“The Wild Thornberrys Movie” was surprisingly good. It works well as a standalone film and you won’t miss much if you’ve never watched the TV show. This series arrived toward the end of my middle school years so it was never of much interest to me, but I was impressed with the amount of heart in this story. I find Eliza Thornberry to be a particularly heartwarming character. Maybe it’s because I can see a lot of my animal-loving wife in her, or maybe it is because she embodies a spirit of hope without too strong of a conservationist message. Whatever it is, Eliza makes it easy to become emotionally invested in the story. I appreciate that Nickelodeon brought in the likes of Lacey Chabert and Tim Curry to voice its characters. The only thing that I don’t care for is the animation style. I understand that these are caricatures but I find a disparity between the likable character personalities and their goofy-looking appearances. The story could have been a tired piece of anti-poaching propaganda but the message is subtle as the film focuses on the themes of friendship, selflessness, and doing the right thing. “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” is mostly toward kids but can easily be enjoyed by families. There are great lessons weaved throughout the story, but hopefully it will not inspire your children to start doing the Wedgie Dance!
[Pictured: The movie doesn’t shy away from sad and serious thematic moments]