Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Wild Thornberrys Movie

MPAA Rating: PG for some adventure peril
Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family
Genre:
Family Animated Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
2002
The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Starring voices of Lynn Redgrave, Marisa Tomei, Brenda Blethyn, Alfre Woodard, Rupert Everett | Directed by: Jeff McGrath, Cathy Malkasian | Produced by: Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, Paul Germain | Written by: Kate Boutilier | Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Viewer Comments
Positive
Positive—I really liked this movie. I went to see it with my mother (65) and my nephew (7) and we all enjoyed it immensely. If you are familiar with the Thornberry’s television show, you will already be familiar with the wonderful cast—and you will not be disappointed. They whole film is packed and very funny (wait until you meet Nigel’s parents—what a hoot!).

As a Christian, I was pleased that there was no language or sexuality added for that “Hollywood” touch. some of the action is a bit intense (waterfalls, evil poachers, etc.). But, the only thing that I found really disturbing was that Eliza’s gift for communicating with the animal world was bestowed on her by a pagan shaman, not by God. Some of you may decide that this is a just cause for panning the movie, but I believe that it could also be a wonderful teaching moment.

A large part of the world’s population are devotee’s of some form of animism or another, and this would be a good time to address what it is, why it isn’t ordained by God, etc. Other than that some of the action is going to be too intense for really little ones. You know your kids best, so unless they are mature enough to handle some pretty nasty poachers, and their evil schemes, you might want to put this one on hold until they are a little older.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Mary Beth, age 40
Positive—We took our 8 and 6 year old to see the movie. Overall, it was fine. The message favors care for what God has provided for our stewardship. Animals have feelings, we need to treat them with respect. For the most part the message is very good. The main charactor received her power to speak with the animals from a Shamun which brings in the new age focus, not biblical. The link between the new age influence of talking to the animals was missed by my kids, but older youth may want to explore this “power” which can be a concern.

Otherwise the parents are treated favorably in the story as were the grandparents. The only let down was the animation of the film. I sat wishing that those who created Spirit would have been involved with this film,
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Brad Stevens, age 41
Positive—I took my 6 year old and he loved the movie. We had not watched the series on tv. I also enjoyed the movie. The only thing I found offensive was the use of magical powers to talk to animals and the older sister has a nasty attitude at times. The movie did have some scenes with wild animals that would be scary for smaller children. It was an action filled movie.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Rhonda, age 33
Positive—This was an entertaining movie with little violence and no profanity. I didn’t think that was possible. Kids will learn the importance of being good stewards of the animal kingdom. They will also learn the importance of a supportive mom, dad, grandparents and sister.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Mark L. Gilliam, age 41
Movie Critics
…MESSAGE: The power of the heart is the strongest. Sometimes rules should be broken when we’re trying to protect someone…
—Kids-in-Mind
…Her love and respect for the animal kingdom is sure to plant a seed of environmental awareness, and her devotion to her parents and siblings are heartfelt…
—Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Arizona Republic
…refreshingly calm and good-spirited…
—Paul West, Seattle Post-Intelligencer