The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."
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Dr. John Dolittle lives in a small English village where he specializes in caring for and verbally communicating with animals. When Dr. Dolittle is unjustly sent to an insane asylum for freeing a lovesick seal from captivity, his animals and two closest human friends, Matthew Mugg and Tommy Stubbins, liberate him. Afterward, they join Emma Fairfax and set out by boat to find a famed and elusive creature: the Great Pink Sea Snail.Written by
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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