Clayton is the main antagonist of Disney's 37th full-length animated feature film Tarzan, which is based on the 1912 American novel Tarzan of the Apes by the late Edgar Rice Burroughs. He is Tarzan's arch-nemesis, and the former "bodyguard" of Archimedes Q. Porter and Jane Porter.
Why He Rocks
- Clayton is one of few Disney villains to be intimidating without the use of magic powers or some sort.
- Clayton initially appears as a chivalrous and polite gentleman, albeit with a delicate temper and intolerance for treating the African expedition as a vacation experience rather than a business endeavor.
- His main weapon is a rifle, which he uses to hunt animals. His other weapon is a machete that he tries to kill Tarzan with in their last encounter.
- He acts as a bodyguard, if a bit trigger-happy guide for the Porters, but he was planning all along to betray them and capture and sell Tarzan's gorilla family.
- He manipulates Tarzan's feelings for Jane so he'll show him where the gorillas are hiding.
- Compared to most egomaniacal but cowardly Disney villains like Gaston, Clayton shows himself as a fearless hunter. He fights and pursues Tarzan and his gorilla clan despite knowing their strength and only gets more incensed and vicious as they retaliate.
- He never shows any signs of cowardice. When he is faced with his own gun, he does not go begging for his life and composes himself for his end. In contrast to how he frantically tries to take the vines off his neck as he falls screaming to his death.
- During his final fight with Tarzan, Clayton actually manages to hold ground against the super athletic wild man, albeit through weaponry or attacking his injured points.
- Brian Blessed does a very good job voicing him.
- Clayton's role as the main villain isn't revealed until the movie's third act, but even before that, he's portrayed as being quite smug and condescending towards Tarzan, and being the most trigger-happy character in the entire film, so the plot twist that he's evil doesn't come off as much of a surprise.
- Adding to that, Clayton's appearance is that of a classical type of villain, with a thin mustache, creepy shadowed under eyes, and slicked back hair.
- Clayton’s death is widely considered to be the darkest and most terrifying death in any Disney movie due to it being so graphic. This is especially dark for children because hanging is a gruesome image.
- He replaces Sabor as the main antagonist after she is killed halfway in the movie.
- He shoots at Tarzan, grazing his arm and murders Kerchak.
- According to the film commentary, Clayton's outfit was designed to appear like Sabor's yellow fur to designate him as the new villain. When he is introduced, he is covered in shadows that give him the look of spots similar to Sabor's.
- Brian Blessed cited Clayton as one of his two favorite roles which is why he has returned to voice him in multiple media aside from the film, including Kingdom Hearts.
- Brian Blessed also performed the trademark Tarzan yell for the film after Tony Goldwyn was unable to provide his satisfactory version of the Tarzan yell.