Get ready to stampede to the theater to see “Dolittle,” Universal’s new film starring Robert Downey Jr. With an all star cast of support, this adventure will get grown ups laughing and kids ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
In this remake of the classic tale, the Doctor is out, and has been for many years since the death of his wife. But when the Queen falls ill and the only cure is a rare tropical flower, Dolittle has to embark on an epic sailing journey to retrieve it and save her before it’s too late. All while bringing his best animal friends in tow!
Given the difficulties of shooting movies with animals, and the dangers that one can encounter when involving so many in one production, it makes sense that the producers of “Dolittle” have opted to render each one as a computer effect. The effect is well done too, from the fur on the gorilla to the feathers on the parrot, each one interacts with the environment and the characters convincingly.
Visually, the movie is bright and colorful, reflected in the eclectic collection of animals Dolittle brings with him. This is augmented by the environments they visit, riding the high seas and visiting a distant island.
And with so many diverse characters filling the cast, each one gets at least a funny line, or has a memorable vocal performance. Craig Robinson’s squirrel Kevin is a hoot in the film, constantly on his toes and making humorous quips.
But the best aspect to the movie is its sense of adventure, which begins from the first frame and never lets up. The movie begins with a memorable 2D animated segment showing the backstory of Dolittle’s past, and it is a delightful way to start the show off. It’s almost a shame the whole movie wasn’t made that way, it looks so good.
Yet the adventure really kicks in when Dolittle and his friends set off on the ocean, encountering sea creatures, evil navy boats, old enemies, and even a ferocious tiger. But there’s not so many thrills to be too much for kids, it’s just the appropriate amount of suspense and danger to keep them on their toes and invested in the story.
On top of all that, famed recording artist Sia contributes an original song to the end credits, appropriately titled “Original.” It’s sure to get your toes tapping and exit the theater with a bouncy feeling.
With exciting action, fun characters, extraordinary special effects, and a fun lead performance from Robert Downey Jr., “Dolittle” is a perfect family friendly adventure to start off the 2020 movie season. Grab your folks together and head into the wild blue yonder for some family fun. “Dolittle” opens in cinemas everywhere on Friday.