My Top Unanswered Questions About “The Wild Thornberrys”

As a child, I would watch this on TV. For those who didn’t grow up with this show, it focuses on a girl, named Eliza Thornberry, who travels around with her family via RV. Her special gift is that she can talk to animals. However, she must keep that a secret. Otherwise, she will lose that power.

Now I noticed some details that I don’t believe have been revealed. So, these are the questions that I still have and wonder about.

How do the wild animals Eliza talks to have names?

For some reason, certain animals Eliza speaks to have names. A couple of examples, excluding her chimpanzee companion, Darwin, are:

Akala, a cheetah,

Tally, a cheetah cub – the son of Akala

Colin, a dolphin

Which brings me to my next point – in the episode where Eliza and her family go to a beach in Australia, where people can swim with the dolphins, Eliza shouts for Colin when he goes missing. This contradicts the fact that she has to keep her ability to talk to animals secret.

You’d think someone would have asked her who Colin was. And it’s bizarre that she spoke to him around other people, yet kept her special gift.

Anyway, as an adult, it seems odd and unbelievable that some of the wildlife Eliza speaks to have names. Unless they previously lived in a zoo, this doesn’t make sense.

I guess this is a form of cartoon logic. Many cartoons portray situations and events that are not credible. This must be one of them. Oh, well.

What’s up with Eliza’s hair?

Aside from her high braids, which is kind of silly, her strands end between ¼ to ⅓ down the back of her head. The rest is just bare skin, as if she had a genetic condition where hair couldn’t grow there, or had shaved it off.

This is another strange way to design a cartoon character. However, I have noticed this on other animated characters.

An example would be Peter Griffin, from “Family Guy.” His hair only covers the top of his head, and the rest is also bare skin.

Okay – maybe this is another moment of cartoon logic.

Has the family ever tried to civilize Donnie?

Many of you probably know Eliza’s blood family names. For those who don’t, here they are:

Nigel – her father

Marianne – her mother 

Debbie – her older sister 

Then there is a feral child that they took in, named Donnie. Yet, he remains nonverbal and acts like a wild animal.

I recall a little bit of the special, “The Legend of Donnie.” However, I am pretty sure there is no mention of why Donnie was never civilized.

One possibility is that the Thornberrys tried to civilize him several times, but failed constantly – so they’d given up. Of course, I could be wrong.


New episodes of “The Wild Thornberrys” have not been made for nearly 20 years. I don’t think they will continue, nor do I believe there will be a reboot – I hope not. I feel like too many reboots and remakes are happening. But that’s a different topic.

What do you think of these questions and details?

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: