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Laramie Movie Scope:
Doctor Dolittle

A talking animals story for the kids

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 28, 1998 -- "Doctor Dolittle" is a mildly funny story that is probably aimed at the juveniles who may like its barnyard humor.

The film, starring Eddie Murphy as Dr. John Dolittle, a man who can communicate with animals, does have some funny jokes and scenes, but not enough for me to recommend the film for adults. Teenagers and some younger kids may find it more amusing than I did.

The movie uses a lot of crude humor involving flatulence, rectal exams and so forth, so be warned, but it is essentially good-natured. Murphy plays a likable character who wants to do the right thing, but is torn by his desire to be successful and wealthy.

At first, he can't believe his ears when he starts hearing animals talking, but then he starts to enjoy helping them. Some of the animals, including a pair of wise-cracking rats and a pigeon with an identity crisis, are funny.

Director Betty Thomas ("Private Parts"), does a pretty good job with what she has, but the jokes are a little too far apart. If some of the other members of Dolittle's family, such as his wife (Kristen Wilson of "Bulletproof") and daughter (Kyla Pratt) had been fleshed out a little more, the movie could have been a bit more interesting. As it is, the animals and Murphy have to carry the whole load. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1998 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)