Nickelodeon’s The Wild Thornberrys—Eliza, Nigel, Maryanne, Donny, Darwin, and Debbie—have returned once again for another season of globetrotting adventures. After seeing the previous season chopped into three separate volumes, Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have released season three in its entirety to audiences as it should be. This last of Nickelodeon’s great classic Nicktoons is on cruise control in its third season as it offers more lessons about different cultures, about geography, and life lessons, as well as laughs. It offers just as much enjoyment for audiences of all ages as the show’s previous two seasons. One change that is noticeable here is the inclusion of Eliza’s cousin Tyler. Tyler joins the cast in the season’s third episode, ‘Tyler Tuck, I Presume.’ After having two seasons of sisterly conflicts between Eliza and Debbie, Tyler’s introduction added a nice new dynamic to the Thornberry family. All of this along with the show’s continued animation standard combine to make The Wild Thornberrys Season Three another welcome addition to any “Nicktoons Nostalgic’s” home DVD library.
When it first started out in 1998, The Wild Thornberrys did something that no other cartoon at its time was doing. At least this was the case with mainline cartoons. What it did was it entertained at the same time that it educated. It taught the importance of geography and biological diversity through the family’s adventures. The use of a locator on a map to set the scene taught about the different locations of countries across the globe. The stories themselves taught about the different flora and fauna of each region by having Eliza have to help the different animals from different situations. The manner in which the show’s writers executed this educational content was genius. It was done covertly, thus not even letting on to viewers that it was actually educating them. This same standard has been carried into the show’s third season. It’s nice to see that the show’s creators and writers maintained this core standard once again. It’s just the tip of the iceberg in what makes Season Three so enjoyable.
The educational content carried into Season Three is just the starting point of what makes The Wild Thornberrys Season Three such a joy. Another factor that made this season as enjoyable as the shwo’s first two seasons is its valuable life lessons and lessons of cultural diversity. One of the most valuable life lessons taught in Season Three is the simplest of lessons. It is the lesson of the importance of family. That lesson is taught in the holiday themed episode, ‘A Family Tradition.’ Eliza and Debbie learn the importance and value of family when they are given the chance to return to the United States to spend Thanksgiving with their grandmother, Sophie (voiced by veteran actress Betty White—Hot in Cleveland, Golden Girls). As is the tradition with holiday themed episodes of TV shows everything turns out well in the end. Those that have yet to see this episode, will have to find out just how it all plays out when they pick up this new box set themselves or order it online at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.
Audiences will appreciate the lessons of cultural diversity just as much as the life lessons contained throughout each episode of Season Three. One of the best examples of an episode that teaches this lesson is the episode, ‘Spirited Away.’ The Thornberrys travel to Mexico in this episode right as the people there are celebrating the famed Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Viewers learn through this episode, the traditions of the Day of the Dead and of the Mexican people. And of course, what Thornberrys episode would be complete without Debbie having to chase down Donnie yet again? The continued antics of Donnie provide plenty of laughs for viewers, making each episode complete. What’s more, this episode also offers a little bit of a kid friendly ghost story that will leave viewers more with a warm feeling than that of fear. It’s one more episode out of so many this season that makes Season Three even more enjoyable for fans seeing this season for the first time and for the first time again.
As evidenced already, The Wild Thornberrys remains enjoyable this season thanks to the fact that it continues to do what made it successful all along. This also includes the original animation style established from early in the show’s life. The Wild Thornberrys was just one of many cartoons created by Klasky-Csupo. And while it was just one of a handful of cartoons crafted by the company, its animation was only slightly similar to the studio’s other creations. The studio’s art department managed to continue establishing the show’s identity through its animation in Season Three. And as slight as it is, one can see that the animation has been honed a little bit more this season. The outlines of the characters, animals, and general scenery are more defined. It’s just slight enough to maintain the more rough style established from the show’s beginning. It’s just one more factor that, along with the continued wise packaging of the set, makes Season Three even more worth adding to any fan’s DVD rack. The Wild Thornberrys Season Three is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/217077.
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