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"The Wild Dewsburys Movie" is a 2009 American adult animated adventure comedy-drama film based on The Wild Dewsburys television series. The film follows Eliza Dewsbury, on her quest to rescue a baby cheetah cub named Tally from ruthless poachers. It was produced by 20th Century Fox and Klasky Csupo.

Plot

12-year-old Eliza Dewsbury plays with a family of cheetahs in East Africa after being left in charge of the cubs by their mother, Akela. When Eliza strays far from the cheetahs' home, one of the cheetah cubs, Tally, is kidnapped by poachers. Eliza is determined to save the cub, which prompts her grandmother Cordelia to bring her to a boarding school in London for her safety. Upon arriving, Eliza discovers that her pet chimpanzee, Darwin, stowed away in her suitcase. He attempts to blend in but gets both him and Eliza in trouble.

After having a dream in which Shaman Mnyambo tells her to save Tally, Eliza and Darwin return to Africa. While taking a train from Nairobi, they encounter an injured rhino, who was shot at the river by the same poachers who kidnapped Tally. They save the rhino with the help of veterinarians Bree and Sloan Blackburn. Meanwhile, Eliza's older sister Debbie is left alone with her feral adoptive younger brother Donnie at their RV, the Comvee, while their parents, Nigel and Marianne, go to film a solar eclipse at Tempo Valley. Eliza returns to the Comvee for supplies; after a small confrontation, Debbie pursues her, Darwin, and Donnie. Cordelia and her husband, Colonel Radcliffe, meet up with Nigel and Marianne to inform them of Eliza's escape, and they also begin searching for Eliza.

Darwin, Eliza, and Donnie meet a gorilla who mentions seeing people setting up a fence across Tempo Valley. Then, they run into the Blackburns again. Eliza concludes that the poachers are targeting the elephant herd traveling through the valley. Later, the trio finds Tally in the Blackburns' RV, exposing their true nature as poachers. The Blackburns capture them and reveal the fence is electrified. Meanwhile, Debbie meets a local boy named Boko, who is sent by his village elders to assist her. The two reach the Blackburns' RV, but Debbie is held hostage by Sloan after she reveals she is Eliza's sister. When Sloan threatens to kill Debbie if Eliza doesn't tell him how she found out their plan, Eliza admits it was because of her ability to talk to animals. A storm comes and takes away Eliza's powers while the Blackburns flee.

They reach Tempo Valley in time to see the elephant herd heading for the electric fence. When Eliza becomes doubtful of herself, Debbie reminds her that she has been helping animals long before gaining her powers, restoring her confidence. The Blackburns, riding a helicopter, order their men to set off explosives, forcing the elephants to charge toward the fence. Eliza triggers the fence's electricity prematurely, causing the herd to stop temporarily, and then convinces the lead elephant to turn around. Infuriated, Sloan grabs Eliza and throws her into a river. He then attempts to shoot the elephants, but they pull the Blackburns' helicopter out of the air by its rope ladder and destroy it as he and Bree fall. They survive but are arrested by rangers soon after as the eclipse ended. Eliza is saved by Shaman Mnyambo, who tells her she saved the elephants using her heart. As a reward, he gives her back her powers.

Eliza reunites with her family, who decide not to send her back to boarding school, while Boko returns to his village, keeping Debbie's watch as a memento. The Dewsburys return to the Savannah, where Eliza reunites Tally with his family. Debbie is angered when Eliza tells her that she will turn into a baboon if she reveals her secret, and in the process frightens a group of baboons Nigel and Marianne are filming. One of them activates the radio, which plays music that the Dewsburys and the baboons dance to.


Cast

  • Lacey Chabert as Elizabeth "Eliza" Dewsbury, an adventurous 12-year-old-girl who possesses the power to communicate with animals.
  • Tim Curry as Nigel Dewsbury, Eliza's father who runs a nature television show. Curry also voices Col. Radcliffe Thornberry, Nigel's father and Eliza's grandfather.
  • Jodi Carlisle as Marianne Dewsbury, Nigel's American-born wife and the director/camera operator, as well as Eliza's mother.
  • Danielle Harris as Deborah "Debbie" Dewsbury, Eliza's 16-year-old sister.
  • Michael "Flea" Balzary as Donald Michael "Donnie" Dewsbury, Debbie and Eliza's feral, adopted 5-year-old brother.
  • Tom Kane as Darwin Dewsbury, a chimpanzee and Eliza's best friend.
  • Lynn Redgrave as Cordelia Jasmin McGold Dewsbury, Nigel's snobbish mother and Eliza's grandmother.
  • Rupert Everett as Sloan Blackburn, Bree's poacher co-leader and husband.
  • Marisa Tomei as Bree Blackburn, Sloan's poacher co-leader and wife.
  • Brock Peters as Jomo Alfre Woodard as Akela, the cheetah mother of Tally.
  • Kimberly Brooks as Tally, one of Akela's cubs.
  • Cree Summer as Phaedra, the elephant Eliza is riding at the start of the film.
  • Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Fairgood, the no-nonsense teacher at Lady Beatrice's boarding school.
  • Obba Babatundé as Boko, a native boy Debbie runs into later on.
  • Kevin Michael Richardson as Shaman Mnyambo, a mystic who grants Eliza her powers.
  • Melissa Gresspan as Sarah Wellington, Eliza's snobby roommate at Lady Beatrice's.
  • Tara StrongHynden Walch, and Mae Whitman as the schoolgirls
  • Roger L. Jackson as Reggie (an English red squirrel) and Thunder (a Scottish clydesdale)
  • John Kassir and Charles Shaughnessy as the Squirrels
  • Jeff Coopwood as Park Ranger Tim
  • Billy Brown as the Rhino
  • Keith Szarabajka as a poacher
  • Earl Boen as the Gorilla

Reception

Box office

It opened in the box office in the United States on January 23, 2009, and finished at #6 for the weekend, with only $6 million for 3,012 theaters, for an average of only $1,997 per venue.

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