"Tarzan the Ape Man" was the first Tarzan film to star Weissmuller, O'Sullivan and Cheeta the chimpanzee. The character of Cheeta was created for this film, never having appeared in the original Burroughs novels. The film was the first of a long series of franchised Tarzan films running from 1932 into the 1970s, initially starring Weissmuller and later other actors. Tarzan's distinctive call was first heard in this film; it was reportedly created by sound recordist Douglas Shearer using special audio effects, including an Austrian yodel played backwards at quickened speed. Weissmuller himself always claimed he had created the trademark Tarzan yell in a yodeling contest he won while he was a boy. He later learned to mimic the famous call so well people assumed that he was the one doing the yell in the films.