The Wild Thornberrys Movie
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Kate Boutilier|
|Based on||The Wild Thornberrys
by Arlene Klasky
|Music by||Drew Neumann|
|Edited by||John Bryant|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$60.7 million|
The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a 2002 American animated adventure comedy-drama film based on the The Wild Thornberrys television series. The film follows Eliza Thornberry, on her quest to rescue a baby cheetah cub named Tally from ruthless poachers. It was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and was released on December 20, 2002.
Twelve-year-old Eliza Thornberry plays with a family of cheetahs in East Africa after being left in charge of the cubs by their mother, Akela. When Eliza strays far from the cheetahs' home, one of the cheetah cubs, Tally, is kidnapped by poachers. Eliza is determined to save the cub, which prompts her grandmother Cordelia to bring her to a boarding school in London for her safety. Upon arriving, Eliza discovers that her pet chimpanzee, Darwin, stowed away in her suitcase. He attempts to blend in, but gets both him and Eliza in trouble.
After having a dream in which Shaman Mnyambo tells her to save Tally, Eliza and Darwin return to Africa. While taking a train from Nairobi, they encounter an injured rhino, who was shot at the river by the same poachers who kidnapped Tally. They save the rhino with the help of veterinarians Bree and Sloan Blackburn. Meanwhile, Eliza's older sister Debbie is left alone with her feral adoptive younger brother Donnie at their RV, the Comvee, while their parents, Nigel and Marianne, go to film a solar eclipse at Tempo Valley. Eliza returns to the Comvee for supplies; after a small confrontation, Debbie pursues her, Darwin, and Donnie. Cordelia and her husband, Colonel Radcliffe, meet up with Nigel and Marianne to inform them of Eliza's escape, and they also begin searching for Eliza.
Darwin, Eliza, and Donnie meet a gorilla who mentions seeing people setting up a fence across Tempo Valley. Then, they run into the Blackburns again. Eliza concludes that the poachers are targeting the elephant herd traveling through the valley. Later, the trio find Tally in the Blackburns' RV, exposing their true status as poachers. The Blackburns capture them and reveal the fence is electrified. Meanwhile, Debbie meets a local boy named Boko, who is sent by his village elders to assist her. The two reach the Blackburns' RV, but Debbie is held hostage by Sloan after she reveals she is Eliza's sister. When Sloan threatens to kill Debbie if Eliza doesn't tell him how she found out their plan, Eliza admits it was because of her ability to talk to animals. A storm comes and takes away Eliza's powers while the Blackburns flee.
They reach Tempo Valley in time to see the elephant herd heading for the electric fence. When Eliza becomes doubtful of herself, Debbie reminds her that she has been helping animals long before gaining her powers, restoring her confidence. The Blackburns, riding a helicopter, order their men to set off explosives, forcing the elephants to charge toward the fence. Eliza triggers the fence's electricity prematurely, causing the herd to stop temporarily, and then convinces the lead elephant to turn around. Infuriated, Sloan grabs Eliza and throws her into a river. He then attempts to shoot the elephants, but they pull the Blackburns' helicopter out of the air and destroy it. They survive, but are arrested by rangers soon after. Eliza is saved by Shaman Mnyambo, who tells her she saved the elephants using her heart. As a reward, he gives her back her powers.
Eliza reunites with her family, who decide not to send her back to boarding school, while Boko returns to his village, keeping Debbie's watch as a memento. The Thornberrys return to the Savannah, where Eliza reunites Tally with his family. Debbie is angered when Eliza tells her that she will turn into a baboon if she reveals her secret, and in the process frightens a group of baboons Nigel and Marianne are filming. One of them activates the radio, which plays music that the Thornberrys and the baboons dance to.
- Lacey Chabert as Elizabeth "Eliza" Thornberry, an adventurous 12 year old girl, Debbie and Donnie's sister
- Tim Curry as Nigel Thornberry, Debbie, Eliza, and Donnie's father. Curry also voices Col. Radcliffe Thornberry, Nigel's father
- Jodi Carlisle as Marianne Thornberry, Debbie, Eliza, and Donnie's strict overprotective mother
- Danielle Harris as Deborah "Debbie" Thornberry, Eliza and Donnie's 16 year old sister
- Michael "Flea" Balzary as Donald Michael "Donnie" Thornberry, Debbie and Eliza's adopted 5 year old brother. Donnie's birth parents were murdered by poachers prior to the movie. As a result, he was raised by apes as a baby before being discovered by the Thornberrys. Donnie is a feral child who does not speak any human language, instead communicating in chimp-like chattering.
- Tom Kane as Darwin Thornberry, A chimpanzee, Eliza's best friend and pet
- Lynn Redgrave as Cordelia Jasmin McGold Thornberry, Nigel's snobbish mother. She doesn't approve of her son being a nature show host and wants her family to settle down. She thinks it is dangerous for Eliza to be around animals and dislikes Donnie's feral behavior.
- Rupert Everett as Sloan Blackburn, Bree's poacher co-leader and husband
- Marisa Tomei as Bree Blackburn, Sloan's poacher co-leader wife
- Brock Peters as Jomo
- Alfre Woodard as Akela, the cheetah mother of Tally
- Kimberly Brooks as Tally, one of Akela's cubs
- Cree Summer as Phaedra, the elephant Eliza is riding at the start of the film
- Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Fairgood, the no nonsense teacher at a boarding school
- Obba Babatundé as Boko, a native boy Debbie runs into later on
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Shaman Mnyambo
- Melissa Greenspan as Sarah Wellington, Eliza's snobby roommate at Lady Beatrice's
- Tara Strong, Hynden Walch and Mae Whitman as the schoolgirls
- Roger L. Jackson as Reggie (an English red squirrel) and Thunder (a Scottish clydesdale)
- John Kassir and Charles Shaughnessy as the Squirrels
- Jeff Coopwood as Park Ranger Tim
- Billy Brown as the Rhino
- Keith Szarabajka as a poacher
- Earl Boen as the Gorilla
It opened in the box office in the United States on December 20, 2002, and finished at #6 for the weekend, with only $6 million for 3,012 theaters, for an average of only $1,997 per venue. The film ended up with a modest $40 million domestically, partly because the film came out on the same day as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. But, in light of generally favorable reviews it managed to out-gross its holiday animated feature behind Treasure Planet.
It is one of only fourteen feature films to be released in over 3,000 theaters, and still improve on its box office performance in its second weekend, increasing 22.5% from $6 million to $7.4 million.
Reviews were mostly positive. It currently holds an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (making it the best ranked Nickelodeon Movie on the site, until The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and Rango (2011) overtook with 80% and 89% respectively, however it is still the highest rated film based on an series from Nickelodeon) and a rating of 69 (meaning generally favorable reviews) on Metacritic.
The Wild Thornberrys Movie was released on VHS and DVD on April 1, 2003. Special features on the DVD are the "Father and Daughter" music video by Paul Simon (also at the end of the VHS), The Wild Thornberrys Movie PC game demo (DVD-Rom feature, requires Windows 98 Second Edition or higher), the theatrical trailer, and previews for Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure (2003), SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||November 19, 2002|
|Label||Jive Records/Nick Records|
|1.||"Father and Daughter"||Paul Simon||4:10|
|2.||"Iwoya"||Angélique Kidjo featuring Dave Matthews||3:47|
|3.||"Dance with Us"||P. Diddy and Brandy featuring Bow Wow||4:56|
|4.||"Animal Nation"||Peter Gabriel||7:20|
|6.||"Motla Le Pula (The Rainmaker)"||Hugh Masekela||5:35|
|7.||"Monkey Man"||Reel Big Fish||2:36|
|8.||"Don't Walk Away"||Youssou N'Dour featuring Sting||4:42|
|10.||"End of Forever"||Nick Carter||4:05|
|11.||"Shaking the Tree ('02 Remix)"||Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour featuring Shaggy||5:08|
|12.||"Get Out of London"||The Pretenders||3:11|
|13.||"Africa (Ila Ra Waisco)"||Las Hijas del Sol||3:56|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie Original Motion Picture Score|
|Soundtrack album by Drew Neumann|
|Released||April 8, 2003|
|Label||Silverline Records/Nick Records|
The original motion picture score was released on April 8, 2003, from Silverline Records, and includes the theme song "Bridge to the Stars". The album is currently out of print.
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