The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle Movie Poster Image

The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle



Sweet animal adventure has some mild peril.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 79 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?


The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle 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 film 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the animals in the film 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

DVD/Streaming release date:November 1, 2011
Cast:Jane Seymour, Jason Alexander, Tim Curry
Director:Rinat Gazizov
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:79 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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What parents and kids say

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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 it. plus, the story really fits, sure, the animation is...well... not the best, it still is very nice to watch.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
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 up doing so. And they may even ask to watch it again-- not because it is any good-- it is not! -- but because 2 year-olds simply don't know any better. But you do. Choose something else.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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