The Wild Thornberrys Movie

"Excellent"

The Wild Thornberrys Movie Review


Considering that I have not watched a Nickelodeon show since Double Dare, I didn't know what to expect from The Wild Thornberrys Movie, based on a popular cartoon from the network. Surprisingly, the film is a hilarious adventure and I shamelessly enjoyed it. The primary audience for this one is kids 12 and under, but directors Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath really took big kids like me into consideration when they put this animated extravaganza together. It features a fantastic score composed by Paul Simon, appropriate to its sub-Saharan setting and is accompanied by a splendid new song from The Dave Matthews Band. Its progressive themes of ecological preservation and racial tolerance also add to the warm tingly nostalgic feeling of the film, but it never gets too cheesy. Let's just say that the Disneyfication of this one is kept to a minimum. It even has a PG rating.

The story follows the Thornberrys, a hodge-podge British family of three generations all living in one souped-up trailer home, as they travel throughout the world documenting nature's wonders. Our protagonist is young Eliza (Lacey Chabert), who has been given a magical gift to talk to animals. Eliza is the quintessential loner, as she is more content with her animal friends than her family's rules and constantly seeks adventure. Along with her chimpanzee companion Darwin (Tom Kane), she manages to get into trouble when she recklessly takes the baby cheetah Akela past the safe boundaries of the desert. Sure enough, malicious poachers snatch up Akela from a helicopter, and despite Eliza's heroic efforts, she's unable to save the cub. Heartbroken and facing rebuke from her bewildered parents, Eliza is shipped off to boarding in school in England. Trapped in the confines of "civilization," Eliza vows to find the lost cheetah cub and to return to her family where she rightfully belongs.

The most important consideration when judging a film like this, of course, is the kids. I promise yours will love it, especially if they are fans of the show. As appropriately asexual as animals must appear in this kind of cartoon, the bathroom humor is suitably hilarious, as chimpanzee buttocks and gorilla flagellations overwhelm us. The most enjoyable character is Eliza's older sister Deborah (Danielle Harris), who despite her inexplicable American accent, adds comic relief as a Valley girl trapped in the Congo. Imagine if Rachel from Friends was stuck in Africa with a family of geek researchers, and you get the amusing picture.

The best part of the film is the gratifying theme that the animal kingdom must unite in order to live without fear of man's greed. Through Eliza Thornberry, and her misadventures, it really hits its mark.

Ride like the wind, Thornberry!



The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th December 2002

Box Office USA: $39.8M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 70 Rotten: 18

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath

Starring: as Eliza Thornberry, as Darwin, as Phaedra (Elephant), as Nigel Thornberry, as Cordelia Thornberry, as Marianne Thornberry, as Debbie Thornberry, Michael Peter Balzary as Donnie Thornberry, as Cheetah Cubs, Kimberly Brooks as Tally (Cheetah Cub), as Akela (Cheetah Mother), as Jomo, as Sarah Wellington, as Victoria, Moira Quirk as Jane

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.