The Wild Thornberrys Movie
Directed By
Cathy Malkasian
Jeff McGrath
Charlie Adler
Produced By
Arlene Klasky
Gabor Csupo
Written By
Kate Boutiler
Based on
The Wild Thornberrys
Lacey Chabert
Tim Curry
Jodi Carlisle
Michael "Flea" Balzary
Danielle Harris
Lynn Redgrave
Tom Kane
Rupert Everett
Marisa Tomei
Edited By
John Bryant
Music By
Drew Neumann Michael Kamen
Distributed By
United States
Release Date
December 20, 2002
85 minutes
Rating PG

The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a 2002 American animated adventure film. The film was released on December 20, 2002 and produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Klasky Csupo and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Based on the 1990s animated Nickelodeon series, The Wild Thornberrys.

The film follows Eliza Thornberrys, on her quest to rescue a cheetah cub named Tally from ruthless poachers.


12-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 Londonfor 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 finds Tally in the Blackburns' RV, exposing their true nature 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 Eliza Thornberry
  • Tim Curry as Nigel Thornberry. Curry also voices Col. Radcliffe Thornberry, Nigel's father
  • Jodi Carlisle as Marianne Thornberry
  • Danielle Harris as Debbie Thornberry
  • Michael "Flea" Balzary as Donnie Thornberry
  • Tom Kane as Darwin Thornberry
  • Lynn Redgrave as Cordelia Jasmin McGold Thornberry
  • Rupert Everett as Sloan Blackburn
  • Marisa Tomei as Bree Blackburn
  • Brock Peters as Jomo
  • Alfre Woodard as Akela
  • Kimberly Brooks as Tally
  • Cree Summer as Phaedra
  • Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Fairgood
  • Obba Babatundé as Boko
  • Kevin Michael Richardson as Shaman Mnyambo
  • Melissa Greenspan as Sarah Wellington
  • 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
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