Tag Archives: review of doctor dolittle

Dolittle

Please note: There may be spoilers in this post.

So last night me and the hubby watched Dolittle starring Robert Downey, Jr. I was a bit sceptical because I had seen that the reviews weren’t that great.

Previous Versions

This isn’t the first time the story of Dr Dolittle has been told, we’ve had two previous versions starring Rex Harrison and Edie Murphy. The Rex Harrison version which was filmed in 1967 gaining 6.2/10 from IMDb and Edie Murphy’s version marked 5.4/10. IMDb gave Robert Downey Jr’s version 5.6/10.

My Thoughts

My first concern regarding this film was Robert Downey Jr’s accent. I had read comments that he chose to use a Welsh accent, which is notoriously hard for actors to nail and I’m not sure that Robert Downey Jr nailed it either! A lot of the lines he said were mumbled and it was hard to hear what accent he was using. I did wonder why he chose a Welsh accent as the author of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting, didn’t depict him as Welsh. Rex Harrison gave a very English gentleman performance and Edie Murphy, obviously, had an American take on it.

But on researching the reason, I found out that Robert Downey Jr based it on a man named William Price. He was a Welsh druidic doctor in the 19th century who had controversial ideas, including cremation of bodies, which was very taboo back in those days. Dr Price was a colourful figure who wore unusual, bright clothes and a fox-fur hat.

The premise of the film is that the Queen of England lies near death and in order to save her and at the same time save his house, which only belongs to him whilst the Queen is alive, he embarks on his journey to find the cure.

I thought that overall the film was quite entertaining, I think it would appeal to children, as there is a lot of body humour, like when a dragon he cures from belly ache manages to break wind in Dr Dolitte’s face for a solid ten seconds, (my husband laughed at that!).

But the highlight for me was the dialogue between the animals, it was quick and witty and there were some laugh out loud moments from both of us. A particular favourite was the dragonfly finding out his girlfriend was getting married to somebody else:

You come to me for this on the day of my daughter’s wedding?
Wait a minute, which daughter?
It’s not… Sheila? My Sheila? She’s getting married?
To a scorpion named Dylan.
Sorry, boy scout, I guess Sheila’s into bad boys now.
We were gonna spend the rest of our lifespans together.

This was an enjoyable film (excluding the dodgy accent), which in these days of doom and gloom, is a nice escapism for a couple of hours. So I would give it:

7.5/10