Check out the costumes guides for Nickelodeon’s animated television series, The Wild Thornberrys. Officially premiering in 1998, the series follows the lives of a nomadic family, the Thornberrys, as they host and film wildlife documentaries. The show primarily focuses on the daughter, Eliza, as she hides her ability to talk to animals while on adventures with her family traveling the world. Dress like the animal lover Eliza Thornberry or her eccentric, nature-loving father, Nigel. With each of the step-by-step costume guides, you can bring this wild family to life at your next [Halloween] costume party.
Eliza’s father, Nigel Thornberry, narrates and hosts “Nigel Thornberry’s Wild World” where he teaches viewers about wild animals and their natural habitats. As a British naturalist, he has devoted his life to studying nature and has a thirst for adventure. He totes his family around in their ComVee (communications vehicle) that they also live in. Nigel is best known for his strange voice and striking facial features. Paired with his bright red hair and mustache, Nigel certainly makes for a quirky character. Of course, no recreation of Nigel Thornberry would be complete without using his famous tagline, “smashing!”
The 11-year-old protagonist, Eliza Thornberry, gains the unique ability to talk to animals when saving an African shaman from a trap. Fulfilling her wish to be able to speak to animals, the shaman grants Eliza her power. Like her father, Eliza has a passion for adventure, which often gets her into trouble as she tries to befriend every animal she encounters. However, Eliza struggles to keep her power a secret. She knows that if her secret gets out, Eliza may lose her unique ability forever. Luckily, she can speak to Darwin, her pet chimpanzee, about her struggles. This ability is helpful as they go on adventures around the world, saving animals from various threats like poachers, trappers, or other dangerous situations.
Embark on a wild adventure with our “The Wild Thornberrys” FAQ section, dedicated to fans of the adventurous family that travels the world in their Comvee, documenting wildlife and experiencing cultures far from the beaten path. Whether you’re aiming to capture Eliza Thornberry’s curious spirit, Nigel Thornberry’s enthusiastic nature, or any other member of this unique family, we’ll guide you through creating costumes that embody the essence of the show for cosplay events, Halloween, or any themed gathering that calls for a touch of exploration and the extraordinary.
To cosplay as Eliza Thornberry, focus on her outdoorsy and practical attire: a yellow dress, often worn over a long-sleeve orange shirt, with knee-high socks and sturdy hiking boots. Eliza’s round glasses, freckles, and red pigtails are key features that capture her appearance. Carrying a toy binoculars or a notepad and pen to jot down her observations of wildlife will enhance the authenticity of your costume. Embodying Eliza’s curious, brave, and compassionate demeanor, along with her ability to communicate with animals, will bring depth to your portrayal.
For a Nigel Thornberry costume, his signature look includes a khaki safari shirt with rolled-up sleeves, brown shorts, and tall socks paired with brown shoes. Nigel’s distinct bushy mustache, along with his wild, orange hair, are essential to capturing his character. Using makeup to add exaggerated eyebrows and carrying a toy camcorder or camera can mimic his role as a wildlife documentarian. Adopting Nigel’s booming voice and enthusiastic personality, often punctuated with his memorable “Smashing!” exclamation, will enhance your portrayal.
To cosplay as Debbie Thornberry, opt for her grunge-inspired 90s look: a green tank top under a plaid shirt, with flared jeans and combat boots. Debbie’s long blonde hair, often styled with a headband, and her bored or exasperated expressions capture her teenage angst. Including accessories like a portable CD player or headphones and a sarcastic attitude will bring authenticity to your Debbie costume, showcasing her reluctance to be part of her family’s wild adventures.
A Darwin costume requires a bit more creativity to capture his chimpanzee features. Start with a brown bodysuit or comfortable brown clothing. Adding faux fur in strategic areas like the arms, legs, and around the face can help achieve a chimpanzee look. A red baseball cap, worn backwards, is essential to Darwin’s character. Crafting facial features using makeup or a mask to resemble Darwin’s expressive face will complete the costume. Embodying Darwin’s sophisticated and slightly nervous personality, along with his loyalty to Eliza, will make for a convincing portrayal.
Including memorable quotes from “The Wild Thornberrys” can add character and fun to your costume or themed interactions. Here are a few iconic lines:
“This is me, Eliza Thornberry, part of your average family.” – Eliza Thornberry
“Smashing!” – Nigel Thornberry
“I’m a teenager. I have issues.” – Debbie Thornberry
“I can’t believe I’m related to these people.” – Debbie Thornberry, often in response to her family’s antics
“Absolutely smashing!” – Nigel Thornberry, in awe of the natural world
Choose quotes that fit your character and the situation, practicing their delivery with the appropriate tone and enthusiasm for a truly immersive experience.
The Wild Thornberrys premiered in 1998, introducing a new type of animated series that centers around a nomadic family as they film a wildlife documentary. The series follows daughter, Eliza Thornberry, who can talk to her pet chimpanzee, Darwin. The family goes on adventures exotic throughout the world. Eliza’s father, Nigel, stars in their wildlife documentaries. Eliza’s mother, Marianna, works behind the scenes filming and editing. Throughout their journey searching for rare and exciting wildlife, the family finds themselves saving animals from people who wish to destroy them.
While Eliza keeps her unique ability to talk to animals a secret from her parents, her teenage sister, Debbie, is fully aware. If either of the sisters speaks of the extraordinary power, Eliza risks the power being taken away from her. Throughout the series, Eliza uses this power to save animals from various threats, like poachers and teaches us how animals and humans can live together in harmony.