(2020) (Robert Downey, Jr., Harry Collett) (PG)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Adventure: To save the life of the queen and the manor she bequeathed him, a reclusive, widowed man who can talk to animals sets out with them to find a cure for her.
- Dr. John Dolittle (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) was once a well-known and often seen celebrity who became famous for his ability to converse with animals. But following the death of his wife years ago, he's since become a recluse with only animals as his companions. That includes the wise macaw Poly (voice of EMMA THOMPSON); easily scared gorilla Chee-Chee (voice of RAMI MALEK); polar bear Yoshi (voice of JOHN CENA) who often clashes with Plimpton (voice of KUMAIL NANJIANI) the ostrich; Dab-Dab (voice of OCTAVIA SPENCER), an enthusiastic if scattered-brained duck; and Jip (voice of TOM HOLLAND) who can smell illnesses on others.
Doolittle's animal-only solitude ends up interrupted by two outsiders. One is a boy, Tommy Stubbins (HARRY COLLETT), who's accidentally shot a squirrel, Kevin (voice of CRAIG ROBINSON), while trying to avoid hitting anything while being forced to hunt with his uncle and cousin. The other is young Lady Rose (CARMEL LANIADO) who's arrived from the palace with news that Queen Victoria (JESSIE BUCKLEY) is gravely ill and has requested Dolittle to care for her. He initially declines the request but changes his mind when he learns that should the queen die, the land she bequeathed to him and the manor in which he lives with the animals will return to the government treasury.
Accordingly, he visits the queen, much to the dismay of Lord Thomas Badgley (JIM BROADBENT) and the resident physician, Dr. Blair Mudfly (MICHAEL SHEEN), the latter who went to medical school with Dolittle and despises having lived in his shadow for so long. Dolittle determines the queen needs an antidote that can only be found in the fruit of the Eden tree. The only problem is no one knows where to find one, although Dolittle remembers that his wife, Lily, wrote about that before her death. To complicate matters, her manual is in the hands of pirate king Rassouli (ANTONIO BANDERAS) who has a long-standing grudge against Dolittle, something he'd be more than happy to resolve through the use of his deadly tiger, Barry (voice of RALPH FIENNES).
Facing all of that as well as a fearsome, fire-breathing dragon (voice of FRANCES DE LA TOUR), Dolittle does what he can to get his hands on the antidote and return to the queen before it's too late.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Kids might be drawn in by the talking animal element.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For some action, rude humor and brief language.
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