The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle Movie Poster Image
Sweet animal adventure has some mild peril.
  • G
  • 2011
  • 79 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Introduces kids to the Doctor Dolittle character from literature (and movies).

Positive Messages

The movie's overwhelming message explores what it means to be a good friend and the importance of teamwork. Additional themes include honesty, facing danger with courage, and the importance of honoring a family legacy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Young Dolittle is a good friend who wants to do right by his uncle and the animals he loves. His dog Jip is a loyal companion. Aside from the gorillas, their ringleader and his sidekick, the majority of the animals on the island are kind and compassionate. The monkey Tango portrays a realistic struggle between doing what is right for yourself versus the group.

Violence & Scariness

Violence is minimal and any roughhousing is fairly cartoony, however, animals are placed in danger, and conflict is resolved in a few instances through use of force, such as when animals are seen being lowered into a vat of volcanic lava, and a ram disappears into the lava. In one very short scene, a few animals are carted off to a dungeon. In another brief moment, a donkey comically attempts to break free from two gorillas by kicking and biting them, but gives up quickly. 

Sexy Stuff

Throughout the film, a lovestruck, nearsighted rhino comedically pines for and sweet talks a rock he thinks is a rhino, and in some instances, an actual rhino.


The island ringleader, Ramsey the Ram, uses insulting language throughout the film, such as calling the other animals "chumps" or "blithering nitwits." There's an instance of gender-based disparagement when he calls the gorillas "ladies" to mock their incompetence.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle is a tremendously sweet, family-friendly comedy that expresses admirable messages of friendship, teamwork, honesty, compassion, and doing the right thing, but features light peril and a couple of scenes where animals resolve conflict through force. Additionally, there's virtually no adult presence in the film aside from young Dolittle's mother's voice on the phone, and the film contains multiple instances of mild insulting language from a major character.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBabyFaceCutie June 5, 2019

Best characters ever!

I am in love with the characters! John is the best. He's sweet, innocent, cute, smart, gentle, kind, and cheerful. I think this movie should have it's... Continue reading
Parent Written byKiendas May 8, 2013

Awful awful waste of time

This movie is terrible. The animation is bad, but worse, the writing is garbage. No one should watch it, but it's on Netflix, so probably a lot of kids end... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byRainbowGirl2001 March 15, 2017

Best Dolittle ever!!!

I LOVE this little guy! I used to watch this when I was Ten! At first I was nervos to see this movie, but when I watched it, John is one brave boy if you ask me... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWindindi October 2, 2013

The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle: Winster Critic

Hello I'm the Winster Critic! I remember watching this, and it was really amazing from what I remember, even though it was for my brother, I truely enjoyed... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE VOYAGES OF YOUNG DOCTOR DOLITTLE is an animated animal adventure about Doctor Dolittle's (narrated by Tim Curry) young nephew John, who shares his uncle's love of animals and gift for communicating with them. When John discovers Dolittle Island has been been taken over by a band of gorillas, led by the powertripping (and mean) Ramsey the Ram, he vows to save it and his animal friends, among them a parrot named Polynesia (Jane Seymour) and a nearsighted, lovelorn rhino, Eugene (Jason Alexander).

Is it any good?

This animated film is a sweet, funny addition to the Hugh Lofting's children series Dr. Dolittle, and offers much of the same appeal and enjoyment as earlier incarnations. The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle is brightly animated, with colorful animal characters who more than earn their keep in comedic value, including a germaphobic bird, and a romantic-to-a-fault rhino. There are positive examples of loyalty and friendship, and sweet expressions of compassion. 

Kids will enjoy the thrill of mild danger and the punchy animation, and the well-voiced, quirky characters are a nice change of pace from some of the blander animal fare. There's just enough suspense for a good scare, though sensitive kids might need a little reassurance during the bad guy's comeuppance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the animals in The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle used force to address conflict. How else could they have resolved their differences?

  • Go to the library and check out a Doctor Dolittle book. How is it similar to or different than this movie?

  • Why was it so important for young Dolittle to try to save the island?

  • Why was it so hard for Tango the monkey to decide what to do in the film? What lesson did he learn about friendship?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animated movies

Themes & Topics

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