FANDOM


Kerchak was the leader of the gorillas and a major character in Disney's 1999 animated feature film, Tarzan.

Background

Personality

“'Give him a chance?' Kala, look at him. He will NEVER be one of us!
―Kerchak's harsh judgement of Tarzan.

Kerchak often appeared to be cold, judgmental, aggressive, and always jumped to conclusions. Tarzan noted that he felt threatened by anyone that was different from him. Throughout most of Tarzan's early life, Kerchak treated him with disdain and disapproval and refused to accept him as his son. However, after Tarzan saved Kerchak and his family from Sabor, Kerchak finally grew to respect him and, by end of the film, tried to protect Tarzan from Clayton which cost him his life. While he was dying, Kerchak asked Tarzan to forgive him for never treating him as a member of his family and finally believed that Tarzan was his son.

Before the death of his biological son, Kerchak appeared to be warmer and more playful as he was seen playing with the baby gorilla but after the child was killed by Sabor, he grew cold, bitter, and grumpy. Despite his intimidating demeanor, Kerchak cared deeply about his family and was willing to risk his life to protect them. He did occasionally show a caring side and when Tarzan was presumed dead after falling off a cliff, Kerchak tried to comfort Kala.

Kerchak was a powerful fighter and his massive frame gave him the advantage over most opponents. However, he could be outmaneuvered by more agile fighters as shown when he fought against Sabor who used her superior speed to gain the advantage before Tarzan intervened.

Physical appearance

Kerchak is a large, adult male gorilla with black hair and gray skin. Some of the hair on his back is silver, because Kerchak is a silverback gorilla (leader of a troop of gorillas). His forearms are enormous and his head is rather large. His eyes are brown and small in comparison to the rest of his head.

Appearances

Tarzan

Kerchak is first seen in the film alongside Kala and their baby keeping him from falling out of their nest. He continues happily playing and bonding with his son but his and Kala's happiness is shattered when their baby wanders off at night and is attacked by Sabor. Overhearing the commotion, the two desperately try to save their child but fail to reach him in time as Sabor carries him off and kills him. Kala tries to continue pursuing Sabor, but Kerchak stops her. Kala breaks down at the loss as Kerchak comforts her. The loss leaves Kerchak and Kala devastated and renders Kerchak a much colder and sour gorilla in demeanor. The next morning, Kerchak leads his family onward across the jungle and looks back at a mournful Kala with an equally sad expression on his face.

Eventually, Kerchak discovers that Kala is missing (she having followed the cries of a recently orphaned Tarzan) and shows great relief when she returns alive and well. This, however, turns to shock when he notices baby Tarzan cradled in Kala's arms. Investigating, he is told by Kala that she saved him from Sabor after the bloodthirsty leopard slaughtered his parents. Although sympathetic to her sentiment, Kerchak nevertheless states the child is not one of their kind and would not replace their deceased youngster and after Kala insists that he needs her care, he tells her to return Tarzan where she found him. A shocked Kala objects, claiming he would die if returned but Kerchak stands by his judgment, telling Kala firmly he cannot allow her to place the family in danger by keeping Tarzan as he considers him dangerous. Kala refuses and questions his assertation causing Kerchak to lose his temper and roars at her, scaring both his family and Tarzan who begins crying. After staring at Kala for a few moments harshly, he softens his heart somewhat and allows her to keep the baby when she confirms no other humans were present. However, he refuses to accept the child as his son despite allowing him to stay, which he points out directly to Kala. Kerchak then orders the family to rest for the night before looking to Kala with disapproval at her decision.

Kerchak next appears in the film a few years later when an older Tarzan accidentally bumps into him whilst playing causing Kerchak to stare down at him fiercely, much to Tarzan's worry. At that moment Terk, his and Kala's niece, hastily arrives and attempts to diffuse the situation by pretending that Tarzan was lost and lavishing Kerchak with thanks and praise as a leader for finding him, though Kerchak is not close to being amused. The two children quickly take their leave. Later when Kerchak and the rest of his family are feeding on termite mounds, a herd of elephants comes crashing through their territory, a stampede accidentally caused by Tarzan after he undertook a dare by Terk and her friends in the hopes of impressing them. After saving a baby gorilla from being trampled he angrily heads over to the lakeside with Kala, suspecting Tarzan is responsible. When Tarzan accepts responsibility for causing the stampede and apologizes, Kerchak scolds him furiously saying he almost kill someone. When Kala comes to Tarzan's defense he berates her for doing so and expresses his belief that Tarzan would never be able to learn from his mistakes or learn how to be one of them. When Kala, angered by his cruel words, points out he never gives Tarzan the chance to prove himself Kerchak openly proclaims Tarzan would never belong with them. An emotionally hurt Tarzan runs off in sadness but after counseling from Kala endeavors to improve himself and show Kerchak he can be as good as any ape. As years pass Tarzan grows in strength and skill though Kerchak's opinion of him remains negative as he matures into an adult.

One day Kerchak is seen shaking his head in disapproval at Tarzan as he wrestles with Terk. When Sabor attacks the family and pursues Tarzan, he nevertheless comes to his defense and does battle with the leopard. Though appearing to have the upper hand, he is ultimately outmatched by Sabor when she claws his chest and bites into his shoulder. After throwing her off, he lies injured and almost helpless as the leopard lunges at him to deliver the killing blow, but Tarzan intervenes, kicking her backward. Kerchak watches from a ledge as Tarzan succeeds in killing Sabor after a vicious and protracted fight and then lifts up her body and yells in triumph. When Tarzan looks to him he walks away solemnly when Tarzan presents Sabor's corpse to him. With this Kerchak develops a reluctant respect for him. When gunshots are heard in the distance he leads the family away out of concern. When Tarzan disappears from sight, having followed the gunshots out of curiosity, Kerchak and the rest of the family search for him. Hearing the commotion caused by Terk, the other young gorillas, and Tantor at a human camp in the musical number "Trashin the camp" he heads over to investigate. Upon arriving at the camp with Kala and other members of the family he encounters Jane Porter, who Tarzan had earlier saved from an aggressive troop of baboons, and roars at the young woman in anger over her presence terrifying her. He then orders the family to head back into the jungle as Kala calls back Tarzan from Jane before her father and their guide Clayton arrive.

Back at their home Kerchak orders the troop to stay away from the humans believing them to be a danger to their safety. Tarzan urges him to reconsider saying that the newcomers mean them no harm as he has spent time with them. Kerchak refuses to state that while Tarzan is willing to risk the family's safety he is not. Angered by his judgmental, unkind opinions of him Tarzan aggressively confronts Kerchak on why he feels threatened by anything he considers different. Stunned by this challenge to his authority Kerchak warns Tarzan against visiting the humans and orders him to protect the family by staying away from them. Unknown to Kerchak though, Tarzan continues to regularly visit them behind his back and falls in love with Jane. He nonetheless refuses initially to show them the gorillas despite their requests fearing that Kerchak would harm them if he discovered them near the troop. Eventually, Clayton, who secretly wishes to capture and sell the gorillas for profit, manipulates the situation by leading Tarzan to believe that Jane and her father would stay if they could see them. Convinced, Tarzan asks Terk and Tantor to distract Kerchak to which they reluctantly agree.

Kerchak is next seen chasing Tantor and Terk dressed as Professor Porter and Jane respectively through the jungle believing them to have intruded. However, the duo accidentally leads him back to the nest and soon enough he comes crashing through the bushes in a rage. When he sees the Porters there he immediately realizes Tarzan brought them and is shocked by the sight of them. Tarzan tries to explain, but Kerchak goes into bestial fury when he witnesses Clayton point his rifle at a member of the family he was skirmishing with and charges at him with the intention of attacking him, throwing aside Tarzan when he tries to stop him. Kerchak turns back to the human's and charges when Tarzan fights and pins him to the ground to allow them to escape. Releasing him, a guilt-ridden Tarzan apologizes for what he did but Kerchak, feeling betrayed and deceived, renounces any respect he held for Tarzan and disowns him completely, bitterly saying he betrayed their family.

Emotionally conflicted and confused, Tarzan runs off. After Kala shows him his true origins, he decides to leave with Jane to England though it is unknown how or whether Kerchak reacted to this news. Later that night the troop comes under attack from Clayton and his men (who had betrayed and imprisoned Tarzan and the Porters). Kerchak comes to his family's defense but is quickly trapped in a net fired by the poachers leaving the gorillas defenseless as they are captured and imprisoned. Eventually breaking free Kerchak rushes over to save them but is once again brought down by Clayton's men and blinded. Clayton appears himself before Kerchak and remembering him, smugly intends to return the favor by killing him outright and having him stuffed. Before he can shoot him, however, Tarzan arrives reinforced with numerous jungle animals as well Terk, Tantor and the Porter's. Tarzan frees him and after Kerchak expresses surprise that he came back Tarzan replies that he came home.

Reconciling the two work together to defeat the poachers and free the rest of the family. After Tarzan is shot in the arm by a vengeful Clayton, Kerchak sees this and rushes at him to protect Tarzan. However, Clayton turns his rifle to Kerchak and fires the shot fatally wounding him to the horror of Tarzan. Following his battle with Clayton, who died in the confrontation, Tarzan heads over to a dying Kerchak who was being comforted by Kala. Asking for his forgiveness, Kerchak, in turn, asks for Tarzan's for not treating him as a part of the family. He then passes on leadership to Tarzan and finally accepts him as his foster son saying "Our family will look to you now. Take care of them my son. Take care of them" before he succumbs to his wounds and dies. Tarzan and the troop mourn his death as Mother Nature brings a rainstorm to show her own sadness before Tarzan, vowing to fulfill his promise to Kerchak, leads them on.

The Legend of Tarzan

Kerchak appears in a flashback in Tarzan and Tublat's Revenge, where he is shown fighting Tublat. Kerchak eventually defeats Tublat but the aggressive ape then grabs a branch and knocks Kerchak out unconscious. As Tublat prepares to finish Kerchak, a young Tarzan threw two coconuts at him and broke his nose, Tublat angrily attacks the boy, but Kerchak quickly steps in and stops Tublat and banishes the aggressive ape. He tells Tarzan that he is the one who protects the family and that Tarzan shouldn't have interfered.

Tarzan II

Kerchak is first seen at a lake taking a puddle in his hand to drink but he is then splashed in the face by Tarzan while he was chasing Terk, Kerchak then looks angrily at Tarzan and rolls his eyes and watches three baby gorillas follow Tarzan and Terk. He then leads the family across a log but when he notices that the log was going to fall, he tells the family to run. Kerchak runs to an injured Kala who tried to save Tarzan who did not make it to the other side while the family did. He then comforts a mourning Kala who believed Tarzan was dead but he was actually unconscious and is still alive.

Video games

Kingdom Hearts

Kerchak appears in the series, specifically in the world Deep Jungle, they were no exception. When Sora, Donald, and Goofy meet Kerchak, his distrust of outsiders causes him to treat them rather coldly. But after Sora and company save the family from Clayton, he lets them into the waterfalls, where Sora seals the Keyhole of Deep Jungle.

Unlike the film, Kerchak does not talk once and he was not killed by Clayton in the end and still remains the leader of the gorillas.

Disney Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

Kerchak made his first appearance as a walk-around character in 2013, during the Walt Disney World portion of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere! event.

Gallery

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


Trivia

  • Kerchak appears to have the original novel equivalent's name, but the original novel version of Tublat's personality. In the novels, Kerchak was more violent and was responsible for the murder of Tarzan's father instead of Sabor in the film (in the books, Tarzan's mother died of natural causes). Paradoxically enough, the exact opposite is true with Tublat.
  • Like real gorillas, Kerchak is depicted beating his chest with the palms of his hands as opposed to clenched fists commonly depicted in gorillas in both popular culture and public imagination.
  • Tarzan never called Kerchak 'Father', becuase Kerchak refuses to accept him as his son.


v - e - d
Tarzan-51e40bdd56676
Media
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!La 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 MagicHappily Ever AfterTree of Life Awakens

Characters
Original: TarzanTerkTantorKalaKerchakKerchak and Kala's BabyFlynt and MungoSaborLord and Lady GreystrokeManuJane PorterArchimedes Q. PorterClayton and his menBaboons

Midquel: ZugorMama GundaKago and Uto
TV Series: Robert CanlerNigel TaylorTublatHistaZuthoGozan 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

Episodes
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"

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

Musical: Who Better than MeNo Other WayI Need to KnowSure as Sun Turns to MoonWaiting for this MomentDifferentLike No Man I've Ever SeenFor the First TimeEverything that I Am

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


v - e - d
Kingdom Hearts utilized logo
Games
Kingdom Hearts + Final MixChain of MemoriesRe:Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts II + Final Mix358/2 DaysBirth by Sleep + Final MixcodedRe:codedDream Drop DistanceHD I.5 ReMIXχ [chi]HD II.5 ReMIXHD II.8 Final Chapter PrologueHD I.5+II.5 ReMIXUnchained χ/Union χ [cross]Kingdom Hearts III
Incorporated Films and Shorts
Alice in WonderlandAladdin/The Return of JafarBeauty and the BeastBig Hero 6CinderellaFantasiaHerculesThe Hunchback of Notre DameLilo & StitchThe Lion KingThe Little MermaidMickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three MusketeersMulanThe Nightmare Before ChristmasPeter PanPinocchioPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlSleeping BeautySteamboat WillieSnow White and the Seven DwarfsTangledTarzanToy StoryTron/Tron: LegacyThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Characters
Main Characters: SoraRikuKairiKing MickeyDonald DuckGoofyRoxasAquaTerraVentus

Villains: Master XehanortAnsemXemnasMaleficentPeteOrganization XIIIVanitasXigbar/BraigXaldinVexenLexaeusZexionSaïx/IsaDemyxLuxordMarluxiaLarxeneTerra-XehanortYoung XehanortXehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy CricketNaminéAnsem the Wise/DiZYen SidXionAxel/LeaMaster EraqusDilanEvenAeleusIenzoLingering WillData SoraData RikuData NaminéData RoxasHaynerPenceOletteRiku-AnsemKairi's GrandmaRiku ReplicaAnti-SaïxAnti-SoraAnti-RikuSora-HeartlessJiminy's JournalForetellersMaster of MastersLuxuEphemerSkuldChirithyBrainStrelitziaLauriam
Original Monsters: HeartlessNobodiesUnversedDream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen MinnieDaisy DuckPlutoTarzanClaytonKerchakKalaJane PorterWinnie the PoohAladdinGenieJasmineJafarIagoTronMagic BroomsPeter PanTinker BellQuasimodoJudge Claude FrolloMerlinFlora, Fauna, and MerryweatherAuroraPrince PhillipTiggerEeyoreRabbitArielUrsulaPrince EricFlounderSebastianMulanMushuShan YuLi ShangJack SparrowHector BarbossaElizabeth SwannWill TurnerChernabogSimbaTimonPumbaaNalaRafikiScarKing TritonAliceCheshire CatQueen of HeartsJack SkellingtonOogie BoogieSallyEsmeraldaPhoebusBeagle BoysScrooge McDuckHuey, Dewey and LouieChip and DaleHorace HorsecollarMaster Control ProgramSarkKevin FlynnSam FlynnQuorraCLURinzlerCinderellaPrince CharmingFairy GodmotherJaqLady TremaineBelleBeastLumiereCogsworthMrs PottsPinocchioGeppettoMonstroStitchCaptain GantuJumbaHerculesMegaraHadesCaptain HookTick-Tock the CrocodileSnow WhiteEvil QueenThe PrinceWendyPongoPerditaDalmatian PuppiesAce "Chicken Little" CluckRapunzelBaymaxPhiloctetesAbu
Square Enix Characters: LeonCloudMoogleJoshuaOthers

Elements
Plot Elements: Kingdom HeartsHeartKeyblade WarDark Seeker SagaMore

Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom HeartsMagic

Objects
Sea-salt ice creamWayfinderDoor to DarknessKeybladeX-bladeMickey's LettersThalassa ShellKingdom Hearts EncoderKeychainBug BloxBlack coatKeyblade Armor
Locations
Land of DepartureDisney CastleDisney TownTimeless RiverDatascapeRadiant Garden/Hollow BastionKeyblade GraveyardDestiny IslandsTraverse TownDive to the HeartEnd of the WorldRealm of DarknessCastle OblivionTwilight TownThe World That Never WasCastle That Never Was • Deep Jungle • AgrabahOlympus Coliseum/UnderworldHalloween TownNeverlandWonderlandAtlanticaHundred Acre WoodBeast's CastlePort RoyalPride LandsThe GridKingdom of CoronaSan Fransokyo
Organizations/Groups
Organization XIIIPrincesses of HeartDisney Villains Council
Music
Dearly BelovedSimple and CleanSanctuaryMickey Mouse Club MarchSwim This WayPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaUrsula's RevengeA New Day is DawningDestatiBibbidi-Bobbidi-BooHe's a PirateBeauty and the BeastThis is HalloweenIt's a Small WorldNight on Bald MountainWinnie the PoohThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Pastoral Symphony
Soundtracks
Kingdom Hearts Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional TracksKingdom Hearts II Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack CompleteKingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack