“Dolittle” (2020) brings a new telling of a classic story that many know and love from childhood. Even if you didn’t watch the original film from 1967 or the retelling in 1998, I can still bet that as a child, you tried to speak to animals — or at least wished you could.
By Ava Twomey
“Dolittle” is a fun film, full of laughs and adventure that awaits once you step through into a magical world filled with beautiful forests, far-off islands, treasures untold and, of course, talking animals! If you’re looking for a release from the seriousness of life, I would highly recommend this film, because although there are dire consequences if Dolittle and friends don’t achieve their mission, that does not stop the fun that ensues, and there are plenty of jokes that both kids and adults can enjoy.
Robert Downey Jr. brings the character of Dr. Dolittle to life once more in a stellar performance that starts his year at the box office off right. I was nervous that audiences would just see him as Iron Man. However, he completely immersed himself into his portrayal of Dolittle and had no problem taking us along with him.
It’s true that there are a lot of animals in this film, so many so that they may outnumber the humans — but don’t worry, the CGI does justice to the animal characters. They are realistic-looking, but to the point where it is still believable that they are talking, emoting and doing not-so-animal-like things.
The cinematography and the fantastic score composition by Danny Elfman is a major part of what makes this movie feel so immersive, and, of course, the talented actors that bring the animals to life. In fact, most of the actors who voice these characters are A-listers you would know in a heartbeat. However, because of the immersive feel of the movie, you likely won’t even realize who they are until the end credits. Speaking of which, stay for the after-credits for a fun surprise.
Now I’ve been tooting the horn of this movie pretty hard, but there are still some problems with it, such as predictability. Sure, there are also the classic film clichés like beginning and ending narration, but it was enjoyable even though it’s pretty clear where the story will go.
This is definitely a family film with themes throughout that will also resonate with adults, such as the pain of heartbreak being stronger over anything physical. Despite this, “Dolittle” never loses its heart as a fun family flick.
There are two end-credits scenes, set in the middle of the credits, so be sure to stay after the film to catch them.
Be sure to see “Dolittle” (2020) when it flies into theaters on Jan. 17. Check out the trailer for the film below: