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Doctor Dolittle is a world-renowned veterinarian who speaks a wide array of animal languages. He sets off from his home in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, England, in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail. In so doing, he and his friends meet such exotic creatures as the Pushme-Pullyu and the Giant Lunar Moth. This musical is the source of the hit song, "If I Could Talk To The Animals." Written by
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Adorable Family Musical from the sixties with a flawless performance by Rex Harrison.
My childhood favorite still holds up! In 1967 I remember sitting in the theater in awe of this tall Englishman that could sing & talk to animals.
As an adult I can sit and enjoy another brilliant performance by the Late Great Sir Rex Harrison (God bless him!), this time as the Good Doctor Dolittle.
Leslie Bricusse has done a wonderful job combining some of the Hugh Lofting tales into a Big Hollywood Musical! I only wish that all the songs made it to the screen. Two were cut, I guess for time (Where are the words?, Something in your smile) but show up on the soundtrack record & CD. Robert Surtee's photography is gorgeous! It really should have walked away with an Oscar that year.
Richard Fleischer brings it altogether beautifully. His direction is just the right pace, letting us enjoy all the fantasy that is set in front of us. No quick cuts, loud noises - Hell, everything that audiences today never see. There is nothing wrong with taking time telling a story - I wish the new Hollywood understood that.
The circus number with Sir Richard Attenborough is just as entertaining today as it was in 1967. The Pushmi-Pullyu may not hold up to the digital effects of today but it's still just as lovable.
This family film is a treasure and it certainly is more to what Hugh Lofting envisioned compared to the recent Eddie Murphy films.
If you ever have a chance to see this in a Theater - GO!
The DVD has a beautiful transfer - I do wish the DVD had more extras, such as the two songs they cut for the final release. But it should be in the family collection.
Remember it has Rex Harrison in the title role. That alone should give you a reason to see it - If you haven't already
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