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Doctor Dolittle (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Family, Fantasy | 26 June 1998 (USA)
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A doctor discovers that he can communicate with animals.

Director:

Betty Thomas

Writers:

Hugh Lofting (stories), Nat Mauldin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy ... Dr. John Dolittle
Ossie Davis ... Archer Dolittle
Oliver Platt ... Dr. Mark Weller
Peter Boyle ... Calloway
Richard Schiff ... Dr. Gene 'Geno' Reiss
Kristen Wilson ... Lisa Dolittle
Jeffrey Tambor ... Dr. Fish
Kyla Pratt ... Maya Dolittle
Raven-Symoné ... Charisse Dolittle
Steven Gilborn ... Dr. Sam Litvack
Erik Dellums ... Jeremy (as Erik Todd Dellums)
June Christopher ... Diane
Cherie Franklin Cherie Franklin ... Mrs. Parkus
Mark Adair-Rios ... Intern
Don Calfa ... Patient at Hammersmith
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Storyline

Dr. John Dolittle has the world in his hands: A beautiful wife at his side, two adorable daughters and a career that could not go better. One night, he nearly runs over a dog with his car. The dog yells "bonehead" and disappears. From then on, his childhood ability is back: To communicate with animals. Unfortunately, the word of Dolittle's ability is spreading quickly. Soon, many animals from rat to horse flock to his place to get medical advice. But his colleagues suspect he's going mad, and as the clinic Dolittle used to work for is about to being taken over for a huge amount of money, many decisions have to be made. Believe him? Put him into a mental institution? Sell the clinic? But also his family is close to breaking apart. Until a circus tiger falls seriously ill. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For thousands of year animals have been trying to tell us something, but their cries have fallen on deaf ears...until they found John Dolittle See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Dolittle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$71,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,014,324, 28 June 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$144,156,605

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$294,456,605
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the scenes called for an animals double, when Rodney (rides on top of the moving vehicle while in his cage which h is tied to it, or has a mishap in the ladies room almost flushed down the toilet) an animatronic guinea pig was used, Rodney was well-trained and did many behaviors to his credit- biting his cage, moving to specific placement marks and sitting up on cue, he also had live guinea pig doubles too, several of them were trained so that each one specialized in a different behavior.; Other animals which had specially designed matching animatronic doubles included Lucky, the two rats, the owl, Jacob, and the pigeons, they also had multiple live doubles allowing them to be rotated and rested often. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Dolittle's apartment is on the corner of Webster St. and Green St. When the horse shouts, "Is there a doctor in the house?" the "Webster St." sign is on top of "Green St.". When Dr. Dolittle looks down, and the camera shows the horse from his angle, the "Green St." sign is on top of "Webster St." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lucky: [narrating] You know, they say the great thing about being a kid is, it's so easy to pretend. You can have a conversation with your dog or a baseball or a banana. Well, what if wasn't pretend? What if you could have a conversation. I mean, not with a baseball or a banana - that's ridiculous, but - but with your dog?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Svédská trojka: Toulavá Morava! (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
Written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not great, but personally, I found it funnier than I thought I would
19 August 2007 | by Electrified_VoltageSee all my reviews

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).


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