First of all:
The Wild Thornberrys is truly an excellent program in many
young children who are just beginning to have an interest in nature,
environmental issues, and other explorations of wildlife. That makes it
choice for parents who want a semi-educational animated cartoon to help
kids some decent well-meaning and fun entertainment mixed with the
of silly humor and characters. Nickelodeon is undoubtedly still proud
produced this massive hit animated series for several years.
centers on Eliza Thornberry and her highly unusual (if altogether
Eliza speaks to animals - it's her special gift - and no one seems to
she has such ability except for her best friend chimp named Darwin. I
other animals she speaks to realize she has a gift as well... or at least
sometimes they seem to. The other members of Eliza's family are
Nigel, Debbie, and Donnie. Marianne seems to be the most level headed
family as the strong-willed, highly spirited, and extremely intelligent
Nigel is the most eccentric character as the bizarre father who seems
be quite a bit lost within his own nature-oriented thoughts. Debbie is
teenage sister and Donnie is the reportedly adopted younger brother who
mostly gibberish no one understands.
plot is just that: basic. It seems as though the plot of the
is kept to a minimum in each episode and it also seems as though it
come with any major developments in the course of the series to this
point. It makes
one wonder if every episode for the rest of the series will feel
repetitive if not just simply the same. The first season seemed more
story and plot as the setting was changed regularly in addition
characters being properly developed or focused on. The characters make
series and the first season understood that element well.
(as it has been represented on this half-season collection) is nowhere
near as successful
at having varied storytelling. Instead, the writers seem to opt for an
increasingly generic approach of having Eliza help one animal after
regards to getting out of some kind of zany situation. The basic idea
bothersome, but it's the lack of distinctive elements to tie the
together that disappoints on some intrinsic level. It makes the series
difficult to view in marathon or multi-episode mode. Cartoons are often
of relying on formula to achieve a certain degree of success but once
as though the writers are simply yanking out a list and checking off a
set of ideas to reuse again and again - without some
differences - most of that original creative energy seems to become
may continue to be worth sharing with children but it might lack the
of repeated viewing or nostalgic fondness that made the first season
great value all around. The second set also contains a significantly
run-time with only thirteen episodes presented from the second season.
reason the series has shifted towards an entirely different model of
unexplained and sort of bizarre. The idea of releasing complete season
makes more sense for an already finished television series.
2, Part 1 set contains the following batch of season two episodes: Rebel
Without a Trunk, Pal Joey, Rain Dance, Darwin
Palace, Stick Your Neck Out, No Laughing Matter, Chimp
The Old Block, Koality and Kuantity, Chew If By Sea,
of the Teutons, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yeti, On The
and Polar Opposites.
presented on DVD in its
original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The series has surprisingly
to step-down in the picture quality department. While the first season
somewhat lacking in color-depth this set seems to try unsuccessfully
contrast to improve colors. The image ends up having a waxy-look that
and less pleasing than it was on the previous release. There are fewer
of grain, dirt, and other imperfections this time around but the
less sharp presentation will disappoint even as minor improvements were
made in other areas.
English Stereo Dolby 2.0 audio track is the same
quality as the first season set release. It never manages to be that
but it is an accurate representation of the sound design used for the
the time of its broadcast. The dialogue is easy to understand and that
important enough to make this an acceptable audio presentation for
aren't any extras at all on this release.
wasn't as much fun during these second
season episodes on this segmented box-set release. The series became
formulaic and the excitement and humor even felt a bit underdeveloped.
characters make this show. The writers almost seemed to forget that
aspect. Season 2, Part 1 has some good moments (some episodes
than a generally lackluster selection would indicate), but it doesn't
add up to
a great time. Rent It.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.