A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
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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?
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