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Saturday, August 14, 1999 Published at 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK

World: Middle East

Tarzan's loincloth offends orthodox Jews

Tarzan should wear more than a loincloth, say ultra-orthodox Jews

Publicity posters for the new Walt Disney film Tarzan have been branded obscene by orthodox Jews in Israel.

The BBC's Hilary Andersson: ''There's nothing like an unholy row to boost business''
They say the sight of the king of the jungle swinging through the forest in nothing more than a loincloth is offensive to their community.

And they are demanding that Disney remove the posters featuring the cartoon figure's almost bare body.

But Disney has rejected the calls for the posters to be taken down as 'ridiculous'.

[ image: Orthodox Jews follow a strict dress code]
Orthodox Jews follow a strict dress code
Orthodox Jews follow strict codes of living, shunning television in favour of biblical study and promoting a lifestyle of morality, modesty and decency.

They believe that 'proper dress' constitutes wearing clothes from head to toe and that the posters set a bad example.

The BBC Correspondent in Tel Aviv, Hilary Andersson, says orthodox Jews have complained about apparent indecency in movies before, but that this is the first time a family film has upset them.

Family values

Rabbi Avraham Ravitz said the posters were not acceptable to his community because they did not promote a suitable way of living.

Disney argues, however, that the Tarzan film promotes family values by showing a young boy lost in the jungle being cared for by a loving mother.

The film is one of the big hits of the year in Israel, with 500,000 ticket sales recorded so far despite the row.

Famous voices

[ image: The posters have been widely displayed in Israel]
The posters have been widely displayed in Israel
Edgar Rice Burroughs's adventure classic Tarzan of the Apes was published in 1914.

It has been made into a movie 47 times, but Disney's new offering is the first full-length animated re-telling of the story.

The film features some famous voices, including Minnie Driver as Jane, Brian Blessed as a hunter and songs performed by Phil Collins.

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