The Wild Thornberrys
|The Wild Thornberrys|
|Created by||Arlene Klasky
|Developed by||Mark Palmer
|Directed by||Peter Avanzino
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||91 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Arlene Klasky
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Klasky Csupo
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Original release||September 1, 1998– June 11, 2004|
The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2004. The show returned to The '90s Are All That for one night, and aired on March 21, 2013. The show aired on Nicktoonsters in the United Kingdom. Following Shout! Factory's acquisition of the title in February 2011, all 5 seasons have been released on DVD.
The series focuses around a nomadic family of documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys, famous for their televised wildlife studies. It primarily centers on the family's younger daughter Eliza, and her secret gift of being able to communicate with animals, which was bestowed upon her after having rescued a shaman masquerading as a trapped warthog.
The gift enabled her to talk to the Thornberrys' pet chimpanzee Darwin. Together, the pair frequently venture through the wilderness, befriending many species of wild animals along the way or realizing moral truths and lessons through either their experiences or a particular animal species's lifestyle, or simply assisting the creatures, by which they become acquainted, in their difficulties.
The Wild Thornberrys was produced by Klasky Csupo for Nickelodeon. It premiered in September 1998, and was the first Nicktoon to exclusively use 22-minute stories (episodes of other Nicktoons usually featured two 10 – 11-minute stories, using 22-minute stories only on occasion).
The series was designed to have a focus on parents after focus groups run by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo uncovered that children were talking about the real struggles of the parent-child relationship; this was opposed to Nickelodeon's view of only featuring kids in children's programming. Characters were designed to appeal to various demographics: the sarcastic teen for older girls and the jungle boy for younger boys. Meanwhile the main character, Eliza, was designed to appeal to the young girl demographic; Nickelodeon vice president Cyma Zarghami said: "She's not strikingly beautiful, but she is adventurous; she's independent; she's smart; she's funny."
Common Sense Media gave the series a rating of 5 stars, praising it for its ability to encourage young viewers to be empathetic toward animals, want to find out about other cultures and ways of life, and understanding the vastness and diversity of the world. Chicago Sun-Times noted the series was at the forefront of a new trend that saw parents being at the forefront of children's TV shows. Multichannel News thought the series was one of the best for children on TV. Knight Ridder called the series "sympathetic". The Native Voice complimented the series on its commitment to fun, adventure, detail, accuracy, and honesty.
Awards and nominations
|1999||Barbara Wright||Casting Society of America Artios award for Best Casting for Animated Voiceover||Nominated|
|1999||Sabrina Wiener||Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Voice Over in a Feature or TV - Best Young Actress||Nominated|
|2000||Barbara Wright||Casting Society of America Artios award for Best Casting for Animated Voiceover - Television||Nominated|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys episode "You Otter Know"||Environmental Media Award for Children's Animated||Won|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys episode "Hunting by Numbers"||Genesis Award for Television - Children's Programming - Animated||Won|
|2000||Lacey Chabert||YoungStar Award for Best Young Voice Over Talent||Nominated|
|2001||Joseph Scott, Dean Criswell, and Ron Noble for TV movie "The Origin Of Donnie".||Burbank International Children's Film Festival award for Best Tele-Feature Animation||Won|
|2001||The Wild Thornberrys||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program||Nominated|
|2001||The Wild Thornberrys episode "Happy Campers"||Environmental Media Award for Children's Animated category||Nominated|
|2001||The Wild Thornberrys for multiple episodes||Genesis Award for Television - Children's Programming - Animated||Won|
|2001||The Wild Thornberrys episode "Forget Me Not"||Genesis Award for Television - Children's Programming - Animated||Won|
|2002||The Wild Thornberrys episode "The Trouble With Darwin"||Environmental Media Award for Children's Animated category||Won|
|2003||Barbara Wright||Casting Society of America Artios award for Best Casting for Animated Voice Over, Television||Nominated|
|2004||The Wild Thornberrys||NAMIC Vision Award in Children's category||Nominated|
By November 1998, the show had been averaging a 6.2 rating, second only to Rugrats. In December 1998, the show was the "most-watched new cartoon on television". In December 2000, the series was Nickelodeon's #2 show after Rugrats.
DVD and digital releases
Nickelodeon released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1 via Amazon.com through its CreateSpace Manufacture-on-demand program in 2010. Season 1 was released on June 24, 2010, Seasons 2 through 5 were released on December 1, 2010 All of these releases are now discontinued.
On February 16, 2011, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series and would be releasing season 1 on DVD on May 17, 2011. Season 1 was released on May 17, 2011 followed by Season 2, Part 1 on November 8, 2011. Season 2, Part 2 was released on April 24, 2012. Season 2, Part 3 was released on January 15, 2013, as a Shout Select title. Season 3 was released on June 11, 2013 as a Shout Select title. Seasons 4 and 5 were released in a box set on September 10, 2013 as a Shout Select title.
In Australia, all 5 seasons have been released via Beyond Home Entertainment. A 13-disc set titled The Wild Thornberrys: The Essential Episodes was released on June 3, 2015.
|DVD Name||Episodes||Release Date|
|Season 1||20||May 17, 2011||April 3, 2013|
|Season 2, Part 1
Season 2, Part 2
Season 2, Part 3♦
|November 8, 2011
April 24, 2012
January 15, 2013
|April 3, 2013 (complete)|
|Season 3♦||20||June 11, 2013||December 4, 2013|
|Seasons 4 & 5♦||14||September 10, 2013||April 2, 2014|
|The Essential Episodes||75||N/A||June 3, 2015|
|The Complete Series||91||December 1, 2015||N/A|
♦ – Shout! Factory select title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store. (refers to region 1 releases)
The franchise was extended through four movies (two television films and two theatrical films), which were released toward the end of the series' run:
- The Origin of Donnie (2001): This prequel was released as an television film, and explores Donnie's life before he was found by the Thornberrys.
- The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002): This theatrical earned an Academy Award nomination.
- Rugrats Go Wild (2003): This theatrical film was the final Rugrats film, and a crossover between Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.
- "Sir Nigel" (2003): Nigel gets knighted.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
North America opening weekend
|The Origin of Donnie||August 18, 2001||TV movie||TV movie||TV movie|
|The Wild Thornbery Movie||December 20, 2002||$40,108,697||$20,586,040||$60,694,737||2,685||1,913||$25,000,000|||
|Rugrats Go Wild||June 13, 2003||$39,402,572||$16,002,494||$55,405,066||1,601||1,944||$25,000,000|||
|Sir Nigel||March 30, 2003||TV movie||TV movie||TV movie|
Critical and public response
|The Origin of Donnie (TV movie)|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||80% (88 reviews)||60 (25 reviews)|
|Rugrats Go Wild||40% (84 reviews)||38 (27 reviews)|
|Sir Nigel (TV movie)|
- The Wild Thornberrys: Rambler
- The Wild Thornberrys: Animal Adventures
- The Wild Thornberry's Movie
- Rugrats Go Wild!
- Graeber, Laurel (July 30, 2000). "She Can Talk to the Animals (Don't Tell)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "Parents apparent // Cartoons return mom, dad to mix". 1999-01-01.
- "THE CHILDREN'S HOUR 'NICKEL-O-ZONE' INVADES PRIME TIME WITH AN EXPANDED LINEUP OF PRE-TEEN-FRIENDLY SHOWS". 1998-08-30.
- "The Wild Thornberrys - TV Review". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "'Raunch' study draws fire from Nick, others.(Parents Television Council ranks cable shows for violence, sex and profanity)(Brief Article)". 2002-02-04.
- "At 10 years old, the Rugrats are `All Growed Up'.(Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service)". 2001-07-09.
- "THE WILD THORNBERRYS". 2003-01-09.
- "Cable Gains Across the Board in Oct.". 1998-11-02.
- "KIDS' SHOWS TAP INTO LONGING FOR ADULT COMPANY". 1998-12-27.
- "MATTEL LAUNCHES WILD THORNBERRYS GAME FOR PLAYSTATION.". 2000-12-01.
- Lambert, David (July 6, 2010). "The Wild Thornberrys – 4-DVD 'Season 1' Set Released by Nickelodeon through Amazon/CreateSpace". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Lambert, David (December 3, 2010). "The Wild Thornberrys – Amazon/CreateSpace Releases 7 DVD Sets with ALL Remaining Seasons". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Lambert, David (February 16, 2001). "The Wild Thornberrys – General Retail Release of Season 1 from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory **UPDATE: New Lower Price and a Pre-Order Link**". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- The Wild Thornberrys: Season Two, Part One. "The Wild Thornberrys: Season Two, Part One: Lacey Chabert, Tim Curry, Jodi Carlisle, Danielle Harris, Tom Kane, Flea, Cathy Malkasian: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "The Wild Thornberrys DVD news: Announcement for The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2, Part 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. May 25, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "The Wild Thornberrys DVD news: Announcement for The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2, Part 3". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3". Shout!Factory. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Wild Thornberrys: The Final Seasons (4 & 5)". Shout!Factory. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Lambert, David (September 15, 2015). "The Wild Thornberrys – A 'Wide' 15-DVD Release in the USA for 'The Complete Series'". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Eminem builds on Oscar buzz". BBC News. February 14, 2003. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Thomas, Kevin (June 13, 2003). "Rugrats go 'Wild' in search of adventure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "Rugrats Go Wild (2003) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "The Wild Thornberrys Movie(2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "The Wild Thornberrys Movie". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Rugrats Go Wild (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Rugrats Go Wild". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "SMALL SCREEN THE BUZZ ON TELEVISION". 2003-02-01.