid to pray to Mary for her comfort. She’ll be there for you, always

One of the lyrics is, “you’ll be in my heart, always.” This reminds me of Our Lady of Fatima and her invitation for us to take refuge in her immaculate heart. Sr. Lucia writes, “We all know that a mother’s heart represents love in the bosom of a family,” Lucia explains. “All children trust in the heart of their mother, and we all know that we have in her place a special affection. The same applies to the Virgin Mary. Thus this message says: My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Hence, the Heart of Mary is a refuge and the way to God for all his children.” (Source)

They Advocate for us to the Father

Shortly after the lullaby scene, we see Kala advocates for Tarzan to the father figure, Kerchak. 

Mary advocates and intercedes for us as well. A really good book that illustrates this truth is called Take It to the Queen.

They Point Us to Truth

Tarzan gets upset. He feels different and unwanted and like he doesn’t belong. We often feel that way from time to time. Kala shows Tarzan the truth: he is a living being just like her. He has hands and heartbeat. Her love soothed Tarzan and helped to calm him.

Likewise, Mary sees us. And shows us how good we are. When we get lost and feel unloved or unwanted, Mary is always there to lead us to truth, beauty and goodness which will lead to God. 

You can continue watching but the analogies and teaching moments end around minute 30. Enjoy the rest of the movie or stop depending on the interest of your kids.

After the Movie: Family Discussion Questions:

  1. After watching this movie, especially the beginning part, did you think Kala was a good mom to Tarzan? Why or why not?

  2. Did you find similarities between Kala and Mary? What were they?

  3. The song, “You’ll be in my heart” is like a lullaby from Mary to us. Have you ever thought of Mary loving you like this?

  4. What is one way you can grow your relationship with Mary going forward? (pray rosary every day, talk to Mary about your day, ask her advice, imagine her hugging you when your scared or need comfort, etc).

  5. Check out our free resources for rosary meditations

    1. for your marriage or

    2. the pain of motherhood,

    3. or your family

    4. even your prayer life.

    5. and a rosary coloring page for kids too!

  6. As a family, brainstorm ways your family can grow closer to Mary. Consider choosing a way to dedicate your family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Thanks for reading! I pray your family draws closer to Mary this month! God bless you!

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