The Wild Thornberrys
|The Wild Thornberrys|
|Created by||Arlene Klasky|
|Developed by||Mark Palmer|
|Directed by||Peter Avanzino|
|Voices of||Lacey Chabert|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||91 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Arlene Klasky|
Sheila M. Anthony
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Klasky Csupo|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV)|
|Original release||September 1, 1998 –|
June 11, 2004
The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated television series that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2004.
This is me, Eliza Thornberry, part of your average family. I've got a dad, a mom, and a sister. There is Donnie, we found him. And Darwin, he found us. Oh, yeah, about our house. It moves, because we travel all over the world. You see, my dad hosts this nature show, and my mom shoots it. Okay, so we're not that average. And between you and me, something amazing happened... and now I can talk to animals. It's really cool, but totally secret. And you know what? Life's never been the same.— Eliza Thornberry, in the opening title sequence
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.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||September 1, 1998||April 1, 1999|
|2||37||August 16, 1999||March 27, 2000|
|3||20||September 12, 2000||May 14, 2001|
|4||6||August 18, 2001||June 1, 2002|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie|
|5||8||February 3, 2003||June 11, 2004|
|Rugrats Go Wild|
- Eliza (voiced by Lacey Chabert) is the 12-year-old younger daughter of the Thornberrys. She has red hair in braids, eyeglasses, braces, and freckles. She has four visible teeth connected by two braces. She is able to communicate with animals, especially her chimpanzee sidekick Darwin. She must keep this gift secret or she will lose her powers.
- Nigel (voiced by Tim Curry) is Eliza's father, 47 years old. Sir Nigel Archibald Thornberry KBE is the son of Radcliffe (also voiced by Curry) and Cordelia Thornberry (Lynn Redgrave), an aristocratic and English couple. Born in England and having attended Harrow School in London, he travels around the world with his own family making wildlife documentaries. He is eccentric, enthusiastic, and cheerful even in the face of danger, and is also known for his exaggerated facial features. Nigel is merely a supporting character in the series, but in the film Rugrats Go Wild, Nigel plays a much larger role as he is idolized by Tommy Pickles (who usually refers to him as "Mr. Strawberry").
- Marianne (voiced by Jodi Carlisle) is Eliza's mother and Nigel's wife, 45 years old. She is the daughter of Frank (Ed Asner) and Sophie Hunter (Betty White). She mentions that she attended the University of California, Berkeley. Marianne is also a scuba diver like Eliza. She wears a wetsuit, mask, fins, and scuba tank with a regulator in Season 3, Episode 17.
- Donnie (voiced by Flea) is a feral boy adopted by the Thornberrys, who (as revealed in the 2001 four-part TV movie, "The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie") was raised by orangutans in Borneo. Donnie is 2, turning 3 in "The Origin of Donnie".
- Debbie (voiced by Danielle Harris) is Eliza's 16-year-old sister. She becomes the only family member to know about Eliza's power but is warned that she will be turned into a baboon if she ever tells anyone. Debbie dresses in grunge clothing and sports a distinctive peekaboo hairstyle.
- Darwin (voiced by Tom Kane) is the Thornberrys' pet chimpanzee. He usually wears a tank top with horizontal blue and white stripes (used to be Debbie's lucky tank top) and blue shorts. He speaks with a distinct, upper-class English accent.
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 Klasky and 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.
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, and Seasons 2 through 5 were released on December 1, 2010.
|CreateSpace Releases||Release Date||Discs||Episodes|
|Season 1||June 24, 2010||4||20|
|Season 2, Volume 1||December 1, 2010||5||13|
|Season 2, Volume 2||December 1, 2010||5||24|
|Season 3, Volume 1||December 1, 2010||3||N/A|
|Season 3, Volume 2||December 1, 2010||3||N/A|
|Season 3, Volume 3||December 1, 2010||3||N/A|
|Season 4||December 1, 2010||2||6|
|Season 5||December 1, 2010||2||8|
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 a 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.|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
North America opening weekend
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||December 20, 2002||$40,108,697||$20,586,040||$60,694,737||2,867||2,049||$25,000,000|||
|Rugrats Go Wild||June 13, 2003||$39,402,572||$16,002,494||$55,405,066||1,774||2,081||$25,000,000|||
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 understand the vastness and diversity of the world. Knight Ridder called the series "sympathetic". The Native Voice complimented the series on its commitment to fun, adventure, detail, accuracy, and honesty.
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||80% (88 reviews)||69 (25 reviews)||A|
|Rugrats Go Wild||40% (84 reviews)||38 (27 reviews)||A-|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|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|
- Graeber, Laurel (July 30, 2000). "She Can Talk to the Animals (Don't Tell)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Neverbot. "Big Shiny Robot - Saturday Morning Cartoon! 'The Wild Thornberrys'". www.bigshinyrobot.com. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "Parents apparent // Cartoons return mom, dad to mix". January 1, 1999. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017.
- Lambert, David (July 6, 2010). "The Wild Thornberrys – 4-DVD 'Season 1' Set Released by Nickelodeon through Amazon/CreateSpace". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Lambert, David (December 3, 2010). "The Wild Thornberrys – Amazon/CreateSpace Releases 7 DVD Sets with ALL Remaining Seasons". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "The Wild Thornberrys DVD news: Announcement for The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2, Part 3". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Wild Thornberry's Animal Adventure". playstation.com. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- "THQ Ships The Wild Thornberrys Chimp Chase for Game Boy Advance". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. October 1, 2001. Archived from the original on December 16, 2001. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via Yahoo.com.
- "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 May 26, 2016.
- "Rugrats Go Wild (2003) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "The Wild Thornberrys - TV Review". Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- "At 10 years old, the Rugrats are `All Growed Up'.(Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service)". July 9, 2001. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017.
- "THE WILD THORNBERRYS". January 9, 2003. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017.
- "The Wild Thornberrys Movie(2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- "The Wild Thornberrys Movie". Metacritic. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- "Rugrats Go Wild (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- "Rugrats Go Wild". Metacritic. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- "SMALL SCREEN; THE BUZZ ON TELEVISION". highbeam.com. November 7, 2002. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.