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THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE

Review by Chastity Campbell

Voices: Lacy Chabert, Tim Curry, Rupert Everett, Flea, Lynn Redgrave, Marisa Tomei
Director: Jeff McGrath, Cathy Malkasian
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital - Surround
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen & 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Features: See Review
Length: 80 Minutes
Release Date: April 1, 2003

“Eww…who smells, because it’s totally overpowering my vanilla ginger body splash!”

Film ***

Eliza Thornberry is once again chatting it up with her animal pals in Paramount’s The Wild Thornberrys Movie!

Eliza, her pet monkey Darwin and her family are roaming the plains of Africa, filming animals and watching their every move.   Eliza loves roaming from place to place because she has a secret and very special gift.  She can talk to the animals, and they can talk to her.  

You see, Eliza was kind and freed a Wart Hog from a poachers trap, and right before her eyes the Wart Hog transformed into a mystical Shaman, who granted her the ability to speak with animals.    She will keep this power as long as she keeps it a secret. 

Although I don’t routinely watch the series based on these lovable cartoon folks, I have caught an episode or two, and Paramount did a really great job bringing these wonderful characters to the big screen.

Lacy Chabert from Party Of Five is the voice of little Eliza Thornberry.   While out playing in a field one day with a couple of her Cheetah friends, Eliza is scared half to death when a poacher in a helicopter swoops down and steals the Cheetah cub named Tally.   Eliza tries to save the poor cub by jumping onto the rope ladder and hanging on for dear life.   The rope is cut but her mom and dad arrive just in the nick of time to break her fall.  

The perilous helicopter ride scares her parents and makes them realize it might be too dangerous out in the wilds for a young girl like Eliza.  So, much to the dismay of her sister Deborah who wants nothing more than to be shipped out of Africa, Eliza is sent to an all girls boarding school in London.   She’s not alone however, for her faithful friend Darwin has hitched a ride in her suitcase.  

Eliza isn’t fitting in, and after speaking with the Shaman in a dream and finding out from him that Tally is still alive she packs her bags and hits the trail, in search of her little friend.   Along the way she’ll meet friend and foe, and have to figure out a way to foil the poachers attempts to corral a herd of elephants!   Will Eliza rescue her friend and save the day?  I guess you’ll have to give this DVD a spin to find out!

With so many wonderful voice actors on this film, you can’t go wrong.  Tim Curry, Rupert Everett, Flea, Lynn Redgrave and Marisa Tomei all played very important roles in making this animated creation come to life.  Their lively and loveable characters are wonderful examples of what makes animated movies work so well in this day and age.

I really enjoyed this movie.  It’s all around good clean family fun that everyone will enjoy.  The animation is very well done, and follows other recent animated films in terms of style, and pacing.   Grab the kids, and pop some popcorn, family movie night can’t go wrong with a movie like this!

Video ***

The Wild Thornberrys Movie is presented in a 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen & 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen format.  

All of the colors and images bright and very vibrant as you would expect them to be in a cartoon, yet they didn’t overwhelm the visual experience.  All of the images were crisp and clean with only a few visible flaws.  

A lot of work goes into animation productions and Paramount did a super job with the visualization of this DVD. 

Audio ***

Featured in a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround format this DVD’s audio was mixed and blended quite evenly. The dialogue and music bed were balanced against one another very nicely.  There were very few audible dips or flaws, and the dubbing was matched up very nicely to the animation. 

While there were a few instances of what appeared to be digital clipping, the over all quality of audio was very nice. 

The soundtrack was a wonderful combination of old and new tunes, featuring the Paul Simon song “Fathers and Daughters.” 

Features ***

This disc be loaded with features, kiddies, so saddle up for the extras express, tooot tooot!

When you pop this disc in, get ready to be greeted by fully animated menu screens.  Subtitles in English, and the audio option of English or French Dolby Surround expand your listening experience two-fold.  

The feature song of this movie’s soundtrack, “Fathers and Daughters” by Paul Simon is included for your listening pleasure.   Also, the theatrical trailer for The Wild Thornberrys Movie is included as well.

Previews for the release of Charlotte’s Web and Charlott’es Web 2:Wilbur’s Greatest Adventure are viewable, as well as promotional information on the VHS and DVD releases of Sponge Bob Square Pants and The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius television series.

The features viewable on your DVD player are done, but hold onto your hats kids, because this disc is also a DVD-ROM.  Just take the DVD and pop it into your home PC so you can begin playing The Wild Thornberrys Movie demo game.  

A very nice set of features, on a very nice DVD.

Summary:

If you have kids at home this movie is a wonderful treat full of positive messages.   Love can help you achieve great things, even when you are small.   Give your little one a boost in the right direction by picking up The Wild Thornberrys movie on DVD.  Adventure is only a click away!