Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts Movie Poster Image

Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts

(i)

 

Latest sequel is surprisingly fun; good role models, too.
  • Review Date: May 11, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie is intended to entertain, not educate, but kids might pick up some positive messages.

Positive messages

The main character learns lessons about the pitfalls of taking the easy way out and the false promises of celebrity. Another character learns to stand up for herself and her friends.

Positive role models

The main character and her mother have a strong relationship, and the main character is a positive female role model overall. Two characters engage in a wild Rodeo Drive shopping spree to celebrate good news. A monkey burps repeatedly and is in a chugging contest -- but it's only grape soda.

Violence & scariness

A slimy Hollywood agent is chased by a menagerie of justice-seeking animals, to great comic effect.

Sexy stuff

One kiss between two college-aged characters.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Shopping spree on Rodeo Drive features placement by Hermes, American Express, L'occitane, and Betsey Johnson, among other brands.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this straight-to-DVD film is entertaining and heartfelt family fare, reinforcing a healthy skepticism about celebrity and pushing education as a better long-term plan. The main character's dad is out of the picture on a research trip, but she has a solid relationship with her mom, and only gets in trouble when she ignores her instincts. A dog gets sick but recovers.

What's the story?

DR. DOOLITTLE: MILLION DOLLAR MUTTS is the third in the straight-to-DVD series leaving Dr. Doolittle himself out of the picture and featuring instead his daughter Maya (Kyla Pratt), who has inherited the family gift for talking to animals. Maya is all set to start veterinary school but balks at the thought of spending seven years studying before she can help animals. She's given a chance to make a quicker impact in the form of a reality show called Animal Talkers, in which she'll star with celebutante Tiffany Monaco (Tegan Moss). But when Maya's vision of using the show to help animals is at odds with the commercial realities of Hollywood, she has to decide how best to achieve her goal.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Each iteration of the Dr. Doolittle series has given the Maya Doolittle character a chance to mature, and in this movie she is truly a stellar role model for girls. She's smart and -- after learning from a few bad decisions -- understands why education is a priority. She is polite to everyone who she meets, human or animal, and consequently is liked by nearly everyone she encounters. She has a great relationship with her mom, and apologizes when she makes mistakes. And Pratt is a beautiful, healthy girl without being scarily thin -- something that the down-to-earth love interest Brandon (Brandon Jay McClaren) seems to appreciate.

But don't get the idea that this is a preachy or treacly film. Those positive messages are easily woven into a straightforward plot that even young kids can follow, and the funniest lines are given to the talking turtles, snakes, and dogs that are in every scene. An extended riff on Hollywood celebrities and their pets, including a tough rapper named Ridiculuz (Doron Bell) and his pet rabbit Mr. Fluffernufferman, should have even older kids laughing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between having talent and having training. Maya's family gift -- the ability to talk to animals -- only gets her so far in her goal to help animals; did that come as a surprise?

  • Someone observes that Tiffany has photo opportunities, not friends. Do you think her celebrity plays a part in that?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 19, 2009
DVD release date:May 19, 2009
Cast:Judge Reinhold, Kyla Pratt, Tegan Moss
Director:Alex Zamm
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Wild animals
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some rude humor

This review of Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8, 8, 9, and 14 year old Written byeolmo693 May 31, 2009

e.g. You should think twice before going with a tween!

how i can see the movie
Teen, 16 years old Written bycutepie123 September 30, 2009
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 5 years old June 1, 2009

e.g. You should think twice before going with a tween!

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