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The Wild Thornberrys Movie

The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Those who've delighted in the "Rugrats" transformation onto the big screen will be happy with the stylish traditional animation and musical flourishes in The Wild Thronberrys Movie.

This amusing tale of naturalists centers on Eliza Thronberry, voiced by Lacy Chabert of "Party of Five" fame.  The precocious pre-teen with glasses, braces, and pigtails is on an African adventure headed by her tea-sipping British parents (Tim Curry, Jodi Carlisle).  And her siblings include hyperactive Donnie (Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers) and older sister Debbie, cynically voiced by Danielle Harris.

In a breezy tale with Eliza's "Dr. Doolittle" powers coming from Ashman (Kevin Michale Richardson), there's some zaniness resulting from her grandma (Lynn Redgrave) sending her back to boarding school in England.  Directors Jeff McGrath and Cathy Malkasian (Rugrats in Paris) nicely use Eliza's chimp chum Darwin (Tom Kane), a couple of smarmy environmental-minded poachers (Marisa Tomei, Rupert Everett) amid strained family ties as it all rests on the 12 year old's wits and feistiness.

And for those who loved the action in the large formatted version of The Lion King, The Wild Thornberrys Movie competes well on its own terms with some danger and humorous moments in the positioning of a missing cheetah and those closer to Eliza.  Even the songs from Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel are nearly as touching as the music from Elton John and Time Rice in this jolly Paramount/Nicklodeon holiday release certain to result in a new yarn for two goofy, but appealing families.

The Wild Thornberrys Movie

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