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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

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

Howard Stern was offered the chance to voice a hamster, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When John puts Rodney back on the table after the tiger tries to eat him, Rodney is a different guinea pig. 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

Spoofs The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Talk to the Animals
Written by Leslie Bricusse
Performed by Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of Brunswick Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Amusing lines but weak plot
2 October 2003 | by bob the mooSee 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.


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