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Villain Overview
Kerchak, I saved him from Sabor.
~ Kala to Kerchak, after having saved the baby Tarzan.

Sabor is the secondary 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), and a supporting antagonist in its 2005 prequel Tarzan II. She is a ferocious female leopard who was responsible for the deaths of Tarzan's parents along with Kerchak and Kala's son. In a way, Sabor is the real reason that Kala adopted Tarzan as her son.

Her vocal sound effects were provided by Frank Welker, who also did the vocal sound effects of the other animals in the same film.

Personality

Sabor is a silent and dangerous leopard who prowls the jungle in search of her prey to put in the tooth. She only responds to her predatory instinct. Sabor is a formidable enemy; being a wild beast, she is one of Disney's deadliest villains. While the reason of Sabor's villainy was due to living as a fierce, aggressive and bloodthirsty predator who is trying to survive in a harsh jungle just like real-life predators, Sabor is also regarded as a villainous character due to the fact that her antagonism and villainy are motivated by her odds with the gorillas: Sabor viewed Kala as one of her archenemies since the female gorilla saved the baby Tarzan not long after Sabor killed his parents and the said gorilla's son. However, Sabor seemed to focused more on Tarzan than Kala, which is seemingly obvious due to the fact that she was denied the opportunity to eat Tarzan at least twice (which the second time was due to Zugor's interference) and thus marked Tarzan as the main priority. Additionally, she seems to kill for reasons beyond food, as she kills Tarzan's parents, but leaves the bodies with no intention of eating them, ignoring potential meals just so that she can target children.

History

Tarzan

Sabor first appears stalking through vines during the night, where she spots Kerchak and Kala's baby strolling while chasing a frog. Snarling at the baby gorilla, Sabor manages to catch and maul him, much to both Kerchak and Kala's complete distraught upon hearing the sound. Sabor is later able to infiltrate a couple's home, where she manages to kill the couple offscreen. Eventually, Sabor is about to eat their baby son, who is rescued by a visiting Kala. By luck, Kala manages to trick Sabor by having one of her paws trapped with a rope and a pulley while elevating down on a boat. Kala then growls at Sabor before fleeing away with the baby, calling him Tarzan and raising him as her own adopted son.

Many years later, Sabor ambushes the gorilla troop. Kerchak battles with the leopard, but despite his huge size and strength, Sabor's deadly moves such as her claws, teeth, agility and reflexes prove to be too much for the silverback to handle. Fortunately, Tarzan, now a fully grown man, engages in a fight against Sabor, which ends when Sabor leaps down on Tarzan, sending both of them plunging into a pit below. Sabor is finally killed as she is impaled on the head of Tarzan's spear tip when the ape man raises it against the ferocious leopard, thus killing the animal. Tarzan then calls out his famous ape war cry as he lifts up Sabor's dead body, finally avenging his real parents that day along with Kerchak's and Kala's child. Despite his early reservations against raising Tarzan as a member of the gorillas, Kerchak showed some respect towards Tarzan for killing Sabor, just as they hear several gunshots fired by the pompous and greedy hunter Cecil Clayton, who intends to track down the gorillas and sell them for profit. It is presumed that Sabor's corpse was later disposed of by the gorillas.

Tarzan II

Sabor also made a brief appearance in Tarzan II, which took place during Tarzan's youth. While she chased Tarzan into a valley, Sabor nearly kills Tarzan. However, the sudden cry of the Zugor frightens the leopard off.

Legend of Tarzan

Sheeta, the discarded original Burroughs designation, was later used in The Legend of Tarzan as the name for one of two black panthers that attack together (the name of the other was Noru). Black panthers are actually a color variety of leopards as they do exist in African jungles, although they seem to be rare. Sabor has been mentioned in the series.

Kingdom Hearts

Sabor

Sabor, as she appears in Kingdom Hearts.

Sabor features as a prominent antagonist and boss in the Deep Jungle world in the first Kingdom Hearts game. After the main character Sora crash lands in the treehouse, Sabor attempts to kill him, but Sora beats Sabor back until Tarzan appears and drives the leopard off. Sabor later attacks Sora, Donald, Goofy and Tarzan several times, but is always forced to back off. Eventually, just when Clayton goes missing, Sabor appears for one final battle with Sora, who kills the leopard.

Trivia

  • Sabor is classified as a female leopard. However, Jiminy Cricket's journal entry in Kingdom Hearts infamously got Sabor's gender wrong, referring to her as a "he", meaning that Sabor is a male in the game and a female in the movie. That said, the name "Sabor" sounds masculine and comes from a masculine word.
  • Despite being a leopard, Sabor was portrayed in a very stylized way, with a body and head with strange angles, very long thin fangs (almost like that of a saber-toothed cat), and scarce spots like those of an actual jaguar. This design contrasts sharply with that of other characters in the film (like Kerchak) who were designed on a relatively more realistic style. As usual in film depictions of big cats, Sabor's roars are a mixture of sounds of several felines, including leopards, jaguars, lions and tigers, but especially cougars.
  • Sabor is the only villain in Tarzan who is not human and never speaks. Cecil Clayton and his pirates are humans and speak.
  • The name "Sabor" means "taste" in Spanish and Portuguese. This is very fitting, as Sabor kills animals to survive, so in a way, she has a taste for meat.
  • Although Sabor was killed off halfway to introduce the real main antagonist, Sabor served as The Heavy because it was the murder of Kerchak and Kala's baby and Tarzan's parents that drove the plot which made Clayton the Big Bad because he was far more dangerous than the leopard, and the one behind the plot.
    • Interestingly, according to film's DVD audio commentary, Clayton's breakdown during the climax was meant to mirror Sabor's actions during the first half of the film, symbolizing Clayton's increasing lack of humanity and descent into animalistic madness.
  • It is kind of strange that when Tarzan finally killed Sabor as an adult, Sabor still looked the same that she did back when Tarzan was a baby, remaining quite as agile and showing no signs of having aged.
  • Some fans debate whether Sabor is truly evil or if she is simply a fierce predator who is trying to survive in a harsh jungle. However, her act of hunting down Kerchak's and Kala's baby in spite of being an infant and trying to repeatedly murder Tarzan from his early life to adulthood hints that she is vengeful and sadistic, taking advantage of those weaker than her.

Audio Samples

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Animated Features
Queen Grimhilde | Magic Mirror | Honest John | Gideon | Stromboli | Coachman | Coachman's Minions | Monstro | Chernabog | Zeus | Vulcan | Boreas | Pink Elephants | Man | Ronno | Tetti-Tatti | Lumpjaw | Willie | Rustlers | Mr. Winkie | Weasels | Headless Horseman | Lady Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Lucifer | Queen of Hearts | Card Soldiers | Cheshire Cat | Walrus & Carpenter | James Hook | Neverland Pirates (Mr. Smee) | Tick Tock | Rat | Si & Am | Maleficent | Diablo the Raven | Maleficent's Goons | Cruella De Vil | Jasper & Horace | Madam Mim | Shere Khan | Kaa | Bandar Log (King Louie) | Edgar Balthazar | Prince John | Sheriff of Notthingham | Sir Hiss | Captain Crocodile | Rhino Guards | Wolf Arrowmen | Trigger & Nutsy | Heffalumps and Woozles | Madame Medusa | Mr. Snoops | Brutus & Nero | Amos Slade | Chief | Horned King | Horned King's Army (Creeper & Gwythaints) | Cauldron Born | Orddu, Orwen & Orgoch | Arawn | Professor Ratigan | Thugs (Fidget, Felicia & Bartholomew) | Bill Sykes | Roscoe & DeSoto | Ursula | Flotsam & Jetsam | Percival C. McLeach | Joanna | Beast | Gaston LeGume | LeFou | Asylum D'Loons (Monsieur D'Arque) | Tom, Dick, Stanley & Walter | Wolves | Jafar | Iago | Razoul | Prince Achmed | Gazeem | Cave of Wonders | Scar | Hyena Clan (Shenzi, Banzai & Ed) | John Ratcliffe | Claude Frollo | Frollo's Soldiers (Captain Phoebus, Brutish Captain, Oafish Guard, Pierrat Torturue & Henriet Cousin) | Hades | Pain & Panic | Fates | Cerberus | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros, Stratos & Cyclops) | Nessus | Hydra | Nemean Lion | Shan Yu | Hun Army (Hayabusa & Elite Hun Soldiers) | Cecil Clayton | Sabor | Clayton's Pirates | Firebird | Black Triangles | Jack-in-the-Box | Kron | Bruton | Kuzco | Yzma | Kronk | Lyle Tiberius Rourke | Rourke's Mercenaries (Helga Sinclair) | Leviathan | Vikings | Gantu | John Silver | Pirates (Scroop, Onus, Hands, Turnbuckle, Blinko, Longbourne, Fayvoon, Grewnge, Krailoni, Hedley, Torrance, Mertock, Verne, Crex & Zoff) | Nathaniel Flint | Alameda Slim | Rico | Willie Brothers | Mr. Wesley | DOR-15 | Bowler Hat Guy | Dr. Calico | Dr. Facilier | Lawrence | Facilier's Shadow | Shadow Demons | Ian the Gator | Marlon the Gator | Reggie, Darnell & Two Fingers | Friends on the Other Side | Mother Gothel | Stabbington Brothers | Zhan Tiri | Turbo | Cy-Bugs | Sour Bill | Wynnchel & Duncan | Snow Queen | Prince Hans | Duke of Weselton | Erik & Francis | Wolves | Yokai | Alistair Krei | Mr. Yama | Dawn Bellwether | Doug Ramses | Woolter | Jesse | Sheep Cops | Ram Thug | Duke Weaselton | Mr. Big | Polar Bear Thugs (Koslov, Raymond & Kevin) | Te Kā | Tamatoa | Kakamora | Arthur | King Runeard

Live-Action Movies
Captain Nemo | Pony Sugrue | Prince John (1952) | Red Stick | Bigfoot Mason | Chato | Samuel Mason | Harpe Brothers | The Marten | Wilse Owens | Kuala | Vicky Robinson | Ute Chief | Jacques Lebeau | Makoos | Durante | Barnaby | James Haggin | Cattlemen | Comanche Chief | Apaches | Mr. Dawes Sr. | Tanamashu | Judge Huggins | Mountain Ox | Peter Thorndyke | Havershaw | Vince Heber | Mrs. Satterfield | A.J. Arno | Chillie Walsh | Colonel Pierson | Ab Cross | Colonel Heller | King Leonidas | Bookman | Swinburne | Mr. Eben | Mark Pierson | Hugh McRae | Sam Eagle Speaker | Kerwood Krinkle | Frank Sitwell | Hnup Wan | Dr. Terminus | Gogans | Charles Olympus | Wooly Bill Hitchcock | Big Mac | Hans Reinhardt | The Watcher | George McKinzie | Alec Frost | Bluto | Vermithrax Pejorative | Master Control Program | Sark | Ed Dillinger Sr. | Program Guards | Mark Jennings | Kelly | Mr. Dark | Mike | Rosie Little | Hunters | Nome King | Princess Mombi | Connie | Bullwhip | Parker | Buzz | Wolf's Owner | Timber Wolf | Hunter | Eagle | Alistair Patton | Patton Sr. | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | Abdullah | Mr. Patel | Nigel | John Merrick | Beauty Smith | Luke & Tinker | Sykes | Cherokee | Lip-Lip | Fritz | Neville Sinclair | Lothar | Nigel Snyder | Joseph Pulitizer | Delancy Brothers | Charles Hendrickson | Terrence Wheeler | Winifred Sanderson | Mary Sanderson | Sarah Sanderson | John Ricketts | The King and the Duke | Pap Finn | Cardinal Richelieu | Comte de Rochefort | Milady de Winter | Borg Guillarson | Leland Drury | Heath | Miners | Lloyd Halverson | William Boone | Buldeo | John Wilkins | Tabaqui (1994) | Sergeant Harley | Bandits | Sergeant Clairbourne | Shere Khan (1994) | Bandar Log (1994) (King Louie (1994) & Kaa (1994)) | Gilbert Sipes | Juice | Ranch Wilder | Injun Joe | Tony Perkis | Agent Woods | Jack and Ralph | Ashcan and Pete | Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark | Cruella De Vil (1996) | Jasper and Horace Badun (1996) | Mr. Skinner | Jean-Pierre Le Pelt | Alonzo | Norman Snively | Ricky King | Charlotte | Lyle Van de Groot | Max & Thor | Lion | Beatrice Stanhope | Chester Hoenicker | Wilson Croft | Smith & Wesson | Bennett Hoenicker | Luanne LeSeur | Meredith Blake | Natalya | Popov | Shere Khan (1998) | Tabaqui (1998) | Bandar Log (1998) | Eddie Taffet | Andrei Strasser | Elliot Coleye | Dr. Claw | Kramer | RoboGadget | Malcolm | Snerbert | Lana Thomas | Elliot T. Jindraike | Professor Siles | Toy Santa | Louise Walker | Mr. Sir | Charles "Trout" Walker | Kissin' Kate Barlow | Linda Walker | Sheriff | Doug & Gordon | Hector Barbossa | Crew of the Black Pearl (Bo'sun, Scratch, Pintel & Ragetti) | Master Gracey | Madame Leota | Ramsley | Zombies | Werecat Lady | Carla Santini | Lord Kelvin | Black Scorpions (General Fang) | Inspector Fix | Viscount Mabrey | Ian Howe | Bill Fawcett | Zaphod Beeblebrox | Frankie & Benjy | Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz | Vogons | Humma Kavula | Gag Halfrunt | Royal Pain | Stitches | Lash | Speed | Penny Lent | Jadis the White Witch | Jadis' Secret Police (Maugrim & Vardan) | Ginarrbrik | General Otmin | Dr. Kozak | Jack Frost | Davy Jones | Crew of the Flying Dutchman (Maccus & Kraken) | Cutler Beckett | East India Trading Company | Janice Avery | Queen Narissa | Mitch Wilkinson | Sinon Bar Sinister | Cad Lackey | El Diablo | Henry Burke | Miraz | Telmarines (Glozelle & Sopespian) | Nikabrik | Hag & Werewolf | Kendall Duncan | Tess Tyler | Speckles | Lucinda | Oswald Granger | Red Queen | Knave of Hearts | Card Soldiers | Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Hamish Ascot | Morgana le Fay | Morganians (Maxim Horvath, Abigail Williams, Sun Lok, Drake Stone & Marrok) | Nizam | Ms. Stout | CLU 2 | Rinzler | Gem | Black Guards | Blackbeard | Angelica Teach | The Spaniard | King Ferdinand VI | King George ll | San Than | Matai Shang | Tal Hajus | Jenny | Latham Cole | Butch Cavendish | Jay Fuller | Evanora | Theodora | Maleficent (2014) | Diaval | King Stefan (2014) | King Henry | The Witch | The Wolf | Lady Tremaine (2015) | Grand Duke (2015) | Anastasia Tremaine (2015) | Drizella Tremaine (2015) | Lucifer (2015) | David Nix | Shere Khan (2016) | Bandar Log (2016) (King Louie (2016)) | Kaa (2016) | Fleshlumpeater | Giants (Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher) | Pramod Kadam | Beast (2017) | Gaston LeGume (2017) | LeFou (2017) | Asylum D'Loons (Monsieur D'Arque (2017)) | Tom, Dick & Stanley (2017) | Wolves (2017) | The King (2017) | Armando Salazar | Crew of the Silent Mary (Lesaro) | Scarfield | It | Sugar Plum Fairy | Tin Soldiers | William Weatherall Wilkins | V.A. Vandevere | Neils Skellig | Pink Elephants (2019) | Rufus Sorghum | Jafar (2019) | Iago (2019) | Cave of Wonders (2019) | Scar (2019) | Hyena Clan (2019) (Shenzi, Kamari & Azizi) | Queen Ingrith | Gerda | Borra | Rat (2019) | Devon & Rex | Isaac | Artemis Fowl | Opal Koboi | Briar Cudgeon | Troll

Other Animated Movies
Br'er Fox & Br'er Bear | Giant Magnet | Evil Clown | Merlock | Dijon | Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Bill Bluff | BluffCo Industries (Guy Graham, Bob & Bluff Agents) | Gloomius Maximus | Ivan Krank | Von Talon | Cufflingk and Underlingk | Kazar | Wildebeests (Blag) | Scab and Scraw | Vidia | Jacob Marley | Old Joe | Supervisor | Mr. Whiskers | Shelley | Were-Rat | Sea Monkeys | Mr. Burgermeister | Ripslinger | Zed | Ned | Zarina

Sequels
Abis Mal | Sa'Luk | Forty Thieves | Maestro Forte | Jesters | Zira | Outsiders (Nuka & Vitani) | Mack McCro | Jim Bob | Supreme Commander | Morgana | Undertow | Cloak & Dagger | Bradley Uppercrust III | The Gammas | Buster | Sarousch | Pom-Pom | Tad White | Jacques von Hamsterviel | Reuben | Sparky | Leroy | Erik Hellstorm | Ashton Carnaby | Edgar Volgud | Krakken | Lil Lightning | Bandits | Mama Gunda | Uto & Kago | Marina Del Rey | Cad Spinner

Shorts, Television, Comics and Video Games
Peg Leg Pete | Phantom Blot | Skeletons | Grim Reaper | Mad Doctor | Demon Cats | Gustav the Giant | Lonesome Ghosts | Doctor Vulter | Solego the Chaos God | Arpine Lusene | Eli Squinch | Sylvester Shyster | Fantomius | Inquinator | Spectrus | Zafire | H. U. Hennessy | Jolly Roger | Witch | Zeke Midas Wolf | Captain Katt | Mortimer Mouse | Butch the Bulldog | Beagle Boys | Foxy Loxy | Ajax Gorilla | Witch Hazel | Adolf Hitler | Nazi School Teacher | Little Hans | Fat Cat | Norton Nimnul | Aldrin Klordane | Baby Thaddeus | Ratso Ratzkiwatzki | Julius | Dr. Frankenollie | Mizrabel | Huntsman | Huntsgirl | Dark Dragon | Al Roker | Chuckles | Princess Irmaplotz | Grace Goodwin | Molly | Shadow Blot | False Shadow Blot | Foxy Loxy | Goosey Loosey | Oswald Gardner | Commander Heist | Lazlo | Jordan Buttsquat | Suzi | Chip Whistler | Captain Grime | Sasha

Disney Parks
Alien | Lava Monster | Mad Hatter | Nebula Ghosts | Professor J.T. Wu | S.I.R. | Yeti (Expedition Everest) | Yeti (Matterhorn Bobsleds)

            TarzanTitle Villains

Books
Kerchak | Queen La

Movies
Tarzan of the Apes: Sabor
Tarzan (1999): Cecil Clayton | Sabor | Clayton's Pirates
Tarzan II: Mama Gunda | Uto & Kago | Sabor
The Legend of Tarzan: Léon Rom

Television
Tublat | Queen La | Samuel T. Philander | Count Nikolas Rokoff | Lt. Colonel Staquait | Nuru & Sheeta | Hista | Lady Waltham | Robert Canler | Zutho | Ian McTeague

Video Games
Oswald Gardner

           KH Villains

True Organization XII
Master Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Terra-Xehanort | Ansem, Seeker of Darkness | Xemnas | Vanitas | Xigbar | Vexen | Saïx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Dark Riku

Organization XIII
Xemnas | Xigbar | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx | Axel | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Roxas | Xion

Council of Disney Villains
Maleficent | Pete | Jafar | Hades | Ursula | Oogie Boogie | Captain Hook | Hector Barbossa | Scar | Riku

Other Disney Villains
Anastasia Tremaine | Beagle Boys | Beast | Black Guards | Bo'sun | Card Soldiers | Cave of Wonders | Cecil Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Cy-Bugs | Davy Jones | Diablo | Drizella Tremaine | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Judge Claude Frollo | Julius | Kraken | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock and Barrel | Lord Cutler Beckett | Lucifer | Magic Mirror | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Mother Gothel | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Pain & Panic | Prince Hans | Queen Grimhilde | Queen of Hearts | Randall Boggs | Razoul | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sour Bill | Tick Tock | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros & Stratos) | Turbo | Zeus

Heartless
Ansem (manga) | Anti-Sora | Antlion | Arch Behemoth | Behemoth | Blizzard Lord & Volcanic Lord | Crimson Prankster | Dark Follower | Dark Thorn | Darkside | Demon Tide | Destroyed Behemoth | Dustflier | Enraged Elk | Grim Guardianess | Grim Reaper | Groundshaker | Guard Armor | Illuminator | Infernal Engine | King of Toys | Kurt Zisa | Leechgrave | Lich | Opposite Armor | Parasite Cage | Phantom | Possessor | Pot Centipede | Pot Scorpion | Prison Keeper | Red Armor | Ruler of the Sky | Shadow Sora | Shadow Stalker | Sköll | Sneak Army | Sora's Heartless | Stealth Sneak | Storm Rider | Thresholder | Trickmaster | World of Chaos | Xehanort's Guardian

Nobodies
Specter | Twilight Thorn

Unversed
Belly Balloon | Cursed Coach | Element Cluster | Flame Box | Floating Flora | Gluttonous Goo | Iron Imprisoner | Lone Runners | Mad Treant | Metamorphosis | Mimic Master | Ringer | Symphony Master | Trinity Armor | Vanitas Remnant | Vitality Vial | Wheel Master

Dream Eaters
Anti Black Coat | Armored Ventus Nightmare | Char Clawbster | Chill Clawbster | Commantis | Dark Hide | Hockomonkey | Holey Moley | Spellican | Wargoyle

Other
Braig | The Experiment | Fuu | Hostile Program | Ice Colossus | No Heart | Phantom Aqua | Rai | Replica Xehanort | Riku Replica | Seifer Almasy | Sephiroth

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