Animation and Cartoons Wiki
The Wild Thornberrys Movie

The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a 2002 American animated adventure film based on the television series of the same name. Directed by Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath, the film follows Eliza Thornberry, on her quest to rescue a cheetah cub named Tally from ruthless poachers. It was produced by Klasky Csupo and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The film was released on December 20, 2002, to mostly positive reviews and grossed more than $60 million worldwide. The film was also nominated for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards, making it the first and only film based on a Nicktoon to be nominated. It is also the third film to be based on a Klasky Csupo series (after The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie).


Eliza Thornberry plays with a family of cheetahs in East Africa's Kenya after their mother, Akela puts her in charge of the cubs. When Eliza accidentally strays too far from the cheetahs' home, poachers kidnap one of the cheetah cubs, Tally. Eliza is determined to save the cub, causing her older sister Debbie to tell on her family about Eliza's antics, which prompts her grandmother Cordelia to bring her to a boarding school in London for her safety, much to Debbie's dismay since Debbie wanted a normal life. Upon arriving, Eliza discovers that her pet chimpanzee, Darwin, stowed away in her suitcase. He attempts to blend in, but gets both himself and Eliza in trouble.

After having a dream in which Shaman Mnyambo tells her to save Tally, Eliza convinces her roommate Sarah Wellington to buy plane tickets for her and Darwin to return to Africa. While taking a train from Nairobi, they encounter an injured male rhinoceros, who was shot at the river by the same poachers who kidnapped Tally. They jump off the train to save the rhino with the help of veterinarians Bree and Sloan Blackburn. Meanwhile, Debbie is left alone with her feral adoptive younger brother Donnie at their comvee, while their parents, Nigel and Marianne, go to film a solar eclipse at Tempo Valley. Eliza returns to the Comvee for supplies, and has a small confrontation with Debbie, who demands to know why Eliza ran away from London and gave up her chance for a normal life; however, Eliza locks her in a cage. Debbie pursues her, Darwin, and Donnie. Cordelia and her husband, Colonel Radcliffe, try to find Eliza and take her back to London before Nigel and Marianne find out; however, they meet up with Nigel and Marianne to inform them of Eliza's escape. They also begin searching for Debbie, Eliza, Donnie and Darwin.

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 are invited to spend the night at the Blackburn's RV, then the next day, they find Tally inside the RV. The Blackburns reveal their true agenda as the poachers and capture them, revealing that the fence is electrified. Eliza and Darwin have an argument and Eliza intervenes. Meanwhile, Debbie meets a local Mbuti boy named Boko, who is sent by his village elders to assist her. The two reach the Blackburns' RV, but Sloan holds Debbie hostage after she reveals to be Eliza's sister. When Sloan intends to kill Debbie if Eliza does not tell him how she found out their plan, Eliza admits that it was because of her ability to talk to animals. A storm comes and takes away Eliza's powers while the Blackburns flee. Eliza, Debbie, Darwin, Donnie and Tally ride a log on the river.

After the storm, Eliza tells Debbie about her ability to talk to animals and that she lost it because she revealed her secret to the Blackburns. Debbie reconciles with Eliza when she learns that Eliza gave up her powers to save her. 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, scaring the elephants and making them 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 by this, Sloan throws Eliza into a river. He then attempts to shoot the elephants, but they pull the Blackburns' helicopter out of the air by its rope ladder and destroy it, causing him and Bree to fall. Eliza nearly drowns until Shaman Mnyambo saves her; he praises her for rescuing the elephants using her heart instead of her powers. As a reward, he gives her back her powers, on the condition that Debbie will also keep Eliza's powers a secret.

Following the eclipse, the Blackburns are arrested by rangers. Eliza reconciles with Darwin and she reunites with her family, who decide not to send her back to boarding school since she rescued the elephants. 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 upset 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.