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No matter where I go, you will always be my mother
―Tarzan to Kala

Kala is the adoptive mother of Tarzan and a major character in Disney's 1999 animated feature film Tarzan.



Kala is calm, gentle, kind and loving. She loves her son Tarzan so unconditionally, although she said that she knew Tarzan wouldn't replace her firstborn son who was killed by Sabor. Although she is usually a gentle person, Kala is capable of aggression when necessary and is also very brave, fighting against the deadly leopard Sabor in order to protect the baby Tarzan. Kala often disagreed with her mate Kerchak but despite this, they did love each other and Kala was sad when Kerchak died.

Physical appearance

Kala is an adult, female gorilla with brown fur and brown eyes. Her skin, visible on her toes, the soles of her feet, fingers, the palms of her hands, face, and belly, is light tan in coloration.



Kala in Tarzan

In the movie, Kala is a member of a troop of gorillas and is the mate of Kerchak, the leader. At the beginning of the film, she has a son with Kerchak, but their baby is killed by Sabor.

The day after, Kala hears a crying baby. She follows the noise to a treehouse, and there she discovers a human baby. Sabor suddenly appears and attempts to kill the baby, but she is stopped by Kala. Kala correctly assumes that Sabor killed the baby's parents, and takes the baby back to her home. Kerchak allows her to keep the baby after confirming that there were no other humans around but notes that the baby will never replace the one they lost. Kala chooses to name her new son Tarzan.

Tarzan grows into a young boy but is aware that there are differences between him and the other gorillas. One day, while playing with Kala's niece, Terk, Tarzan unintentionally causes a stampede of elephants. The stampede runs through the gorilla nests, putting a young gorilla in danger. Kerchak is angered and berates Kala for defending him. Kerchak tells Tarzan that he will never be one of the gorillas, which hurts Tarzan. However, Kala consoles Tarzan by telling him that he is the same as them because their hearts are the same. Inspired, Tarzan vows to the best ape ever.

Tarzan improves himself, and as an adult kills Sabor, which makes Kala and the other gorillas very happy. Later on, Kala rushes off to find that Tarzan is with another group of humans who have come to the island. Kala, along with Kerchak, escorts Tarzan back to camp. Kala asks Tarzan to listen to Kerchak's warning to stay away from the humans, but Tarzan gets angry with Kala and asks her why she never told him that there were creatures who looked like him (this is the only time in the Tarzan-franchise where Tarzan's actually mad at Kala for something).

Later on, Tarzan brings the humans: Jane Porter and Jane's father, who had come to study the gorillas, to meet the gorillas. Kala is afraid of them at first but accepts them after seeing them play with the other gorillas. However, Kerchak arrives and attempts to attack the humans, but Tarzan holds him off. Kerchak then berates Tarzan for betraying the gorillas. In response, Kala reveals to Tarzan the treehouse she found him in as a baby. Kala shows Tarzan the picture of his birth parents and tells him that she wants him to be happy wherever he decides to go. Before Tarzan leaves, however, he told Kala no matter where he went, she would always be his mother. In tears, Kala replied back that he would always be in her heart.

Kala with Tarzan and Jane

Tarzan chooses to go to London with Jane, whom he has come to love, and he sadly says goodbye to Kala,reassuring her that she will always be his mother. After he leaves, Kala, along with the other gorillas, is captured by Clayton, who had secretly intended to capture the gorillas to sell. However, Tarzan soon arrives, and with assistance from Jane, Mr. Porter, Tantor, and others, rescues Kala and the gorillas and defeats Clayton. Unfortunately, Kerchak is shot by Clayton during the fight and is fatally wounded. As he dies, Kerchak apologizes and accepts Tarzan as his successor. Tarzan chooses to stay in the jungle, alongside his gorilla family. Jane and her father also stay and are accepted by Kala and the other gorillas. The final scene shows Kala receiving flowers from Jane.

Tarzan II

The midquel, Tarzan II, goes in depth into Tarzan's childhood. One night, at bedtime, before and after explaining to Tarzan about how different certain families can be, she ticklishly plays with his toes. An accident leads Kala to assume that Tarzan had died, and this news devastates her. Later on, she learns that Tarzan has survived but has run away, as he had overheard some gorillas talking about how glad they were that he was gone. Kala goes on a journey to find him. She finds Tarzan at the home of Mama Gunda, another female ape. Kala is able to convince Tarzan to come home, but she is attacked by Gunda's son Kago. Thankfully, Tarzan is able to rescue her, which helps Tarzan to realize that he is part of the family, Kala then returns home with Tarzan.

Tarzan & Jane

Kala has no prominent storyline or even lines of dialogue in Tarzan & Jane but appears at the end of the film during the celebration of Tarzan and Jane's first anniversary.

The Legend of Tarzan

In the series, The Legend of Tarzan, Kala serves as an advisor to Tarzan. A sympathetic ear when Tarzan needs someone wise to talk to, Kala acts as the voice of the apes, always reminding Tarzan of his unique obligations to the family. Despite Kerchak's death, she is highly respected for her wisdom. She is also Jane's closest confidant. The two share a warm, strong bond, and Jane regards her mother-in-law as her only kindred spirit in the jungle. From Kala's point of view, Jane is the human daughter she never had.

Video games

Kingdom Hearts

Kala has a minor role in the game, staying by Kerchak's side while Tarzan asks them to trust Jane, Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Kala is captured by Clayton and the Heartless but saved by Sora and Tarzan. She never speaks any lines.

Disney Parks

Disneyland Resort

Kala can be seen in the Tarzan's Treehouse attraction at the Disneyland park; this also appears in Hong Kong Disneyland.

Walt Disney World Resort

In 2013, Kala made her first appearance as a walk-around character during the Florida portion of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere! event.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Kala.

v - e - d
Films: Tarzan/Video/SoundtrackTarzan & JaneTarzan IIThe Legend of Tarzan

Television: The Legend of TarzanHouse of Mouse
Video Games: Disney's TarzanTarzan: UntamedReturn to the JungleKingdom HeartsDisney's Extreme Skate AdventureDisney Infinity
Books: Read-Aloud StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of Reading Little Golden StorybookThe Tarzan ChroniclesBanana Hunt

Disney Parks
Art of AnimationDisney Animation BuildingTarzan's Treehouse

Entertainment: Fantasmic!Festival of Family & FriendsLa Forêt de l’Enchantement: Une aventure musicale DisneyOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!Tarzan Rocks!Tarzan: The EncounterThe Golden Mickeys
Shops: Professor Porter's Trading Post
Parade: Parade of the StarsFlights of Fantasy ParadeMickey's Soundsational Parade
Firework: Celebrate the MagicTree of Life Awakens

Original: TarzanTerkTantorKalaKerchakFlynt and MungoSaborLord and Lady GreystrokeManuJane PorterArchimedes Q. PorterClayton and his menBaboons

Midquel: ZugorMama GundaKago and Uto
TV Series: TublatHistaZuthoGozan and HungoIan McTeagueThaddeus HuntJake & SamMabayaCount Nikolas RokoffLady WalthamQueen LaLeopard MenMuviroKajUsulaDr. DoyleEleanorGreenlyHazelIanLieutenant Colonel StaquaitRenard DumontSamuel T. PhilanderTheodore RooseveltHugo and HooftNura and SheetaEdgar Rice BurroughsManganiJabariDaniaGerman PoacherBasuliNaohChief KeewaziNigel TaylorFemale Tyrannosaurus RexVelociraptorsTriceratops

Season One: "Race Against Time" • "Trading Post" • "Lost Cub" • "Lost City of Opar" • "Fugitives" • "Rogue Elephant" • "Poisoned River" • "Enemy Within" • "Fountain" • "Hidden World" • "Rift" • "Giant Beetles" • "Jungle Madness" • "Protege" • "Leopard Men Rebellion" • "Rough Rider" • "Seeds of Destruction" • "Silver Ape" • "Challenger" • "Outbreak" • "Silver Screen" • "Beast from Below" • "All-Seeing Elephant" • "New Wave" • "Lost Treasure" • "Return of La" • "One Punch Mulligan" • "Missing Link" • "Prison Break" • "Eagle's Feather" • "Face from the Past" • "Caged Fury" • "Gauntlet of Vengeance" • "Mysterious Visitor" • "Tublat's Revenge"

Season Two: "British Invasion" • "Volcanic Diamond Mine" • "Flying Ace"

Film: Two WorldsYou'll Be in My HeartSon of ManTrashin' the CampStrangers Like Me

Musical: For the First Time

AfricaJunglePellucidarDark MountainSkull Cave
See Also
The Disney AfternoonDisney RenaissanceMusicalQueen La's Staff

v - e - dKingdom Hearts Series

Kingdom Hearts + Final Mix | Chain of Memories | Re:Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II + Final Mix | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep + Final Mix | coded | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | HD I.5 ReMIX | χ [chi] | HD II.5 ReMIX | Unchained χ | HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue |HD I.5+II.5 ReMIX| Kingdom Hearts III

Incorporated Films and Shorts

Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Big Hero 6 | Chicken Little | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | One Hundred and One Dalmatians | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tangled | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh


Main Characters: Sora | Riku | Kairi | King Mickey | Donald Duck | Goofy | Roxas | Aqua | Terra | Ventus
Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal | Foretellers | Master of Masters | Luxu | Ephemers | Skuld
Original Monsters: Heartless | Nobodies | Unversed | Dream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Clayton | Kerchak | Kala | Jane Porter | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Jasmine | Jafar | Iago | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Tinker Bell | Quasimodo | Judge Claude Frollo | Merlin | Flora, Fauna and Merryweather | Aurora | Prince Phillip | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Ursula | Prince Eric | Flounder | Sebastian | Mulan | Mushu | Shan Yu | Li Shang | Jack Sparrow | Hector Barbossa | Elizabeth Swann | Will Turner | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | Rafiki | Scar | King Triton | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Queen of Hearts | Jack Skellington | Oogie Boogie | Sally | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Chip and Dale | Horace Horsecollar | Master Control Program | Sark | Kevin Flynn | Sam Flynn | Quorra | CLU | Rinzler | Cinderella | Prince Charming | Fairy Godmother | Jaq | Lady Tremaine | Belle | Beast | Lumiere | Cogsworth | Mrs Potts | Pinocchio | Geppetto | Monstro | Stitch | Captain Gantu | Jumba | Hercules | Megara | Hades | Captain Hook | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Evil Queen | The Prince | Wendy | Pongo | Perdita | Dalmatian Puppies | Ace "Chicken Little" Cluck | Rapunzel | Baymax | Philoctetes | Abu
Square Enix Characters: Leon | Cloud | Moogle | Joshua | Others


Plot Elements: Universe of Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts | Heart | Keyblade War | Dark Seeker Saga | More
Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom Hearts | Magic


Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat | Keyblade Armor


Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Deep Jungle | Agrabah | Olympus Coliseum/Underworld | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland | Atlantica | Hundred Acre Wood | Beast's Castle | The Land of Dragons | Port Royal | Pride Lands | Space Paranoids | Castle of Dreams | Enchanted Dominion | Dwarf Woodlands | Deep Space | La Cité des Cloches | Prankster's Paradise | Country of the Musketeers | Symphony of Sorcery | The Grid | Kingdom of Corona | San Fransokyo


Organization XIII | Princesses of Heart | Disney Villains Council


Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony


Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack

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