Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle (Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle) is a 1975 adult-oriented French/Belgian animated film directed by cartoonist Picha and Boris Szulzinger. The film was the first foreign-animated film to receive both an X rating and wide distribution in the United States.
In 1978, the film was imported into the United States by International Harmony and Stuart S. Shapiro. Shapiro recalls telling customs that the film was a work in progress and it would be edited to be suitable for theatrical release in the U.S. He did not remember any problems bringing the film into the country. The distributor encountered problems finding theaters willing to show the X rated version of the film. The film ended up making a profit in San Francisco, but was largely unsuccessful in other towns.
Eventually, the film was reedited and dubbed. After several changes, the distributor persuaded the MPAA to change the film's rating to an R. The R rated version of the film featured new dialogue performed by American actors and comedians such as John Belushi, Adolph Caesar, Brian Doyle-Murray, Judy Graubart, Bill Murray and Johnny Weissmuller Jr.
The Burroughs estate filed another lawsuit demanding that the name of the film be changed when their lawyer found a New York State statute covering disillusion of trademark. They argued that Tarzan was a wholesome trademark and that the current product degraded the character's name. A judge agreed. The suit was filed three weeks into the film's New York run. The title was shortened to Shame of the Jungle, and the "Tarzoon" character name was altered by cutting the name out of the soundtrack negative and splicing it back into the soundtrack upside down. According to Shapiro, the film did not do as well at the box office, because audiences were attracted to the "Tarzoon" name.
The R rated version of the film received negative reviews. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said that the film was an "unsuccessful attempt to parody the life and adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan." Tam Allen in The Village Voice called the film "an uncomfortably accurate reflection of that civic eyesore known as toilet art," and compared it unfavorably to Fritz the Cat and Dirty Duck. Playboy praised the film's artwork, but felt that the film became "monotonous after a good start — still, in the off-the-wall category, the most literate prurient and amusing challenge to community standards since Fritz the Cat."
The film was banned by the New Zealand Board of Censors in 1980.