The Wild Thornberrys Movie

The Wild Thornberrys Movie


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Thornberrys are eccentric and blissfully unaware. They might be considered a special family by ordinary mortals, but they don't brag about it because they hardly notice. They have enough on their plates, as it is.

Eliza (voice of Lacey Chabert) can talk to animals. Darwin (voice of Tom Kane) is a chimpanzee and her best friend. Nigel (voice of Tim Curry) makes wildlife movies and is Eliza's dad. He sports a Winco 'tache and talks with a plum in his mouth. In old parlance, he might be called "a frightfully silly ass."

Copy picture

Eliza's mum (Jodi Carlisle) is American and her gran (Lynn Redgrave) upper-class Home Counties. Her sister Debbie (Danielle Harris) epitomises US teendom - self-obsessed, ratty, cool with cosmetics, bored - and her brother Donnie (Flea) is too young to understand the basics of human interaction.

The Thornberrys are a cartoon, of course. Their animation is less important than their sense of humour. Eliza wears braces on her teeth and is one of those little girls who is opinionated without being insufferable. In fact, she's all heart and no messing.

The location is Africa and the enemy are poachers. When Eliza's playmate, a cheetah cub, is snatched by the villains, she swears she'll come and save it... somehow. Instead, her parents pack her off to a boarding school in England, where the other girls are toffee nosed snobs. She doesn't last long and soon is back where she belongs in the African bush with Darwin, who, for some bizarre reason, talks like John Inman from Are You Being Served?

Debbie's teenage angst is hilarious and Nigel's mumsy waffle sounds suspiciously like the Pargiter household from The Archers. The story zips along, culminating in an eclipse of the sun and the possible destruction of an elephant herd - pulse rate through the roof, what?

The reason why The Thornberrys are a good thing is Eliza. She's brave, funny, caring and loyal. If you had a friend like her, you would count your blessings. Darwin's a lucky monkey.

Reviewed on: 05 Feb 2003
Share this with others on...
The Wild Thornberrys Movie packshot
Animated adventure of eccentric Anglo American family in the heart of Africa.
Amazon link

Director: Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath

Writer: Kate Boutilier

Starring: voices of Lacey Chabert, Tim Curry, Tom Kane, Lynn Redgrave, Jodi Carlisle, Danielle Harris, Flea, Rupert Everett, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Greenspan

Year: 2002

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


Search database:

If you like this, try:

Rugrats Go Wild