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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The message ("be who you are and love who you are") is lost amid the crude humor.
Positive Role Models
In some scenes, Dolittle is unkind to animals. He shouts at a dog and briefly ignores the animals' pleas for medical attention.
Violence & Scariness
The rat characters keep goading each other into a fist fight. A rat nearly dies on the operating table. A woman with an allergic reaction to shellfish visits Dolittle's office with horrifically puffed-up eyes (her bruised buttocks also featured).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Much of the film contains mildly raunchy material, including double entendres and sexual innuendo -- expect jokes about a thermometer going into a dog's rear end, and a pigeon preferring "orange breasts."
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At one point Dolittle quickly utters "s--t," and there are many almost-curses that are cut off. Several uses of "ass." Jokes involve excretion, flatulence, and urination; countless gags center around animals' "butts." The terms "crap" and "nooky" are also utilized.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dr. Dolittle is a crude but funny Eddie Murphy vehicle that takes the name and basic concept from Hugh Lofting's famous stories about a man who can "talk to the animals." There is an enormous amount of rude humor -- innuendo, potty humor, iffy language -- involving the animal patients added to the mix. Because many of the jokes include toilet humor and crude references to the human body, parents may want to decide whether or not they feel comfortable with this type of content for younger kids, though those children will certainly be charmed by the animal characters. Older kids will enjoy the jokes, but parents may still wish to exercise discretion, due to the nature of the humor and some language ("ass," and one use of "s--t"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This gimmicky talking animal comedy contains many rude jokes, some of which are actually amusing, thanks to a talented voice cast. Although it's unexceptionally directed, with unimpressive songs on the soundtrack, the star-studded voice cast brightens up the proceedings. Norm MacDonald and Chris Rock entertain with their popularly-established personas, and other comic actors (Albert Brooks, John Leguizamo, Jenna Elfman) affect colorful tones for their animal alter egos.
The moment when two pigeons (voiced by Garry Shandling and Julie Kavner) discuss the male pigeon's impotence is clearly meant to amuse adult viewers -- who will have long since tuned out or left the room, having been numbed by the chronic repetition of animal butt jokes. Dr. Dolittle's message ("be who you are and love who you are") is lost amid the crude humor. Similarly, Dolittle's transition from money-hungry yuppie to altruistic animal lover is unconvincing, due to sloppy scripting and the fact that Murphy is still a better comedian than he is an actor.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.