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Eliza Thornberry is not your ordinary kid. It's not just because she travels the world in an RV with her parents Nigel and Marrianne, famous nature show hosts. Eliza is doubly unique because she was granted the magical ability to talk with and understand animals. Together with her teen-age sister Debbie, her pet monkey Darwin, and her wild-boy foster brother Donnie, Eliza gets involved with many different wildlife (and wild adventures). Written by
[opening lines to every episode]
This is me, Eliza Thornberry, part of your average family. I've got a dad, a mom, and a sister. There is Donnie - we found him. And Darwin, he found us. Oh yeah, about our house - it moves, because we travel all over the world. You see, my dad hosts this nature show, and my mom shoots it. Okay, so we're not that average. And between you and me, something amazing happened... and now I can talk to animals. It's really cool, but totally secret. And you know what? ...
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Smart, funny, gets kids thinking about nature and wildlife. All in all, awesome!
Admittedly, I may be slightly biased because of my love for animals, but for what it's worth, I think this is a great show. I registered on IMDb just so I could add my positive review to the mix. I can't come to terms with the people who dismiss this cartoon or its protagonist. People write Eliza off and bill her as irritating, and then add "also, she's ugly." I can't help but feel that some shallow-minded individuals call her irritating simply because they don't like the way she looks. This is a kids' show. Should kids' shows teach that you need to be pretty in order to be accepted? I hope we can all answer with an emphatic "no." Eliza is a kid herself, with glasses and braces. Did you look like a supermodel at the age of twelve? I didn't then and don't now. If anything, I feel that kids are able to connect better with a character that is "real." I certainly did at that age. She makes mistakes, she does act bratty from time to time, but her passion for wildlife and her love for her friends and family are real.
I have the whole show on my computer and I still enjoy watching it. There are loads of funny bits to make you laugh, and while the pedantic biologist side of me notices the erroneous things rather quickly (the Great Crested Grebe sounding exactly like a peacock, Eliza's mention of "alligators in the Congo," the jaguars presented as social cats, etc.), it is really clear that they tried to be accurate and faithful to reality. Aside from small things like that, which most kids I'm sure wouldn't notice, this show is pretty educational. If you were like me as a kid, you would be delighted that some of these animals your parents don't know about are the star of the latest episode, and if you didn't know about an animal, well, the show served to reveal them to you. If it sparks a child's interest in nature/science, it's well worth it. People who relate to Eliza and understand why she gets excited to be out in the jungle befriending wild animals will smile all the way through The Wild Thornberrys. People who don't like animals, well, this might not be the subject matter you're looking for. Maybe it is more niche than I realise, but that doesn't make it bad.
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