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Dr. Dolittle

Theatrical poster for Dr. Dolittle.
Directed by Betty Thomas
Produced by John Davis
David T. Friendly
Joseph Singer
Written by Hugh Lofting
Nat Mauldin
Larry Levin
Starring Eddie Murphy
Oliver Platt
Kristen Wilson
Ossie Davis
Norm Macdonald
Chris Rock
and Peter Boyle
Music by Richard Gibbs
Studio Davis Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 26, 1998
Running time 85 minutes
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $70,500,000 (estimated)
Followed by Dr. Dolittle 2

Dr. Dolittle is an American family comedy, released in 1998 and starring Eddie Murphy as a doctor who discovers that he has the ability to talk to (and understand) animals. The film was loosely based on the series of children's stories of the same name, but none of the material from any of the novels was used; in fact, it could be said that one of the few resemblances is a doctor who can speak to animals. Notably the pushmi-pullyu, a much loved feature of the books, only makes a very brief appearance in the first scene in which the tiger appears in his cage. The first novel had been originally filmed in 1967 as a musical under the same title, a closer adaptation to the book. However, the earlier film was a box office bomb, but still remains a cult classic and a two-time Academy Award-winner. Although the 1998 film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA, it was marketed as a family film.

The remake, however, was a success, and generated a theatrical sequel that was released in 2001, simply titled Dr. Dolittle 2. Both films also starred Raven-Symoné and Kyla Pratt as Dolittle's daughters. A third movie, Dr. Dolittle 3, with Pratt playing the main character, was released direct-to-video in 2006, however, it did not star Eddie Murphy or Raven-Symoné. A fourth film, Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief, was released straight to DVD in 2008. A fifth film, Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts was released straight to DVD in 2009.[1]

Contents

Summary

The film starts out with Lucky the Dog (voiced by Norm Macdonald) explaining in narration how it is so easy to pretend to talk with your dog. He then adds, "but what if it was not pretend?"

The film now opens with John Dolittle as a child talking to his dog (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres). He asks his dog questions, one being "Why do dogs sniff each other's butts"? Her response is that it's their way of shaking hands. His concerned father (Ossie Davis) hears the question and says that the dog doesn't have any idea what he said. He was wrong. He finds this out when John meets his new principal and sniffs his butt. The dog obviously knows something is going to happen. When his father hires a minister to remove the evil from him (and freaking him out), the dog saves him by biting the minister. The dog is then taken up for adoption. John is very upset and stops talking to animals as his father teaches him to hate them.

Thirty years later, we see John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) shooing a puppy out of his apartment. He is a doctor, married with two kids, but became an animal hater. His oldest daughter Charisse (Raven-Symoné) wants to be named Paprika. His youngest daughter Maya (Kyla Pratt) is a nerdy girl who does experiments, such as raising a swan egg (or so she thinks) so it will bond with her. She also has a Guinea Pig named Rodney (voiced by Chris Rock). John's wife Lisa (Kristen Wilson) also just wants to spend time with him. Meanwhile at work, a big medical company owner named Calloway (Peter Boyle) wants to buy the company. Everyone is very excited because this means much more money.

John takes his family out to the country for a vacation. After taking the family to the country, he has to stay late at work to give Mrs. Parkus (Cherie Franklin), a woman who is addicted to shellfish even though she is really allergic to it, medication.

Driving home, he accidentally hits Lucky, and bumps his head on the windshield. Lucky, alive and well, walks away and shouts "Watch where you're going next time, you bone-head!". This is the first time that John understands an animal since his childhood. The next day, John is driving Rodney to the country and Rodney starts talking to him.

Up in the country, an owl (voiced by Jenna Elfman) wants him to remove a twig in her wing. After this happens, she tells all the animals about this. Soon, animals start asking favors of John. Scared, he goes to see Dr. Sam Litvak (Steven Gilborn) for a CAT scan, but nothing is wrong with him. He then meets two trash-eating rats (voiced by Reni Santoni and John Leguizamo) who obviously don't like him. The next day he finds Lucky being taken to a kennel. John rescues Lucky and brings him to the vet.

John makes a deal with Maya. If she stays at camp, Lucky is all hers. That night, a large bunch of animals come to see the Doctor for treatment, including a drunken circus monkey, two dysfunctional pigeons, a homosexual goat with a rash, an OCD dog , and some cloned sheep with rectal trauma. After he treats a nearsighted police horse, the drunken monkey tells the doctor about a sick circus tiger (voiced by Albert Brooks). They find him on top of Coit Tower attempting to commit suicide, while the rats make fun of him. John and Lucky confront him, saying that everyone loves tigers (using Tony the Tiger and "Eye of the Tiger" as examples) and that John can cure him. His work with animals distracts him from a meeting with Calloway and from spending time with his wife. Soon Lisa finds all the animals.

She and Mark catch him giving CPR to one of the rats, which was a false alarm (a.k.a Gas) while conversing with the other one. Thinking he is crazy, his friends and family send him to an asylum, where he meets Blaine (an uncredited Paul Giamatti), one of his enemies from medical school. Meanwhile, the Tiger is getting sicker, so Lucky tries to save John. John is mad at all the animals for sending him to the asylum, but Lucky says that he is hiding from his true self. With the help of Blaine's cat, John is released. Maya is home because she did not fit in, but she tells her Grandpa that she believes her dad has the gift of gab. Overhearing this, he realizes his mistake, so during the party where Calloway will buy the company, John and Lucky kidnap the tiger so they can cure him. Meanwhile, the police are after John, but Lucky gathers all the animals of San Francisco to help guard the building in which John is operating on the tiger.

But because they need to go through the party, and because Rodney is there, the tiger, whose name is Jake, comes out from under the hospital bed and scares everyone. Soon everyone is watching the operation. Lisa is now upset that her husband thinks he can talk to animals. John's father finally reveals that he, in fact, can. With that said, she comes in the operating room to comfort the tiger. John finds out that it is a blood clot, and with that, saves his life. Calloway is watching this and he is very impressed. He wants to buy the company, but John declines his offer.

In the end, John is now a both human doctor and a veterinarian. Maya's egg hatches, revealing to be an alligator. The rats are mad that the ending is happy, but the owl shows up and chases them away, trying to eat them (luckily, she doesn't). John and Lucky are seen walking to the circus to visit the tiger and talking about their future as friends, while the song "Talk with the Animals" plays in the background.

Cast

Actor Role
Eddie Murphy Dr. John Dolittle
Ossie Davis Grandpa Archer Dolittle
Kristen Wilson Lisa Dolittle
Oliver Platt Dr. Mark Weller
Richard Schiff Dr. Gene "Geno" Reiss
Peter Boyle Calloway
Jeffrey Tambor Dr. Fish
Kyla Pratt Maya Dolittle
Raven-Symone Charisse Dolittle
Paul Giamatti Blaine Hammersmith
(uncredited)
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Animal Voice Cast

Actor Role Animal
Norm Macdonald Lucky Dog
Albert Brooks Jacob Tiger
Chris Rock Rodney Guinea Pig
Reni Santoni Rat #1 Rat
John Leguizamo Rat #2 Rat
Phil Proctor Drunk Monkey Monkey
Julie Kavner Female Pigeon Pigeon
Garry Shandling Male Pigeon Pigeon
Ellen DeGeneres John's Childhood Dog Dog
Jenna Elfman Friendly Owl Owl
Brian Doyle-Murray Old Beagle Dog
Gilbert Gottfried Compulsive Dog Dog
Paul Reubens Raccoon Raccoon
Jonathan Lipnicki Tiger Cub Tiger

Soundtrack

The Dr. Dolittle Soundtrack was released in 1998 about half a year after the movie. The album soundtrack featured Aaliyah, Ray J, Timbaland, All Saints, R. Kelly, Ginuwine, Dawn Robinson and Missy Elliott, as well as other less-known artists. The lead single "That's Why I Lie" managed to peak at number 71 on the UK chart only. The album's second single "Are You That Somebody" recorded by Aaliyah and featuring Timbaland reached top ten on several charts, eventually making it to number one on the R&B Airplay chart and number 1 in New Zealand. The soundtrack reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #2 in US R&B, selling almost 140,000 copies in the opening week. The album stayed in the charts for a good 34 weeks. The album is certified Double Platinum, with SoundScan sales of over 2 million. It spent 25 weeks on the R&B Charts.

Track listing

  1. "That's Why I Lie" - Ray J
  2. "Let's Ride" - Montell Jordan
  3. "Are You That Somebody?" - Aaliyah
  4. "Same Ol' G" - Ginuwine
  5. "Lady Marmalade" (Timbaland Remix) - All Saints
  6. "Da Funk" - Timbaland
  7. "Do Little Things" - Changing Faces Featuring Ivan Matias
  8. "Your Dress" - Playa
  9. "Woof Woof" - 69 Boyz
  10. "Rock Steady" - Dawn Robinson
  11. "In Your World" - Twista & The Speed Knot Mobsters
  12. "Lovin' You So" - Jody Watley
  13. "Dance" - Robin S. Featuring Mary Mary
  14. "Push 'Em Up" - Eddie Kane & DeVille Featuring DJ Toomp
  15. "Ain't Nothin' But A Party" - Sugarhill Gang

References

External links


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