By Anthony Miele | June 22, 1998

Why two different ratings you ask? Obviously, because this is a film made for children, which in nine out of ten instances will equate to a miserable time for adults. “Doctor Dolittle” avoids comparisons to classic children’s films, such as “Babe” and “The Little Princess”, by sticking with this trend and gives the audience a film that is as unwatchable as its 80 minute time frame allows.
If you weren’t already aware, (and after viewing the film you may still be unaware) “Dr. Dolittle” is a loose remake of the 1967 Rex Harrison film of the same title (remember the rule “remakes always suck.”) Although the film claims to be a remake, there are only two points where the two films converge, one of which is the title character’s name … “Dr. Dolittle”. In fact, the differences are so vast that the term “remake” does the original a tragic injustice. For instance, the animal-loving “Dolittle” character is played with a charmingly sweet air by Harrison, while Murphy’s “Dolittle” is gruff and, shockingly, an animal hater. Harrison’s “Dolittle” spent his entire life learning to speak with the animals, while Murphy’s is born with this ability. These changes, among others, cause the film to lose the sincerity that the original grasped so perfectly. The humor is boring and in most spots inappropriate for children.
“Dr. Dolittle” is destined to be a money maker, since kids will see the talking animals and be instantly taken in, but it is the film’s utter lack of anything wholesome that causes its downfall. If your children must see a film, rent the two previously mentioned titles. Avoid the “Doctor” at all costs.

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