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Parents' Guide to

Dr. Dolittle (1998)

By Ed Grant, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Gimmicky animal tale with Eddie Murphy is crude but funny.

Movie PG-13 1998 85 minutes
Dr. Dolittle (1998) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 12+

Full of sexual references and near sex scenarios

We watched this movie because it said 9+ and I live Eddie Murphy. The movie is funny but there are way too many sexual references (sexual innuendos, near sex scenarios, jokes, etc) for kids under 12. If your 8-10 year old doesn know what parents do in the bedroom, they'll pretty much figure it out after watching this movie. I come to this site constantly for age recommendations on movies and this is one of the few I think is totally wrong. I was totally embarrassed watching this with my 10 year old.
age 12+

Has adult themes not appropriate for small children

We got this to watch with our children ages 10, 7 and 7. We had read reviews and knew it had language, so we used Clearplay (which skips the bad stuff). But even with the language being muted, it had some stuff we didn't think was appropriate for small children: A bedroom scene that never happens, although the animals sing songs about lovemaking. A very loooong vet scene where a thermometer gets stuck in an animal's butt. (I lost count of the butt jokes.) We turned it off when an animal was seemingly getting ready to jump off a ledge and commit suicide. I'm assuming the animal doesn't jump, but it was over the top for small kids. We turned it off.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (14 ):

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.

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