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  • Doctor Dolittle (1998)

    I was surprised to see this movie got such a low rating—it's not so bad. Oh, for sure it's not so great, either. But Eddie Murphy alone makes it something worth watching (he's one of the few perfect-pitch comedians out there). And the story, a 1920 classic for children, is something of its own.

    What falls apart is the slightly pushy sentimentalism and the generally mediocre secondary cast. That might be enough to push it into mediocrity, for sure, but it's not meant to be a deep classic, and it plays with the story nicely.

    That story is not just about a doctor (of the human type) who can hear animals talking. It's more about how society condemns hims and tries to help him with psycho-care. His bland wife (with the gorgeous eyes that get overplayed) is typical of his "friends," all nice people with distractions and no time for the possibility that he might, in fact, hear animals talk.

    The talking animals are of course great fun, from the rats to the tiger. This is the part of the movie that is meant to appeal across the board, and it does, including its good special effects. The feeling of family, not dysfunctional, is another bit of warmth, not to mention that the family is African American, a nice twist on the original story based on an English doctor.

    And though the movie was not liked by critics, it has made a third of a billion dollars, which speaks for itself. Not a masterpiece, and not even a classic, it still has wonderful aspects including a very wonderful basic concept.
  • OK, so "Doctor Dolittle" is mostly stuff that would only appeal to little kids, but it is worth seeing (I've actually never seen the original version, which I heard was a pathetic excuse for a movie). Eddie Murphy is, in my opinion, trounced in the movie by Chris Rock as the out-of-control hamster. I almost wish that they could have had more scenes with both Eddie Murphy and Ossie Davis (yes, Ossie Davis went so far as to take a role in this movie).

    So, this movie's nothing special, but pretty funny nonetheless. Also starring Oliver Platt, Peter Boyle, Richard Schiff, and the voices of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres (who would later co-star as the voices in "Finding Nemo").
  • John Dolittle was a worrying child – his father always caught him pretending to talk to animals and eventually had to get him to stop it. As an adult, his gift is long forgotten until he hits a dog with his car and hears it talk to him. When he realises that he is not going crazy and he can talk to them he is suddenly inundated with animals to treat, his family is falling apart and his business partners think their whole business is at risk.

    Eddie Murphy basically rebuild his career around a couple of big comedy remakes which relied on humour and effects. Here the humour consists of good lines and the effects the animatronic animals. The plot is the weakest point of the film and, although it has a basic story, it never really involves or becomes important. Supporting the film then is some funny lines (rather than consistent jokes) from the animal support cast – whether it be main characters (Rodney the hamster) or quick one-liners (`I am Kyser Soze').

    The effects are surprisingly ropey – they look good but they don't move naturally and the cuts between the real animals and the puppets are very clear. The support cast basically carry the movie and save it from being pretty dire stuff. Rock, Brooks, MacDonald, Leguizamo, Shandling etc all do good work and their dialogue basically consists of one-liners rather than anything else. Beside this the adult cast look like straight men. Murphy is quite dull and even the likes of Platt and Boyle (who usually do OK in small roles) have little to do.

    Overall this is fun to watch simply because of the support cast and the regular sharp lines of dialogue from the animals. However, look for any more than that and you'll be disappointed.
  • `Doctor Dolittle'. ***. (1998, USA, PG-13, 85 min. Directed by Betty Thomas with Edie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, Richard Schiff, Kristen Wilson, Kyla Pratt). John Dolittle (Murphy) can talk to the animals and they can talk to him. At least he/they could when he was a kid. His dad thought he was nuts and though the use of an exorcist and some stern fatherly persuasion John looses or suppresses his talent/curse. When we next see John, he is Dr. Dolittle, M.D, happily married, father of two girls. He's a respected partner in a very successful medical practice and is about to become very rich. He and his partners are about to sell to an HMO. Everything seems to be going great until Dr. Dolittle almost gets into a car accident with a dog. A bump on his head brings back the voices. Is he going nuts, are life's stresses too much, or does Dr. John just need to find his inner child?

    The rest is a rather silly man-gets-in-touch-with-soul type movie, except for the animals. They have all the good lines. There's the lascivious German shepherd that can't control himself even when he's pleading his reformation on the way to being clipped. The pigeon couple; she's a nag, he's a wimp. There are the quarreling rats, the neurotic terrier, the tiger, and of course Lucky, the dog Dr. Dolittle hit in the car accident. To his credit Murphy let's the animals have their say while he plays straight man to their lines. One other thing about Murphy's acting; Dr. Dolittle is not the least bit comfortable around animals. When Dr. Dolittle has to catch daughter Maya's (Pratt) guinea pig, he holds it in a folded pillow so he doesn't have to touch it. (Having similar feelings about pets, I was amused by Dr. Dolittle's behavior around animals.) What's funny about this is, apparently Murphy wasn't acting. But this all added up to a fun movie. I recommend it.
  • This version of "Doctor Dolittle" came into stores back when I was twelve years old, which was when I first saw it. I think I liked it a lot at the time, and watched it again a few months later. After many years, I just decided to check it out again. Since I'm obviously not as easily amused as I was when I was twelve, and was aware that it generally wasn't considered that great, I didn't have very high expectations. Afterwards, however, I certainly can't say that I think it's as bad as some do.

    During his childhood, John Dolittle talks to animals. It seems that he can understand them, and they can understand him, but when his dad sees this, he thinks it's ridiculous. After John's dog is taken away, he is obviously not happy, and stops talking to animals for a long time. When he grows up, he becomes a physician, and has a wife and two daughters. It seems that Dr. Dolittle's communication with animals is long gone, but one night, after he nearly runs over a dog on the road, he hears it say something! Now, his childhood ability has come back, and soon, he finds many different types of creatures following him around! How will people be able to believe that he actually has this remarkable gift, and that it's not just a mental illness, as one would probably assume?!

    As you would probably expect, this movie has its fair share of lame jokes (such as a rat farting), and like you've probably already heard, the movie would overall appeal more to kids than anyone else. However, certainly not all of the gags are lame. During my most recent viewing, I wouldn't have been surprised if I had kept a straight face through the entire thing, but that's not what happened. I found no huge laughs in the film, but there were several times when I smiled and snickered. I also found that the story gets suspenseful to some degree towards the end. Eddie Murphy's performance is also a highlight. Some of the voice-overs for the animals are silly, maybe the majority of them, but this isn't much of a problem.

    For kids, this movie could be very funny, though it is somewhat crude at times, remember the PG-13 rating. So, I don't know how appropriate for kids it is (that's for parents to decide). For adults, and probably adolescents, this version of "Doctor Dolittle" is certainly nothing special. It could be mildly amusing, if you don't mind extreme silliness and crude toilet humour, but there's probably also a fair chance that you would find it absolutely revolting (I think some clearly have). Without a doubt, this movie is pretty cheesy, and skipping it wouldn't be a great loss for most people, but it's certainly not one that I advise everyone to avoid at all costs (though that would probably be a good idea for some people).
  • I have seen a fair few comparisons to the 1967 film with Rex Harrison, now I saw the 1967 film as a kid and kind of liked it but it is something I need to re-watch. This film is basically a remake, minus the songs, and while it isn't brilliant and no masterpiece in any shape or form, it does have its good things. The film's plot is very slight, and the script has its weak spots while having some funny ones as well. And there is sometimes uneven pacing and direction. But it is nicely filmed, and the music is nice enough. The acting was also pretty good. Eddie Murphy does a serviceable job as John Dolittle, his role is not really like the ones he had in Beverly Hills Cop or Trading Places which also happens to two of his better movies, but he does well, and I will say he has been worse and he's been in worse films too. Kyla Pratt looks lovely and acts nicely as Maya, and Ossie Davis is good as well. The voice cast carry the picture as the animals who (along with the above average effects) steal the show. Consisting of the likes of Garry Shandling, John Leguizamo and Gilbert Gottfried they do great jobs, however Oliver Platt and Peter Boyle have little to do. Overall, a nice watch but nothing exceptional. 6/10 Bethany Cox
  • I've always thought Eddie Murphy did comedy better than action, but now I have to add honesty and integrity to his repetoire. He does such a wonderful family film here that it's almost hard to believe he got his start on Saturday Night Live. The mere concept of talking with the animals is created quite believably in the film even though you have to consider the detail that would go into such a feat actually existing. Considering the sheer diversity of the animal kingdom and the limited scope of animals to rationalize, Murphy as Dolittle would have to have considerable telepathic and clairvoyant prowess as well the data-crunching power of a computer in order to decipher instantly the motivations and inclinations of two to three animals at one time as well as come up with the human equivalent of the animal's personality. The concept of animals conversing inter-species wise would have to involve some sort of Mother Earth Theory that all animals wild and domesticated are linked by a central innate consciousness. That said, this movie is quite enjoyable despite the theories and examination it entails. Actress Kristen Wilson as Murphy's wife is a very lovely presence to the movie and former child actress Raven-Symone is becoming a lovely young actress herself far removed from that annoyingly unbearable kid she played on The Cosby Show. The rest of the cast are second stringers to the animal cast whose voices are brought to life by the vocal talents of Norm MacDonald, Julie Kavner, John Leguizamo, Garry Shandling, Jenna Elfman, Gilbert Gottfried and sounding eerily like James Belushi, Albert Brooks. This is one wonderful movie that belongs in your video collection at home.
  • This is really an everage run of the mill kids movie based losely on the the Doctor Dolittle film. Eddie Murphy plays the doctor who finds that he can comminicate with all animals.This leads to every type of animal coming to him for help for their medical problems. The Special affects are not very special but i'm sure a lot of kids would love this film. There are a few funny one liners that will go straight over childrens heads and that are quite funny but all in all this film is just plain OK. 6 out of 10.
  • Continuing my plan to watch every Eddie Murphy movie in order, I come to Doctor Doolittle (1998)

    Plot In A Paragraph: A doctor discovers he can talk to animals.

    Again I watched this one with my girlfriends daughter. Again we had fun watching it. I'm actually amazed at the rating this got, due to some of its humour. Kids tend to love bodily function humour, and she is no exception. I have not decided if I will permanently add it to my collection, but I certainly enjoyed myself, and have worse movies in my collection. All in all, it's a decent family movie.

    A few of the animals are voiced by celebs Rocky (Chris Rock) Jacob the Tiger (Albert Brooks) and one of the rats (John Leguizamo) all stand out. Sadly so did the annoying Gilbert Gottfried. Check out a nod to Rocky 3 below.

    Dr Doolittle grossed $144 Million at the domestic box office to end the year the 6th highest grossing movie of 1998. Against all odds, Murphy had totally reinvented himself. The brash, vulgar comedian from the early to mid 80's was gone. He was a guy who starred with animals and kids in family friendly movies. Strange to get used to as a fan of his earlier work. But it worked. There's an entire generation that only knows this Murphy. The guy from the family films.
  • SnoopyStyle18 December 2013
    Dr. John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) can talk to the animals. He used to talk to his dog as a kid, but his father forced him to stop and sent away his dog. He has denied his ability ever since, and is now a family man and a doctor. Then he starts hearing voices from animals.

    Norm MacDonald does a great voice as the dog. It would be better to have a buddy comedy with the dog. Eddie Murphy has good chemistry with him. The other outstanding voicework is Chris Rock who does the gerbil Rodney.

    It's a generally a nice family movie with some crude humor. It works on that level. Just don't expect more. The potty humor may offend the parents, but there isn't anything to be concerned about.
  • stirred_mind13 May 2000
    Why do people dislike Doctor Dolittle? I love it! It is entertaining, hilarious and has great special effects. Doctor Dolittle is a must-see for 1998!

    John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) had a gift that he could talk to animals when he was younger. When a dog called Lucky calls him 'Bone-head' one day, he remembers that special gift. Now he has a tiger to help, a family to look after, a guinea pig to rock with and an alcoholic monkey to cure.

    Doctor Dolittle is great. Look out for the voice of Chris Rock as he hilarious hamster!!

    My rating : 10/10. GREAT FUN!
  • m_madhu23 September 2001
    eddie murphy is incredibly funny again. the animals are funnier still. infact the whole thing is so believable and has the magical quality that makes a kids' movie so endearign.

    so why the low rating? cos its so very crude!!! too crude for a kids & family movie. even when u laugh, u feel guilty about it, esp. when kids are around.

    heres a good story gone bad, sadly part 2 is worse. would have been a brilliant movie in the hands of disney.

    maybe disney should be given the monopoly on kids' movies on a platter. or maybe along with dreamworks, theyve been real good too, so far :) 20th century fox should stick catering to adults.

    an average 5
  • Here we go again: Hollywood "modernizing" a comedy by adding tons of sleaze to a nice story and a film that was first made 30 years prior to this. There is no excuse for all the inappropriate words and sexual innuendos that are in this "family film." Give me a break! That fact that it's rated PG-13 ought to tell you something.

    Comedy is about the only genre of film making that I think has gone way downhill since the classic era. It's like the stand-up comics: we've gone from clean, clever material to raunchy.

    The fact that Eddie Murphy and (the voice of) Chris Rock play major roles kind of give you a hint of where this film goes morally. This is a famous kids story and I'm sure many parents took their children to see this film....and were totally embarrassed. If it was advertised as an adult movie: fine, I would have no problems with it. But that's not the case, and so it's a disgusting sham, typical of low-life Hollywood.

    In addition to the onslaught of language (which includes Jesus's name in vain three times among the other offenses) and fecal matter/fart jokes, the film basically wasn't that funny to begin with It's also not a shock, either, when you discover that Betty Thomas directed this film. This is the same woman who the year before directed "Private Parts," the story of shock jock Howard Stern.

    As another reviewer aptly put it, "Come back, Rex Harrison. All is forgiven!"
  • g-bodyl29 February 2008
    Dr.Dolittle is a nice family movie, but I would not recommend this to people expecting something hilarious like Big Daddy. Dr. Dolittle, played by Eddie Murphy, is a doctor who can hear the voices of animals. Eventually, he becomes a animal doctor and he must save a few animals. Overall, this film is not really funny, but it had a few laughs. The idea(or remake)of this film was great. The acting was good, but not great. Eddie Murphy was alright, but Chris Rock rocked as the guinea pig. There is no original music score, but there are a couple upbeat songs. The only reason I saw this film because I saw the sequel to the film before this. There were only a couple major disappointments, but not many. I rate this film a 7/10.
  • peacham20 September 1999
    This movie was a total disgrace to Hugh Lofting and to Sir Rex Harrison's original portrayal. Where is Puddlby- on-Marsh? Where is England in the 1840s? And most of all, where is the charm. if murphy wanted to make this movie why call it dr. doolittle? this film is about as close to dr. doolittle as Hamlet is to Die Hard !
  • Dr. Dolittle was funny. It made some jokes that really made me laugh but others I was like kind of confused from. There are corny little jokes though. Like Lucky the dog and those little mice or rats or whatever were kind of corny or just had corny lines. I did like them though, they were pretty funny. I actually liked the mice better in the second one. Eddie Murphy was good in it, not his best but was definitely worth starrring in it. I don't think anyone could've played his part any better than he could, well maybe Bill Murray could've been a Dr. Doliitle but I already liked those characters. The old sister that's in That's So Raven is very pretty. A good film to look at.

    7/10
  • Unfortunately, it was rated PG-13. But with today's parents, I don't think that bothers them. It should. PG-13 is not for toddlers. ANYWAY-Dr. Dolittle is one film I can say should have gotten a PG rating, so I would recommend it for kids. Adults, stay clear, unless you want a few throw in hidden jokes. 2/5 stars-

    JOHN ULMER
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Doctor Dolittle is a 1998 family comedy starring Eddie Murphy who plays the title charcther who isn't like many doctors as he can talk to them since they can talk to him. He later befriends a dog named Lucky and his wife Lisa(Kirsten Wilson) thinks his nuts due to his gift with talking to animals at a young age.

    Will anyone believe him?

    Overall I always enjoyed this film having been a fan of Eddie Murphy since I was a kid and no matter what film he is in he always cracks me up Like Jim Carrey and the late Robin Williams. If Like me you love animals then this is for you.

    Very underrated film.
  • Released in 1998 and directed by Betty Thomas, "Dr. Dolittle" is a family comedy starring Eddie Murphy as a doctor in San Francisco who re-encounters a curious talent he had as a child, the ability to understand the speech of animals. Kristen Wilson plays his wife while Oliver Platt and Richard Schiff are on hand as his colleagues. Peter Boyle plays a businessman who wants to buy their practice.

    With Eddie Murphy and talking animals, I expected "Dr. Dolittle" to be better than it is. It's okay; there are some fun moments, but it never rises above decent. Kids should like it though.

    The film runs 85 minutes and was shot in San Francisco, Busch Gardens and San Bernardino National Forest, California.

    GRADE: C+ or B- (5.5/10)
  • kairingler5 July 2013
    Eddie Murphy was hilarious in this movie,, I like the little back-story where they show how he learned to talk to the animals when he was a little kid. all of the animal characters were just delightful. like the idea of the little camping trip and stuff for him to get away from it all and try to think things thru. he has to convince his family that he is not totally crazy, at first he doesn't wanna believe that he can actually talk to animals, and for the longest time he tries to deny it.. but as the film slowly progresses he has a special gift, and that he can help animals especially when they are sick and need medical attention.. this is a great movie from Walt Disney, and they seem to be getting better and better every time a new one comes out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Dolittle has a beautiful wife at his side, two adorable daughters and a career that could not go better.

    One night, he runs over a dog with his car. The dog yells at him and disappears. From then on, his ability is back, communicating with animals.

    Soon, animals flock to his place to get medical advice. But his colleagues suspect he's going mad, and as the clinic he works for is being taken over for a huge amount of money, many decisions have to be made.....

    Murphy had a career resurgence with The Nutty Professor, so this is pay dirt for him and the film makers to remake another beloved classic with a little bit of innuendo and the classic Murphy schtick, but make it a little more icky this time.

    And the results are really mixed.

    On the one hand, Murphy is his usual watchable self, and the animals are funny for a little while.

    The big problem is the script, animals can only be funny if they have something funny to say, and the majority of the time they don't, so we have to rely on silly accents or Chris Rock being over the top and shouting to give us chuckles, and it wears thin very soon.

    This also marks the point in Murphys career where he just went straight for family fodder, so I theory, its to blame for the non swearing Murphy we get now.

    For kids under eight, it'll be the funniest thing ever, for others, not so much...
  • mriley8418 February 2012
    During his childhood, John Dolittle talks to animals. It seems that he can understand them, and they can understand him, but when his dad sees this, he thinks it's ridiculous. After John's dog is taken away, he is obviously not happy, and stops talking to animals for a long time. When he grows up, he becomes a physician, and has a wife and two daughters. It seems that Dr. Dolittle's communication with animals is long gone, but one night, after he nearly runs over a dog on the road, he hears it say something! Now, his childhood ability has come back, and soon, he finds many different types of creatures following him around! How will people be able to believe that he actually has this remarkable gift, and that it's not just a mental illness, as one would probably assume?! As you would probably expect, this movie has its fair share of lame jokes (such as a rat farting), and like you've probably already heard, the movie would overall appeal more to kids than anyone else. However, certainly not all of the gags are lame. During my most recent viewing, I wouldn't have been surprised if I had kept a straight face through the entire thing, but that's not what happened. I found no huge laughs in the film, but there were several times when I smiled and snickered. I also found that the story gets suspenseful to some degree towards the end. Eddie Murphy's performance is also a highlight. Some of the voice-overs for the animals are silly, maybe the majority of them, but this isn't much of a problem.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Eddie Murphy is a classic and this movie is just so him: he is fast talking animals and other people trying to convince them that he is not mad even though he is talking to animals. He looks a little more mature and less deceitful in this movie than in others such as A Distinguished Gentlemen and Beverly Hills Cop. Though he is a fast talking genius, he is quite respectable in this movie.

    Basically this movie is about a man who can speak to animals. The plot is thin but the comedy is what makes this movie. It is full of sexual innuendos and simply cute animals that love to talk back to him, especially the rats. There are is lot of dirty, toilet humour, jokes which are suitable for kids for this movie is marketed as a kids movie. Dr Dolittle comes from children's' books I read when I was young and thus it is a kids movie, but the existence of Eddie Murphy makes it very much an adults movie as well. Eddie Murphy has his legions of fans and I he definitely does not disappoint in this movie.

    Though this is a great movie, there is little depth to it. This does not mean that it is flawed in that way for not all movies need depth. This is not a feel good movie, nor is it satirical, it is simply an Eddie Murphy comic routine. One thing I wondered though is if the Pushme-Pullyou would be in the movie (for those who do not know, the Pushme-Pullyou if a two headed Llama with its second head where its butt should be). It makes a cameo appearance walking behind Dr Dolittle and you see its reflection in the mirror. It is not a major part of the movie, and I don't think it is meant to be. All I can remember of the old books is that Dolittle had a legion of animal followers, and he wasn't Negro. That is not important, but I doubt the movie would have been any good if any other actor had played the part of Dr Dolittle.
  • First of all, Let me tell you I am writing this review for the Hindi Dubbed Version, so if you watch the English one, this review is of no use....

    Man, I never remembered laughing this much in a family Hollywood movie Dubbed in Hindi. In fact the Hindi version takes over the English one. Hats off to the Dubbing Artists, they gave the animal character's voices to different mimicry artist which brings a stupendously funny feeling for the movie..., So if you understand Hindi, then a must watch for the whole family, no explicit content or cheap jokes either, the artists that made the animals speak, the translators adding extra efforts to the dubbings brought it to life, my review, A Must Watch if you understand Hindi and knows Bollywood......
  • You can probably tell by the gap between release and review that I wasn't that bothered about seeing this. But seeing as I haven't watched anything for ages, I figured that a little light relief might not be such a bad thing. And like most of Eddie Murphy's back catalogue, "light relief" is exactly what was on the menu. While maybe not a patch on the original, it is a great family film that has plenty for kids of all ages to enjoy even if it does have its flaws.

    Murphy plays work-committed doctor John Dolittle, working in an inner-city practise and occasionally finding the time to spend with his wife (Kristen Wilson) and two daughters (Raven-Symoné and Kyla Pratt). But after nearly running a dog over, he is shocked to recall his forgotten childhood ability to talk and communicate with animals. And as word spreads around the animal kingdom, Dolittle struggles with his sanity as every cat, rat and horse in the area flock to him for medical advice. He also struggles to persuade his family and colleagues about his claims, just as his practise is about to merge in a big-money deal.

    Murphy, by now in the middle of the end of his career, doesn't need to try too hard but actually, he is surprisingly good as the increasingly demented doctor. Maybe because he doesn't have to slap on several thousand dollars worth of latex or play every character in the movie but "Doctor Dolittle" serves as a reminder that he can be an accomplished performer without going completely over the top like he does nowadays. However, Murphy is no match for the variety of animals acting alongside him and even though the animals actually talk through clever and discreet CG, the numerous voices and guest stars (Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Julie "Marge Simpson" Kavner and more) have all the best lines and make the movie genuinely entertaining. The humour is suitable for a family film - great for kids, mildly amusing for grown-ups - but it does take a while to get going and for some reason, the ending didn't feel particularly satisfying.

    What it lacks in songs, dance routines and Rex Harrision, it makes up for in characterisation and humour. "Doctor Dolittle" might not change the world but it is perfect family fare to slap on a slow Sunday afternoon when the weather prevents play outside and you're fed up of hearing them on their Playstations. The only problems I can think of is that it lacks the charm of the original, it could have made more of the premise and the whole thing isn't especially memorable, Murphy's performance aside. But at least he isn't anything like as annoying as he is these days and just like Steve Martin in "Father Of The Bride", this film acts almost as a tribute to a former comedian and actor before they decide to ruin their career with some shocking films. So if you're still recovering from the likes of "Pluto Nash" or "Norbitt" then I advise you to watch this because if anything else, this is an Eddie Murphy film that doesn't make you want to blow up Hollywood.
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