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Doctor Dolittle (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  26 June 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 68,655 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 99 user | 73 critic | 20 from

A Doctor finds out that he can understand what animals are saying. And the animals find out that he understands.



(stories), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy (as Erik Todd Dellums)
Cherie Franklin ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Summer...The Doctor is In See more »


Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Dolittle  »

Box Office


$71,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,014,324 (USA) (26 June 1998)


$144,156,464 (USA) (8 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reni Santoni:  voice of one of the rats has a cameo as a human, playing the circus owner talking to the cops after Dolittle takes Tiger for surgery. He is wearing a white long haired wig. See more »


Adult tigers weigh around 600lbs. However, John's SUV doesn't squat an inch or bounce when the tiger enters and exits it on the way to the surgery. See more »


[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 »


Spoofs Dead Man Walking (1995) See more »


Do Little Things
Written and Produced by Andrea Martin and Ivan Matias
Performed by Changing Faces featuring Ivan Matias
Changing Faces perform courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
Ivan Matias performs courtesy of Elektra Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Amusing lines but weak plot
2 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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