Kerchak’s arrival after Kala has adopted the baby
As long as daylight is breaking through the tree tops, the compositions are balanced by contrast of warm and cold colors based on the fact that green looks warm when containing more yellow and cold if on the bluer side.
As we enter the forest more deeply (from right to left) there is more and more blue in the shadowy green. Within the green itself, depth layers are separated by misty haze. This is a standard technique of separating layers in black and white photography.
This effect is visible in any monochromous representation because it only affects the values. The other structuring element though, the warm vs. cold, isn’t visible in the desaturated image below.
|Right: I’ve highlighted all the areas of warm green where light that is breaking through tree tops is evoked.|
In contrast to the Jungle Book scene where the breaking dawn is mainly used as an approaching deadline to emphasize the length of and Baloo’s immersion into the conversation, here the lighting strongly supports the first impression we get of Kerchak as a dominating and potentially dangerous character. It also visually underlines the emerging and decreasing dramatic tension – the dramatic arc – of the whole scene while leading organically to the following night time song number.
There are stronger instances of expressionist lighting based on actual lighting changes in Tarzan, but this is very early and influences the introduction of a new character.
Of course, it’s easier to achieve such subtle lighting changes if you have the budget and the crew to meticulously paint new backgrounds for almost every shot, even in a shot – reverse-shot scene. But as a concept, such effects can be applied in much simpler ways (changing color plates as simple BGs) or achieved by adjusting the BG colors successively with digital color correction equipment.