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The Wild Thornberrys

The Wild Thornberrys is an animated series produced at Klasky-Csupo for Nickelodeon, which follows the adventures of a fictional wildlife-documentary-making family, the Thornberrys, and particularly of Eliza Thornberry, who can talk to animals. It premiered in October 1998, and was not only the first show to feature a female main character, but was also the first Nicktoon to exclusively use 30 minute stories (previously, other Nicktoons mostly used the two-fifteen-minute-stories format).

Nigel and Marianne Thornberry (voiced by Tim Curry and Jodi Carlisle) travel around the world with their family making wildlife documentaries, with Nigel as narrator and Marianne as the camerawoman. They have three children:

Also travelling with them is a chimpanzee called Darwin (Tom Kane).

Despite being nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 2001, the show has its share of detractors, mostly bothered by main character Eliza's look (pigtails, glasses, freckles, and braces on her big teeth) and her attitude.

Besides the aforementioned telefilm, in 2002 and 2003, Nickelodeon released two cinema films featuring the family: The Wild Thornberrys Movie (subsequently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song for "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon) and Rugrats Go Wild (a crossover with the Rugrats), both of which earned around a modest (at best) $40m at the US box office. Jane Goodall has also appeared in an ep, The Trouble With Darwin, as herself.

Minor historical note: In early February 2003, Nickelodeon devoted a week to the five episodes that take place after the movie, which have the Thornberrys in Alaska with a pop guitarist staying over with them (Shane G, played by Christopher Masterson). After the 4th of the 5 eps aired, Nick then aired a promo for the 5th ep Eliza Unplugged to air on Saturday, February 8, however, they ended up airing The Fairly OddParents instead; as of this writing, that ep remains the only one unaired in the US.

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