Universal's Dolittle: See it or Skip it? @dolittle #Dolittle #MovieReview #ad

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Universal's Dolittle is in theaters today, January 17th.  I remember watching the first Dr. Dolittle adaptation with Eddie Murphy.  Eddie Murphy's comedic take was enjoyable and entertaining.  Flash forward to 2020 and there is a new version of Dolittle with star Robert Downey Jr.

I took my oldest daughter to watch Dolittle with me for a daddy daughter date.  Should you see Dolittle in theaters?  Keep reading for this dad's review.


Robert Downey Jr. electrifies one of literature’s most enduring characters in a vivid reimagining of the classic tale of the man who could talk to animals: Dolittle.

After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company.

But when the young queen (Jessie BuckleyWild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.

The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar® winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John CenaBumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar® winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante.

The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen (The Queen), Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent and Carmen Laniado (FX’s A Christmas Carol) and features additional voice performances from Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson. 

Directed by Academy Award® winner Stephen Gaghan (SyrianaTraffic), Dolittle is produced by Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum under their Roth/Kirschenbaum Films (Alice in WonderlandMaleficent) and Susan Downey (Sherlock Holmes franchise, The Judge) for Team Downey. The screen story is by Thomas Shepherd and the screenplay is by Stephen Gaghan and Dan Gregor (CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) & Doug Mand (CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). The film is executive produced by Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Bradshaw (The MummyMaleficent) and Zachary Roth (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil).

Dolittle has a great cast for the animal voices including Tom Holland, Emma THompson, Selena Gomez, Ralph Fiennes, John Cena, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Antonio Banderas, and Craig Robinson.  I wasn't sure what to expect with this version of the classic book "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle" as I've never read it.

It starts at a slow pace and takes a while to pick up.  I am glad I kept my younger five-year-old daughter at home as I don't think it would have kept her attention for the whole film.

The CGI animals were cute; the dragon might be a little scary for younger kids.  Some of the potty-type humor was a bit over the top (animal butts, farts), but for a kids film, I guess that is expected. The major themes of the film are dealing with grief, facing your fears, teamwork, and caring for animals.

Robert Downey Jr. is a great actor, but I found his British accent a little strange.  {Maybe because it felt like Iron Man was trying to be British.}   

Dolittle has some enjoyable moments, is pretty family-friendly,  has some good messages, and may get your kids interested in reading the book.  For adults, it may be something you'd want to skip and see on DVD, but kids may find it more enjoyable if they haven't seen previous versions.  (My nine-year-old hasn't seen any other versions and really enjoyed it)
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