"I said he could stay. That doesn't make him my son."
~ Kerchak allows Kala to keep Tarzan, but refuses to accept him as his son, and as one of the family.

Kerchak was the leader of the gorilla family, the husband of Kala, the adoptive father of Tarzan, the uncle of Terk and a major character in Disney's 1999 animated film Tarzan.

He was voiced by Lance Henriksen.


Kerchak was the powerful leader of the gorilla family. But he can be grumpy and obstreperous at times, especially after losing his and his mate Kala's son to Sabor the leopard, where his loving and caring side quickly switched to his stern and serious side. When Kala brings the newly orphaned baby Tarzan into the family, he shuns the idea of the boy being his son as he distrusts humans, but allowed Kala to keep him. As Tarzan grew into a young man, he starts befriending humans that came into the jungle, and disobeying Kerchak's orders to stay away from them and protect the gorillas, even going as far as betraying their family. It isn't until after defeating the hunter Clayton and before dying from a gunshot from the evil hunter that Kerchak accepts Tarzan as his son and passes on the leadership of the gorilla family to him. He had sacrificed himself to save his family.


  • In the original novel, Kerchak was a major character. This role however is given to Cecil Clayton in the film, with Kerchak becoming the false antagonist instead.
  • Kerchak has been inspired by King Kong, as well as various serious Disney characters, such as Yen Sid, Mr. Darling, Bagheera, King Triton and Chief Powhatan.
  • Kerchak is not bad or an antagonist, since he only wants to protect the gorillas and his adoptive son Tarzan from danger, just because he wants Tarzan to protect his family from Clayton (but later except Jane and her father), so he was still neutral first at the beginning.
  • He was stopped by Tarzan from attacking Jane and her father. This doesn’t mean he was bad, he was just neutral first because he was over-protective to Tarzan.