|The Wild Thornberrys Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Kate Boutilier|
|Music by||Drew Neumann|
|Edited by||John Bryant|
|Box office||$60.7 million|
The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a 2002 American animated adventure film based on the television series of the same name. Directed by Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath, 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. The film was released on December 20, 2002 to mostly positive reviews and grossed more than $60 million worldwide. The film was also nominated for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards, making it the first and only film based on a Nicktoon to be nominated for an Oscar. It is also the third film to be based on a Klasky Csupo series (after The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie).
Eliza Thornberry plays with a family of cheetahs in East Africa's Kenya 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 himself and Eliza in trouble.
After having a dream in which Shaman Mnyambo tells her to save Tally, Eliza convinces her roommate Sarah Wellington to buy plane tickets for her and Darwin to return to Africa. While taking a train from Nairobi, they encounter an injured male rhinoceros, who was shot at the river by the same poachers, who kidnapped Tally. They jump off the train to 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 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 finds Tally in the Blackburns' RV, exposing their true nature as the poachers. The Blackburns capture them and reveal the fence is electrified. Eliza and Darwin get into an argument and Eliza shouts at Darwin to be quiet. Meanwhile, Debbie meets a local Mbuti boy named Boko, who is sent by his village elders to assist her. The two reach the Blackburns' RV, but Sloan holds Debbie hostage 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, scaring the elephants and making them 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 by this, Sloan throws Eliza into a river. He then attempts to shoot the elephants, but they pull the Blackburns' helicopter out of the air by its rope ladder and destroy it, causing him and Bree to fall. As Eliza is falling, she is saved by Shaman Mnyambo, who tells her she saved the elephants using her heart instead of her powers. As a reward, he gives her back her powers.
After the eclipse, the Blackburns are arrested by rangers, Eliza reconciles with Darwin and she 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.
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.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 80% of 89 critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.7/10. The site's consensus states: "The Wild Thornberrys Movie brings its beloved clan to the big screen for an animated adventure that should prove entertaining for all ages." On Metacritic the film has a score of 69% based on reviews from 25 critics.
Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a witty and delightful Christmas present for the entire family". Thomas said it "balances some honest heart-tugging with a sophisticated sense of humor", making it rare among children's films. Writing for The New York Times, Dave Kehr described it as an "extended Saturday morning cartoon" that is "bland but harmless", comparing it negatively to Disney's The Lion King. In USA Today, Claudia Puig rated it 3/4 stars and wrote, "The Wild Thornberrys will no doubt brighten the day of parents looking for family activities during the holidays." It was also reviewed by Boston.com and Film4.
The Wild Thornberrys Movie was released on VHS and DVD on April 1, 2003.
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||November 26, 2002|
|Genre||Hip hop, world music, teen pop|
Sony Music Soundtrax
|Singles from The Wild Thornberrys Movie: Music from the Motion Picture|
An original soundtrack for the film was released on November 26, 2002, on compact disc and audio cassette by Sony Music Soundtrax, Columbia Records and Nick Records. The executive producer was George Acogny. Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter", written for the film, was released as a single. It went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. 
|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 |
|Released||April 8, 2003|
|Label||Silverline Records/Nick Records|
The score was released on April 8, 2003, from Silverline Records, and includes the theme song "Bridge to the Stars", performed by Randy Kerber (who composed the additional music for the score) and J. Peter Robinson. The album is currently out of print.