DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 21443: Small Claims Court

Buy The Wild Thornberrys: Season One at Amazon

The Wild Thornberrys: Season One

Nickelodeon // 1998 // 450 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 29th, 2011

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review

Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!


All Rise...

Judge David Johnson didn't like this show much, but it was far better than pilot, The Wild Dingleberrys.

The Charge

For Eliza Thornberry and her family, life will never be the same.

The Case

Shout! Factory has decided to excavate this decade-old Nickelodeon cartoon from the recesses of the animation crypt and re-deploy its first season into my DVD player, an action that I do not appreciate.

Being in college when this show aired, I was not privy to the Thornberrys craze (not saying I wasn't emotionally stunted enough to watch cartoons; we just didn't get Nickelodeon in the dorms). So here I am now, exposed for the first time to one of Nick's tentpole series and, yikes, it sort of blows.

The plot: Mr. Thornberry is a nature show host who drags his family all around the world with him in a cramped van. His wife shoots the footage. Eliza Thornberry is the main character and she has the power of The Beastmaster, being able to talk to animals and trick them into doing her will. The rest of the family includes a smart-ass talking monkey named Darwin, Eliza's prim but hipster sister with awkwardly perky cartoon breasts and a feral toddler boy who eats ants. They drive around the jungles and get into tepid adventures for 20 clunky episodes.

I just don't see the appeal of Wild Thornberrys. The characters aren't quirky or lovable enough to make me care. Eliza is a stiff, her dad is a hapless idiot, mom is a humorless killjoy, the monkey terrifies me, the sister is weirdly attractive and that little boy should be in the hands of child services by now.

The family's exploits typically involve nature hijinks of some sort: Eliza will rally a village of monkeys, the Thornberrys attempt to elude poachers, they discover gold in the Golapagos Islands, battle evil hunters (of course) and learn about foliage and animals. It's all quite boring.

If you're psyched for this (re)release you'll be unhappy to hear the following news: the show looks terrible. Yes it's been a decade-plus, but TV shows didn't look they had been filmed with pig fat rubbed on the lenses, right? The full-frame transfer here is atrocious, low-res, shifty, and aged. A standard-issue 2.0 stereo and no extras round out an underwhelming set.

The Verdict

Guilty. Revoke the Thornberrys travel visas.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give The Wild Thornberrys: Season One a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review

Follow DVD Verdict

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Judgment: 50

Perp Profile

Studio: Nickelodeon
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 450 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Adventure
• All Ages
• Animation
• Bad
• Fantasy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.