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The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002), PG
Analysis Date: December 20, 2002
CAP Score: 64
CAP Influence Density: 0.46
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THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE (PG) -- several positive features to the movie.
Production: Klasky-Csupo, Nickelodeon Movies, Paramount Pictures
Distribution: Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath
Producer(s): Eryk Casemiro, Gabor Csupo, Albie Hecht, Arlene Klasky, Julia Pistor, Hal Waite
Written by/Screenplay: Kate Boutilier, Gabor Csupo , Arlene Klasky, Steve Pepoon David Silverman, Stephen Sustarsic
Music: Randy Kerber, Drew Neumann, Brandy Norwood
Film Editing: John Bryant
Casting: Barbara Wright
Production Design: Dima Malanitchev
Remember, the CAP analysis model was designed around the influence of behaviors of live actors and actresses. It was discovered after development of the CAP model that it could be used on animated films *if* it is assumed that any animated behavior which can reasonably be duplicated by or subjected to a child may be treated as equivalent in influence and emboldenment to live action behavior.
Because of the threats to kill a child, the attempted murders of a child, twice [Matt. 18:10], and the plethora of disrespect for and arrogance toward parents [Eph. 6:1, Col. 3:20] in this children's movie, it earned a CAP score of 64, equivalent to a PG-13 in the comparative baseline database scoring range for PG-13 movies (55 to 67). A high PG-13 but PG-13 nonetheless. I know this sounds as if the CAP analysis model has gone off the deep end, but I did not write the Rules against disrespect of and rebellion against parents and I did not desensitize us toward the Rules. It may also be that since this is a cartoon, the creators took extra liberties with violence and with arrogance against parents, liberties not recognized by the MPAA.
Nigel and Marianne Thornberry (voices of Tim Curry and Jodi Carlisle) are in Africa to study and film a peculiar migration habit of a thousand elephants each time a solar eclipse happens. Accompanying mom and dad are daughter Eliza (voice of Lacey Chabert) and her snobby and vain older Valley Girl sister Debbie (voice of Danielle Harris) and brother Donnie (voice of Michael "Flea" Balzary). Eliza is happy to be in Africa with her family. Donnie is too young to care. Debbie is as out of her element as she can be and she makes certain everyone hears about it.
Eliza saves a tribal shaman from injury and possible death by a wild hog. In exchange for this act of bravery, the shaman gives Eliza the power to talk to animals -- to speak to them and understand them. Since a shaman is "a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc." [ref: Random House Webster's College Dictionary, ©1991], to say his power and the power he gave to Eliza are holy would be really stretching it. I wonder if there is any connection between "sham" and "shaman?" Remember, the source of the "magic" determines its holiness, not the use of it or the user.. And if the "magic" is not from God... [Deut. 18:10 - 12, Rev. 22:14-15, Rev. 21:8] A witch, diviner, soothsayer, sorcerer, etc., is precisely that no matter how s/he uses his/her "magic."
One of Eliza's friends is a professor-sounding chimpanzee (voice of Tom Kane) named, what else, Darwin. In keeping the with thrust of Darwinism, all the animals are as articulate and intelligent as humans. Each is even as experienced and practical as humans. Darwin reminds Eliza there is only 2% difference between his DNA and hers. Maybe there is only 2% difference between human and ape DNA, but it might as well be 200%. Apes are still not human. Never were. Never will be. And never were we apes *because* of that 2% difference. And that is as if DNA is the only thing that separates us from the apes. There is also that non-empirical entity called a soul which apes do not have. That God used similar design parameters in creating the physical host does not make us apes. Indeed, God placed us above all that moves on the planet. [Gen. 1:28]
By defying her parents, Eliza treks out on her own to converse and play with the animals. By promising to stay within certain boundaries, Eliza convinces a panther mother, Akela (voice of Alfre Woodard) to let her take Akela's three cubs and play. In Eliza's act of defiance not only of her parent's rules but of Akela's warning, poachers Bree and Sloan Blackburn (Marisa Tomei, Rupert Everett) capture one of the cubs. It is difficult indeed to effectively impress human personality characteristics on an animated character, but the filmmakers were quite successful at making the poachers exceptionally bitter and vicious. They even attempt to murder Eliza, twice, in this children's movie. Eliza even defied her parents when they sent her to boarding school for her own safety. She miraculously found resources to come back to Africa to continue her rescue of the panther cub. And in the process of saving the panther cub, Eliza saves a thousand elephants, too.
There are several positive features to the movie. One was racial brotherhood as a strong friendship is portrayed between Debbie and one of the tribal members. Others are for your discovery, mom/dad. But there are several counterproductive influences as well. Especially adolescent defiance or disrespect of parents [Prov. 8:13, Eph. 6:2]. Beware. As in most chldren's fare, the parents are doddering idiots. And all couched in a snuggly cartoon adventure with high appeal.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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Christian Media News
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|