Dolittle (2020)

They say that animals are a man’s best friend, even if there are cases where we mistreat them (and vice versa). Yet we still can’t comprehend their thoughts. Not for a lack of trying, even household pets we can develop some basic understanding, but it is mostly inference, what we call conversations are still left in the realms of fiction. In 2020, audiences of all ages got to experience what it would be like to communicate with the said creatures, in the cinematic retelling of the classic tale of Dolittle.

Stubbing makes for a valuable apprentice for Doolittle.

Dr Dolittle is a friend to all animals, even more so as he can communicate with the beasts of {all kingdoms} yet after his wife’s tragic passing, has become a recluse, retreating to his mysterious estate. When a young boy by the name of Stubbins breaks in, guilt-ridden after harming a bird in a peer-pressure induced hunting trip, the duo forms an apprenticeship. After coming down with an illness, the queen has entrusted Dolittle with a perilous mission to track down a rare plant that could save her life. Dolittle and co. are off on a globe-trotting fantastic voyage One that is filled with many friends and foes.

RDJ’s Doolite seems to have drawn inspiration from William Price.

As is the case with animated blockbusters, the cast is a proverbial who’s who of recognisable names to garner the support of all demographics. Most notably is the inclusion of the Iron Man himself R Robert Downey Jr. Dolittle is a fitting franchise for the star to channel his audience drawing abilities, one that is both family-friendly and surprisingly creatively freeing. Robert Downey Jr.’s Welsh accent attempt is a bold creative choice, especially in front of native Michael Sheen. Most of his character appears to be a homage to William Price down to his iconic costume. It certainly makes for an adaptation that stands strongly against the similar yet unique retreads of the classic Dolittle formula.

Jim Broadbent and Michael Sheen: some of the the human elements of the film.

Being not 100% familiar with the original property, it’s hard to grasp what creative ideas are the films own, or just faithfully recreated from the source. Mudfly is an interesting rival for Doolittle, and their begrudging relationship is fun to watch unfold. We even get to meet Queen Victoria, Although Jessie Buckley here is not leaning on the distinct caricature-like impersonations that are common in popular culture. Suffice to say, it would be easy to theorise that the audiences are here for the animals, or more likely will be here to see the likes of John Cena as a Polar Bear, or Tom Holland as a dog, down to Octavia Spencer as a duck. Even some of the more fantastical beasts are brought to life by some clever casting. Outside the C.G.I. menagerie, the film has more to show visually, it is certainly colourful, but the palate has a unique muted tone that helps evoke the periods of which it is set, all while being a vibrant film akin to its competition, with the result equating to a blockbuster that is a treat for all the senses.

The lands Dolittle and co visit are as every bit as fantastical as the good doctor’s abilities!

Dolittle offers an animated escapade, that is sure to entertain families from the four corners of the earth. Full of vibrant C.G.I. critters and recognisable voices, that makes this expansive adventure as fun as you would imagine it to be. Robert Downey Jr. makes brave creative choices that’s stops this from becoming yet another plain old adaptation of the Dolittle source. So, whether you’re here for him or his camaraderie of cute animals, Dolittle is certainly a film that talks to its audience.

If you want to hear the likes of Emma Thompson and Rami Malek voice distinct animal personalities, then this is the film for you!

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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