The Wild Thornberrys

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The Wild Thornberrys
Thornberryslogo.gif
FormatAnimation
Created byArlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Steve Pepoon
David Silverman
Stephen Sustarsic
Directed byPeter Avanzino
Anthony Bell
Becky Bristow
Sylvia Keulen
Cathy Malkasian
Jeff McGrath
Carol Millican
Steve Ressel
Mark Risley
StarringLacey Chabert
Tom Kane
Flea
Danielle Harris
Jodi Carlisle
Tim Curry
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes92 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)Klasky Csupo
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Original runSeptember 1, 1998 – March 11, 2004
 
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The Wild Thornberrys
Thornberryslogo.gif
FormatAnimation
Created byArlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Steve Pepoon
David Silverman
Stephen Sustarsic
Directed byPeter Avanzino
Anthony Bell
Becky Bristow
Sylvia Keulen
Cathy Malkasian
Jeff McGrath
Carol Millican
Steve Ressel
Mark Risley
StarringLacey Chabert
Tom Kane
Flea
Danielle Harris
Jodi Carlisle
Tim Curry
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes92 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)Klasky Csupo
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Original runSeptember 1, 1998 – March 11, 2004

The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon.[1] It was rerun in the United States on Nickelodeon and occasionally Nicktoons until 2007. The show returned to the air on TeenNick's The '90s Are All That television block in November 2011. The show aired on Nicktoonsters in the United Kingdom. The series is currently being released on DVD.

Contents

Premise

The series follows the Thornberrys, as they travel the world in their Communications Vehicle, referred to throughout the show as their "Commvee," looking for rare animals to film. Their second youngest child, Eliza, is the main character and has the power to speak to animals because of an encounter with an African shaman, Lopsugne Sjoungboun Qeisha. She can speak to the family's pet chimpanzee, who is also her best friend. She travels the world with her family and usually helps animals solve their problems.[2][3]

At the beginning of every episode, Eliza recites a monologue, which is then followed by the theme music. It states the basic premise of the show, and provides a brief back story. After the title appears and before each episode begins, a map zooms in to the geographic location of the episode.

Production

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).

Characters

The Wild Thornberrys, left to right, Nigel (bottom left), Marianne (with camera), Eliza (with glasses), Darwin (the chimpanzee), Donnie (with brown hair), and Debbie (sitting down, bored)

Elizabeth "Eliza" Thornberry

Voiced by Lacey Chabert, Eliza is a young teenage girl, who (unknown to most) gained the ability to speak with animals after an encounter with an African shaman (as shown in the episode "Gift of Gab"). Despite her best intentions, Eliza's stubbornness that she's always right leads her strong desire to help to become destructive, she has also been seen to develop brief periods of megalomania on more than one occasion. Eliza is portrayed as a geek by her extensive zoological knowledge and her glasses, braces and by occasionally standing pigeon-toed. She has freckles and long red-orange hair that is usually worn in pigtails like Pippi Longstocking, and occasionally a ponytail. She also has a companion-primate (chimpanzee) like Pippi Longstocking does; but instead of superhuman strength, Eliza has the "super-power" of being able to talk to animals. She almost always wears a yellow dress. Eliza is seen as a scuba diver wearing a yellow wetsuit, flippers, mask, and a red scuba tank, though later in the series she sports other clothes. Eliza is 12 in the series. Despite being the main character of The Wild Thornberrys, Eliza plays a supporting role in the film Rugrats Go Wild.

Darwin Thornberry

Voiced by Tom Kane, Darwin is a chimpanzee who travels with the family and is a loyal companion to Eliza. 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 British accent. He tries to be the voice of reason to Eliza, however she rarely takes his advice. Cautious by nature, he is almost always hesitant to follow her plans; in response, she accuses him of cowardice, once calling him a "crybaby in a tank-top" for his hesitancy. He was found by Eliza, and was the first animal she ever talked to. In the Wild Thornberrys Movie: The Origin of Donnie, Darwin was seen in a flashback, stealing the sleeveless tank top that was once owned by Debbie. His name is most likely reference to Charles Darwin, though within the series Eliza gives him the name Darwin after Lenny Darwin, her cousin who looks like a monkey (is never shown in the series).

Donald "Donnie" Michael Thornberry

Voiced by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donnie is a feral boy who (as revealed in the 2001 4-part TV movie, "The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie") was raised by orangutans. His real parents, Michael and Lisa, were naturalists who loved and protected animals with their hearts. One night, a mother and son orangutan were on the verge of being captured and sold by poachers, but Donnie's parents managed to save them but are killed for interfering, much to the horror of the orangutan mother and the local villages that came to know about their deaths. Out of gratitude, honor, and love the mother orangutan took Donnie and raised him as a son and comes across the Thornberrys one day and decides to give them Donnie so he can have a human family, and watches tearfully along with her son as he is welcomed into their family as their own. Before the Thornberrys officially adopt him, it was revealed that Nigel and Marianne knew his parents as they had met them while Donnie's parents were on their honeymoon. He commonly wears a pair of leopard-spotted shorts (also similar to Tarzan's leopardskin loincloth) and he loves to eat all types of bugs. He babbles wildly and makes animal-sounds (but nothing Eliza can understand), occasionally spouting blurbs of English or showing random signs of sophisticated education. Donnie is 4, but turns 5 in "The Origin of Donnie", and it is presumed Donnie never knew what really happened to his parents. It was shown that while his parents were teaching orangutans sign language, he learned as well. Though only one sign was shown (family), it is unknown how much he actually knows. This also shows that aside from his primal behavior, Donnie is rather intelligent and it was even revealed that he drew a picture of his parents alongside with the orangutan family that raised him.

Deborah "Debbie" Thornberry

Voiced by Danielle Harris, Debbie is a typical 17-year-old girl who is Eliza's older sister, interested in music and fashion, and who longs for the normal suburban life her parents' job deprives her of. Even though she ridicules Eliza, she truly does care for her. She commonly wears an orange camisole, a green flannel shirt, blue jeans (with holes deliberately torn in the knees as a 'grungy' fashion statement) and brown shoes. She speaks with a valleyspeak accent. In "The Wild Thornberrys Movie", she learns Eliza's secret[vague] after Eliza reveals it to the poachers that were threatening to kill her if Eliza didn't tell them how she knew about their plan to kill a herd of elephants. Debbie is touched that Eliza gave up her gift to save her life and promises to keep her secret—but only under the belief that if she doesn't, she'll be turned into a baboon. It is shown in the episode "Chew If By Sea" that Debbie suffers from acute seasickness.

Sir Nigel Archibald Thornberry

Voiced by Tim Curry, Nigel, born in England, is the child of Radcliffe and Cordelia Thornberry (Lynn Redgrave). He travels around the world with his family making wildlife documentaries. He may be inspired by Sir David Attenborough and speaks with a nasally RP English accent. He somewhat resembles[according to whom?] Lt. Col. Algernon Hawthorne in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, played by Terry-Thomas. He is easily enthused and usually remains cheery, even in the face of danger. He was offered a professorship at Oxford University but, much to his mother's disapproval, Nigel turned it down. He is an expert zoologist, as well as naturalist, traveler and survivalist and is quite caring and logical though Nigel often otherwise appears absent minded or naive. In the series, Nigel is a supporting character, 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 Hunter Thornberry, Lady Thornberry

Voiced by Jodi Carlisle, Marianne is Nigel's wife, daughter of Frank (Ed Asner) and Sophie Hunter (Betty White). She operates the film camera and edits their nature show. Marianne is a strong woman, often the voice of reason, and sometimes loses patience with Nigel. She is usually the one to take on disciplinary duties, trying to keep the girls out of trouble and finish their homework. In Season 1, Episode 12, she mentions that she attended the University of California, Berkeley. Marianne is also a scuba diver like Eliza. She wears a wetsuit, flippers, mask, and scuba tank in Season 3, Episode 17.

Equipment

The Commvee (an abbreviation of "communications vehicle") is a two-story mobile home; the main door leads up a flight of stairs to a main floor with the driver and passenger seat in the front, followed by a twin sized bed, table for eating at on the west side of the car, a kitchen on the eastern side, and a bathroom in the back which also serves as a dark-room for editing film. There is a "basement/1st floor" that contains one room with a big bed for Nigel and Marianne, a room with a two small beds (for Debbie and Eliza) and two hammocks for Donnie and Darwin. There is also a small box near the floor of the "main story" that contains various switches which can inflate a raft for crossing rivers and the ocean to a "lock-down" mode in which iron plates cover the windows (as seen in Thornberry Island) for typhoons; there are other switches that can put the car into a submarine mode, or inflate a bag on top of the car for falling objects or rising to the surface of the ocean. Near the 'switch box' there is a hatch (as seen in Rugrats Go Wild) that gives access to a mini-sub. There is also a roof with a satellite that barely ever gets reception, but is used to upload footage to the foundation. On the outside there are many compartments, supposedly for carrying equipment and other smaller vehicles such as the 'mini-comm' for short-range transport or picking up passengers and returning them to camp or the submarine for deep sea expedition (the bath-o-sphere). The Commvee also features the usual conveniences found in a motorhome, including air-conditioning and a stereo system with a cassette tape player.

They also have a variety of cameras with which they film.

Eliza's Speaking Animals

Episodes

DVD and Digital Releases

Amazon.com released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1 through its CreateSpace Manufacture-on-demand program. Season 1 was released on June 24, 2010,[4] seasons 2 & 3 were released on February 7, 2011[5][6] and seasons 4 & 5 were released on December 1, 2010.[7][8] 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.[9] Season 1 was released on May 17, 2011 and Season 2, Part 1 was released on November 8, 2011.[10] The remainder of season 2, entitled The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2, Part 2, was released on April 24, 2012.[11]

Shout! Factory ReleasesRelease DateDiscsEpisodes
Season 1May 17, 2011420
Season 2: Part 1November 8, 2011213
Season 2: Part 2April 24, 201228
Season 3: Part 1TBA212
Season 3: Part 2TBA212
Season 3: Part 3TBA212
Seasons 4 & 5TBA214

Films

Three movies have been released:

Broadcast History

United States US

Canada Canada

Russia Russia

Portugal Portugal

Brazil Brazil

Mexico Mexico

United Kingdom UK

Australia Australia

Serbia Serbia

Philippines Philippines

Czech Republic Czech Republic

Iceland Iceland

India India

Hungary Hungray

Greece Greece

Turkey Turkey

Pakistan Pakistan

Croatia Croatia

South Korea South Korea

France France

Italy Italy

Germany Germany

Finland Finland

Poland Poland

Ukraine Ukraine

Bulgaria Bulgaria

Netherlands Netherlands

References

  1. ^ "A Family Phenom in the Making Nickelodeon is carefully guiding 'Wild Thornberrys' from popular show to a brand with film potential". The Los Angeles Times. December 17, 2000. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/17/entertainment/ca-982. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  2. ^ Graeber, Laurel (July 30, 2000). "SPOTLIGHT; She Can Talk to the Animals (Don't Tell)". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/30/tv/spotlight-she-can-talk-to-the-animals-don-t-tell.html?scp=6&sq=wild%20thornberrys&st=cse. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  3. ^ "Kids Want to See More of Parents--Even on Cartoons". The Los Angeles Times. December 21, 1998. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/dec/21/entertainment/ca-56134. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  4. ^ "The Wild Thornberrys - Season 1". 2008-08-21. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003TU137M. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  5. ^ The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2
  6. ^ The Wild Thornberrys – Season 3
  7. ^ The Wild Thornberrys – Season 4
  8. ^ The Wild Thornberrys – Season 5
  9. ^ The Wild Thornberrys – General Retail Release of Season 1 from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory **UPDATE: New Lower Price and a Pre-Order Link**
  10. ^ 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. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G5NPGK. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  11. ^ "The Wild Thornberrys DVD news: Announcement for The Wild Thornberrys - Season 2, Part 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. http://tvshowsondvd.com/n/16381. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  12. ^ "Eminem builds on Oscar buzz". BBC. February 14, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/2758693.stm. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  13. ^ "Rugrats go 'Wild' in search of adventure". The Los Angeles Times. June 13, 2003. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jun/13/entertainment/et-rugrats13. Retrieved 2010-08-24.